Social Media Advocates 

5 Ways to Turn Customers into Social Media Advocates  Today’s social media landscape is noisy. Companies compete for attention every day. It can be hard for local businesses to stand out, but two recent studies show how businesses can use social media to their advantage. A 2013 study by the Internet Advertising Bureau found that 90 percent of consumers would recommend a brand after a social interaction with it. A 2014 poll by Harris Interactive found that 68 percent of social media users aged 18 to 34 were “somewhat likely” to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post about a brand.Social media users are heavily influenced by their friends’ recommendations on social media, and are more likely to recommend your business if they have interacted with it. Converting your customers into social media advocates can have a direct impact on bringing new customers in the door.

Make Them Aware

“If you build it, they will come,” might be true in certain cases, but not in social media. Make it easy for customers to find you. Put your social handles on printed collateral and your website, and include links in your emails. The easier you are to find, the more likely your customers are to follow you.

Always Be Engaging

Never underestimate how powerful a single engagement on social media can be. Engagements humanize your company, building a real emotional bond and boosting future advocacy.Always respond to comments on social media, including negative ones. A history of response to comments demonstrates that your company is listening, and increases the likelihood that your customers will engage with you in the future.

Give Them Incentive

Providing your customers with an incentive to recommend your company can be a low-effort, high-reward strategy. New York-based laundry service Cleanly, for example, gives every customer a unique code to share on Twitter. Anyone who uses that code gets $10 off, while the original customer receives a $10 credit.

Give Them Something Worth Sharing

Posting interesting content increases the likelihood that customers will share it and expose your company to their social circles. As a business, funny videos and cat memes might not be appropriate for your brand voice, but finding interesting and engaging content to post will keep your audience coming back for more.

Make It Personal

Consider creating a program that rewards your engaged customers in meaningful and unique ways. Maker’s Mark, for example, has an Ambassador program where, in exchange for a pledge to share their love of the company, customers receive perks, including their names engraved on their own barrel of bourbon. It’s a fun way to make their customers feel special while guaranteeing positive word of mouth.

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