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5 Powerful Use Cases for Social Advocacy & How You Can Get Started

5 Powerful Use Cases for Social Advocacy & How You Can Get Started

Over 50 million businesses now have a Facebook page and are actively reaching out to their target audience. As a consequence, the social network has reduced the organic reach of commercial content, to protect its users’ interests.

Ogilvy once predicted that organic reach of brand content would someday drop to zero, and brands need to prepare their outreach strategies to face that outcome.

In today’s social scenario, there is probably no better way to influence your target market than by establishing social advocates.

There are several end goals that you can have for social advocacy and different programs that you can build to achieve them. These are five powerful use cases of social advocacy.5 Powerful Use Cases for Social Advocacy & How You Can Get Started

1. Brand awareness

Isolated, a brand can reach 1-2% of its existing following by posting content on official networks. With the help of advocates that reach could be increased by as much as 561%, according to MSLGroup’s research.

Social posts also have short shelf-lives and stay in view only when they are shared and distributed by your community. To initiate that process, you need advocates.

If you want to quickly make an impact on a large following, you simply need to identify and active your social advocates. They can be super-fans, happy consumers or employees.

IronSource incentivized their content distribution and got staff involved. The result? 24% of their engagement today can be attributed to advocacy.

5 Powerful Use Cases for Social Advocacy & How You Can Get Started

You simply need a platform through which you can share content with your advocates.

2. Lead generation & sales

When companies combine great content with advocate-based distribution, they have seen great results, like a five-fold increase in web traffic and 25% more leads.

IronSource has employees across departments (everything from tech to marketing) share content and promotes the company on social networks like Twitter.

5 Powerful Use Cases for Social Advocacy & How You Can Get Started

The key is to ensure that your advocates are connected with your target market, directly or indirectly.

You could also encourage happy consumers to go vocal on social networks. They are likely to be connected with more prospects.

3. Improved talent acquisition

If your company has a great work culture that your employees are excited to be proud of, you could significantly improve your recruitment efficiency by using that to your advantage on social networks.

Many large organizations have employees share achievements, pictures of office retreats and activities and establish powerful employer brands on social networks.

  • 69% of prospect employees who look your company up won’t apply if you have a bad reputation.
  • Prospects who come through employees are far more likely to convert, and more quickly (Source: HRinAsia).

Starbucks has an entire Twitter page dedicated to employees and company culture called Starbucks Partners.

4. Crowd-sourced content

Content creation is expensive and time-consuming when not outsourced.

  • Over 50% of B2B and B2C content marketers identify creating engaging content as a challenge.
  • Over 90% B2B clients distrust content created by vendors.

Instead of creating all of your content, you could source it from your community of advocates.

Crowd-sourcing content gets people involved – employees, target groups and potential micro-influencers.

You can crowd-source content in 6 ways –

  • Brainstorm with influencers on mutually beneficial content that you can create
  • Regularly reach out to consumers for feedback and success stories
  • Feature advocates on your blog or social pages as part of a post
  • Round-up pre-existing tips or ideas from potential advocates on a post
  • Target early adopters and encourage feedback
  • Target niche communities and amplify distribution

Build these relationships before you need them, and see how content creation and distribution becomes easy for you.

5. Event marketing

Events, webinars, podcasts, and live streams have become important parts of content marketing in the current scenario. Brands create video and audio based aids to connect with and get on the good books of their target groups.

Typically, only 25% of the people who register for online events, show up, and only about half or less of that group of people stay until the end. To ensure that you have that capacity optimized, you need to expand your reach and increase your registrations.

Advocates can help you create event buzz, before, during and after the event.

Most events create dedicated hashtags and connect their advocates with content to make the sharing easy.

You can use email newsletters or advocacy platforms to distribute your content to advocates.

5 Powerful Use Cases for Social Advocacy & How You Can Get Started

Getting started

There are different types of advocates that you can employ or active – brand ambassadors, brand advocates or celebrities.

Brand ambassadors – These are people specifically employed by a brand to talk about it on social networks. They can be influencers, niche experts (bloggers or content channel owners) or employees.

Brand advocates – These are super-fans or people who appreciate your brand and/or product, interact with it naturally on social and are likely to participate in activities that you initiate.

Celebrities – Celebrities are usually contracted by brands with big budgets who want to reach a mass audience.

Identify your advocates

Identify the people who are connected with your target demographic and have influence over them. You can do that by setting keyword alerts on a social media monitoring tool like BrandWatch.

Set alerts for important hashtags, keywords and tangential concepts in your niche. Shortlist people who match your tone of voice, seem to lead conversations and have good engagement on their posts.

Build relationships with your advocates

Add your advocates’ Twitter handles or names to your social monitoring list, or create Twitter lists to monitor their activity.

Pay attention to their work and show them support by helping them distribute your content. Once you are certain that they know you and are comfortable with you, reach out to them with an advocacy agreement.

Create an agreement that benefits both parties.

Create and curate great content for your advocates to share

The better your content is, the more conversions you will get when it is amplified by your advocates. Avoid using advocate channels to directly sell your products right off the bat.

Create content that offers their audience value and reinforces the relationship between you and your advocates and their audience. Visual content, in particular, performs well on social. You could use a graphic design software like Venngage to turn your blog posts into infographics for sharing.

If you are working with employee advocates, having them share industry content can help improve their social presence and so the quality of the leads they attract and help you convert.

You could use a social media management dashboard like DrumUp that allows content curation and easy sharing with employees.

While running your social advocacy program, monitor your analytics on a regular basis (reach, engagement, click-throughs, website traffic, and conversions) and ascertain if your content and advocates are helping you achieve your intended goals.


Jessica DavisAbout the Author

Jessica Davis represents Godot Media, a leading content firm. Her areas of interest include social media and content marketing.

2 How Can Social Media and Content Marketing Automation Boost Your Outreach Effort?

photo credit: flickr

photo credit: flickr

Opinions on social media automation swing both ways – some would tell you it’s good to use, others would tell you it’s a mistake you’d better avoid. However, if you’ve had any experience managing a few social media pages, you know just how demanding the job can be. With posts, notifications, comments, likes, retweets, mentions and so many other things to track, it’s not surprising if social media managers wish there were more hours in a day.

Automation makes social media management less overwhelming. It also helps increase the effectiveness of your outreach efforts – here’s how:

Find share-worthy posts with content discovery tools

One of the most challenging aspects of a social media manager’s job is discovering content that will strike a chord with the audience. Automating content discovery with tools like DrumUp and Feedly helps you avoid the hassle of having to manually search for relevant content each time you need to share a post. DrumUp helps you find fresh, trending content, which increases your chances of being among the first ones that discover a post with viral potential. And Feedly lets you subscribe to content from specific websites or blogs that are related to your industry.

Increase your posting frequency

Social media users receive dozens of notifications every day, and it’s rather easy for your posts to get buried under them. The only way you can maintain visibility or increase exposure is by posting more often. Although the ideal posting frequency would vary based on the industry you operate in, it’s always good to take a mixed-bag-approach to your social media activities. For instance, on Twitter, ensure that you strike a balance between, tweeting, retweeting, and replying. You could use tools like TweetStats to keep an eye on how frequently you’re doing each one of them. You can also use tools to schedule your posts in advance so you won’t have to log in manually each time you want to share one.

Achieve consistency

Creating multiple social media accounts is easy; maintaining a steady presence on them is not. Several business pages fizzle out within months of having been set up since they are unable to achieve consistency. Social media automation lets you plan and schedule content ahead of time, ensuring that your social accounts remain active even when you are away.

Do more in less time

As the old adage goes, ‘Time is money‘, and more so in the case of businesses. Every minute you waste on a task that could have been automated translates into a loss of productivity for your business. Social media automation tools help you save precious minutes that you can instead invest in your core business activities. Most social media automation tools act as a centralized dashboard for all your social media marketing efforts. This saves you the trouble of having to log into each social media account individually.

Measure results

Using social media analytics tools will give you a good sense of how your posts are performing. Consequently, you can modify your content strategy to better align it with the goals of your social media marketing efforts. In using analytics, you must choose the metrics you track based the objectives you seek to achieve. For instance, if your goal is merely to increase visibility and establish credibility among your target audience, tracking metrics such as views and likes would suffice. However, if you’re looking for increased sales you should track the Click-through-rate (CTR) more closely.

Undoubtedly, automation can help your social media marketing efforts have a greater impact on your target audience. From discovering great content to improving engagement, automation helps you streamline your outreach activities and is a boon to every social media marketer. What tools do you have in your arsenal?

JessicaJessica has a keen interest in social media and content marketing and writes extensively about it. She represents Godot Media, a leading content marketing firm that also offers SEO writing services.

11 6 Free Social Media Tools for Startups to Build a Strong Social Media Presence

You had a great idea, and you’ve built a viable business model around it, but getting the word around about the products and services you have on offer can prove to be quite challenging. With the use of social media, you can reach out to a greater number of people in lesser time. If you invest effort in social media management consistently, platforms like Facebook and Twitter also help you establish a relationship with your buyers.

Sure, continuous interaction means there may be instances when disgruntled customers diss you on social media. Instead of being scared away by the possibility, you should focus on having a crisis control strategy in place. Respond to negative feedback immediately and make it up to your customer. Good deeds on social media give you double the mileage – you can not only reconcile with an unhappy customer, but also reassure the others that you’re listening to them.

Building a strong social media presence is an imperative for startups in the digital age. Here are a few tools that will come in handy.

Rapportive

Sometimes, business correspondence via email can be tricky because there’s only that much you know about the other person. Rapportive fills this information gap by connecting your Gmail account to Linkedin. The tool comes as a free plug-in for Chrome and extracts a person’s Linkedin profile to display the information within your Gmail window.

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DrumUp

DrumUp is a smart content discovery tool that scours the web for relevant content based on the keywords you input. The tool acts as a central dashboard for your Twitter and Facebook profiles, letting you manage multiple accounts simultaneously. It allows you to choose from a list of suggested content, edit and schedule posts, and also add custom posts to the queue.

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Easel.ly

If you’ve used any social media platform or have been tracking the social media space, you know that visual content receives a higher rate of engagement. However, you’d think that creating visual content is a time-intensive task. Easel.ly makes you think again. The tool offers ready-to-use infographic templates that are categorized by subject. All you have to do is choose from their list of categories and search for a specific subject.

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Collecto

A dedicated tool for Instagram, Collec.to lets you manage your photos, organize them into albums, run contests to promote your brand and get statistics on the effectiveness of your campaign. It also gives you statistics for your profile, as well as others’ who you follow, provided they are subscribed to the tool.

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Canva

With Canva, everybody can be a designer. The tool offers image templates and editing options to create a wide range of visual content, including Facebook Cover Photos, Email headers, Youtube Channel Art, Photo Collages, Twitter headers, Ads, Presentations and more. It also offers design tutorials to help you hone you artistic abilities.

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Newsle

Newsle is a monitoring tool that can be used on several social media platforms including Linkedin and Facebook. It tells you who among your connections, both on email and social media, are most in the news. This essentially means that you can track mentions of you professional acquaintances, competitors and peers.

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Each of the tools discussed here offer a unique functionality and together make for a powerful social media arsenal. Given that all of them are free, you’ve got no excuses to put off trying them out to see how they can boost your social media presence.

 

JessicaJessica has a keen interest in social media and content marketing and writes extensively about it. She represents Godot Media, a leading content marketing firm.

 

2 Social Media Gives Consumers and Brands a Direct Connection

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Jessica Davis  – Enjoy! 

photo credit: Matt Hamm via photopin cc

photo credit: Matt Hamm via photopin cc

Remember a time when it was not possible to share your opinions about a specific product with others because there was no outlet. Not too long ago, the consumer was considered to be at the bottom of the pyramid. There was no way to display dissatisfaction with the services received or products purchased.

However, consumers today enjoy a very different situation, all thanks to social media. Through social media outlets, consumers have been able to easily convey their opinions – whether it be criticism or praise – about various brands. There is now an opportunity for consumers and brands to actually build a working relationship in which views can be exchanged and opinions can be voiced.

For brands, understanding the consumer and knowing what they think about the product can prove to be very beneficial. Also, brands with a strong consumer following can benefit from starting a direct line of communication through social media marketing to engage with the very consumership that purchases their products or services. Along with big-name brands and corporations, small businesses and start-up companies can also benefit from having a proper social media system in place.

Social media – a public forum

Social media websites provide a platform for buyers to voice their opinion in an open forum where their voice can be heard by other like-minded individuals. By building strength in numbers, consumers can get their point across to reputed organizations and brands, and force them to change their product through the use of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more. Take the recent example of consumer outrage in Canada and USA against Vitalife’s dog treats, which, according to claims are of inferior-quality and have been linked to the deaths of many dogs. Many of the consumers have banded together on Facebook, demanding that the product be pulled off the shelves.

This is just one of the many ways consumers have found for making their voices heard. Brands too, have realized the potential that lies in using social media for marketing purposes, and several brands have adopted this medium as one of their main marketing tools. Through sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, brands can make important information available for their loyal consumership. This can include exclusive sales, promotional offers, rewards, etc., Information about the product and its production process can be shared with consumers who feel more empowered after gaining more knowledge about their favorite product. Companies can make more use of this opportunity by posting details about the product and organization along with the process that is involved in the creation of the product.

Brand-consumer relationship

There has also been a dramatic shift in the relationship between a brand and a consumer. Social media has taken power and control out of the hands of large corporations and famous brands, and has put it in the hands of the consumers. Realizing this, many CEOs and other top level executives of big name brands have taken to Facebook and Twitter to engage directly with the customers who might be buying their products.

Through the use of social media companies can chart out their marketing strategies depending on what the consumers feel. Companies are posting questions, and asking consumers to share their views on a new product, suggest a flavor for a specific food brand, and are even asking consumers to submit their art for a new logo or product cover. Businesses are not just sticking to content on social media, but also creating interesting podcasts and videos to promote ideas for new products and campaigns. This process makes the consumers feel more involved in the marketing process and the fact that they have provided some input in the process makes them trust the brand more.

Consumer interaction through social media

More and more consumers have started interacting with each other over websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, and promoting their favorite products on these platforms. This gives the business more exposure, and an opportunity to understand their buyers, their needs and their dissatisfaction. Businesses can gain more insight on improving their product by spotting unhappy customers early on and taking steps accordingly.

Ensuring that consumers feel valuable can help businesses stay two steps ahead of their competitors in this ever-changing market. Social media has drastically changed the marketing game for businesses. The sooner companies realize the importance of social media and the role it plays in marketing, the sooner they can start reaping the endless rewards it offers.

Jessica Davis photoJessica Davis is a Content Strategy expert at Godot Media, a leading content services company. She works with other Godot copywriters to create engaging and effective web content for businesses and individuals. She is also interested in technology, social media and fashion.