Associations are communities in which people of like interests and goals gather. This is why social media has been adopted by associations and integrated into their existing marketing mix. It amplifies what they have been doing all along.
Social Media can have a crucial part since it is a great way for Associations to encourage member engagement, help recruit new members and turning them into brand advocates along the way.
But what exactly are brand advocates?
Anyone can become a member of your Association, enjoy it, have the benefits and talk about that on social media. But brand advocates (also known as brand evangelists) go a little further.
Those are the ones that are truly passionate about your Association. The ones that write a blog around your events, or tweet about you daily, and faithfully follow you on Facebook or Twitter.
They recommend you to their friends and colleagues and don’t let any disgruntled people sway them. Brand advocates are loyal to a fault — all without being asked or compensated. They are just truly happy with you.
How can they help your social media marketing as an Association?
Brand advocates are really valuable in helping your social media marketing to be successful.
Here are 3 key ways they help you:
1. They regularly share your content
The difference between a follower and a brand advocate is that a follower can share your content from time to time, but a brand advocate will regularly like it and share it with their peers.
They actively follow your content and are always happy to share it making you reach a wider audience of potential members for your Association. So it is key that you continue to deliver high value content on your social media pages.
2. They recommend you to others
They regularly follow discussions about your brand or industry and will be the first ones to recommend your products or services to people interested or asking questions.
Since they act like a real time testimonial, their recommendation can have a very important impact in influencing other people’s decisions to become a member of your Association.
3. They defend you in discussions
They love what you do, what you make, and they will often defend you in moments of distress.
They can really valuable in mediating sensitive situations or in helping to change people’s opinions, even stopping some issues from escalating further. And very often they spot these situations quickly than you.
Don’t forget to reward them
In a sector where word-of-mouth, recommendations and reputation is key, and also in a sector where many potential members go search for those references online and in social media channels, it is a very good idea for an Association to identify and keep their brand advocates engaged since they have the power to tell thousands about you with just the push of a button!
Rewarding doesn’t mean compensate them with money but to say thank you in other ways like giving them discounts, offers or early access to a new product or service.