No one really talks about social media advocates.
When you mention the term, the natural definition is a person that is ‘pro social media’ but when I speak of social media advocates I’m really referring to the individuals that tweet, mention, like, post, blog and overall support a company or brand through social media channels and platforms.
Why are advocates so important?
Consumers surveyed ranked consumer content as the #1 aid to a buying decision, cited by 91% of respondents (e-tailer, 2015).
How do users participate in social communities? The 90-9-1 Principle states that:
1% of users are Creators who are actively creating content,
9% are Editors who are commenting and adding to content that already exists, and
90% are Audience or Lurkers. They are watching and consuming content.
The take-away from this is by fostering a conversation with 10% of the audience, you are building value for the remaining 90%.
This is the value companies can gain from knowing and conversing with their social media advocates. The value of participation is what social media is all about. Use advocates to highlight the following social media principles:
Make participation a side effect. Even better, let users participate with zero effort by making their contributions a side effect of something else they’re doing.
Edit, don’t create. Let users build their contributions by modifying the existing
Reward — but don’t over-reward — participants. Rewarding people for contributing.
Most social media strategies focus only on encouraging conversation. Without question, this is the right approach but more attention needs to be placed on the second part of that goal, which should be to identify, mobilize and engage advocates.
Is your business using advocates?