Who are You Looking to Leverage – Social Influencers or Brand Advocates?
Okay, this might come to you as a surprise and we must have got you wondering if Social Influencers are any different from Brand Advocates. Well, yes, they are. A lot of people tend to assume they are the same since they perform almost the same functions, but the difference exists.
Who is a Social Influencer?
Social Influencers usually are influential personalities – those with a good following on one or more social media platforms. These could be journalists, bloggers or celebrities who are successful. And it makes perfect sense to recruit them since they can buy your brand good visibility on social sites. Brands endorse influential people who have the potential to make your brand more sellable. Influencers’ interest can be maintained by offering rewards or perks. Keeping them engaged with your brand can become an expensive affair, but there are multiple ways you can, as a brand, involve them for long in your interest. How this can be achieved requires a separate space on this blog, but that’s the long and short of how a social influencer bring you under the spotlight.
How are Brand Advocates Different from Social Influencers?
On the contrary, anyone, mostly your happy customers, can be your Brand Advocates. Look for active customers who purchase often. They have huge potential to boost your reach both online and offline. Brands incentivize customers’ excitement immediately after purchases by asking them to recommend their purchase with their friends and family and rewarding the behavior. Often a brand advocate will share and refer willingly, without expecting a reward it. When a brand succeeds in reproducing such behavior often from its customers, it indicates it has not only gained tremendous visibility but has also developed brand loyalty. And of course you can choose to reward them to generate sustainable engagement.
Irrespective of a brand’s current success, it is imperative that both Influencer Marketing and a Brand Advocacy Program be involved in your marketing strategy. While happy customers shall act as your brand advocates and develop trust in their network, social influencers can fetch you good visibility pretty easily. A mix of both, maybe, is what you are looking at for success.