When I moved from New Zealand to the US in 1992, communication with home involved an expensive 30-minute call, once a month at midnight. When I moved again to the UK in 1999, we kept in touch with weekly emails. Before I moved to the US again last year, I introduced my family and friends to a chat app called Line. I now wake up to messages from my niece, a recipe from my sister and a picture of my parent’s new pigs.
Over the last 5 years, I have been directly responsible for more than 30 new users to the app. I’m what Line would consider a brand promoter.
Who Are Brand Promoters?
Let’s start with who they’re not. Last year Social@Ogilvy released a survey which showed that 6 in 10, or 58% of respondents were Brand sharers. Brand sharers are the likers, the reposters, those who tell the world about their experiences with a business, good and bad. These sharers are the brand awareness arm of your social marketing strategy. They’ll get your name out there and make it familiar to their social circle, but they’re not your promoters.
In the survey, 19% of respondents considered themselves Brand Promoters. That’s only 2 in every 10. These people are the golden nuggets of your viral marketing. They go further than just posting their feedback. Their loyalty is, without doubt, they will always have your back.
While brand promoters are loyal to your business, their importance goes beyond their personal purchasing potential. They’re willing to put their own reputation at risk by recommending your business to their sphere of influence, even after they have no use for what you offer. If you’re an auto body shop and they move into the city center and sell their car, they are still great proponents of your brand. They’ll recommend your company to friends and family, despite no longer needing to use your services themselves.
Why Are They So Important?
Earlier this year, Ambassador partnered with Nielsen to conduct a study on word-of-mouth and referral marketing. They found that 80% of Americans use recommendations when making a purchase and 67% are more likely to make that purchase when the product or service has been shared online by a friend or family member.
Customer acquisition costs have been quoted as ranging anywhere from 3 to 10 times the cost of customer retention. Also, brand promoters are less cost-sensitive as they’ve already brought into the value of what you offer. Wouldn’t it make sense to take the time to nurture promoters?
Finding Your Brand Promoters
So where do you find these needles in the internet haystack? The Social@Ogilvy study found brand promoters:
• Gain a sense of worth from using or purchasing a product
• Likes and follows brands regularly to hear about products, offers, and news
• Follow businesses to be associated with brand and values
• Are more likely to communicate directly with your business
• 83% check their Facebook profile at least once a day
• Are aged between 30 and 44
Below, we have a potential brand promoter engaging with AP Digital on Facebook:
In 2003, Frederick Reichheld, partner at Bain & Company and author of several books from Harvard Business School Press, established Net Promoter Score. By asking customers one survey question about how likely they were to recommend their company, a business could measure how many brand promoters they have generated. Companies subtract the percentage of detractors (those who responded with 0 to 6) from the percentage of promoters (those who scored 9 to 10) to find their Net Promoter Score.
This system is still popular 13 years later, with companies as big as Apple, Enterprise and Amazon using the metric to track their performance from their customer’s (and employees) perspective. This system not only allows businesses to identify their brand promoters, but it also gives organizations a segmented view of their customer service, isolating branches that need help or those that should be recognized, positively impacting their growth.
Cultivate The Relationship
Once you have identified your brand promoters, you’ll need to encourage their allegiance. As brand promoters are more likely to engage with the business, any interaction from them has to be responded to. By replying, the promoter will feel acknowledged and respected, earning more engagement, sharing and more promotion.
However, the power of brand promoters and even brand sharers can go both ways. If a company gives these same people an experience so bad that they lose their loyalty, they will also become brand detractors. Their experience with the company will be posted far and wide and will directly influence their social circle. Keeping up with engagement is crucial to keeping your brand promoters and sharers.
How To Respond
Responses should be made on a one to one level. Throw the robotic replies out the window, show them it’s a real human replying, and be genuine. In other words, the basic customer service we all preach but so few practice. Keep the engagement level consistently active, encouraging them to interact and look for opportunities to develop a stronger relationship. Don’t stint on rewarding their loyalty.
Using a platform that allows you to monitor mentions of your organization will produce timely interactions with your brand promoters, helping you to identify them and build on their loyalty. AP Digital’s Social Marketing will track your mentions across Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare from one dashboard.
Measure and Track Performance
Finally, measure, track and review your tactics every step of the way. Make sure you’re targeting your brand promoters in order not to dilute your outcome. The strategy is to increase your advocates, not to create a blanket approach to customer service. This tactic is about creating more than shares and likes, it’s increasing conversions and return on investment.
AP Digital’s social networking team are your partners in growing your brand promoters. Contact us today to see how we can help you.