Build Brand Advocates Through Social Storytelling

Alison Masniuk Social Media

A shift is on the digital horizon where brands are being put to the test for sustainability and creativity.

The demand for a social presence is a prerequisite to conducting 99% of all business, and that can be accomplished through social storytelling.

Furthermore, social presence is crucial for nurturing their customer relationships, industry partnerships, and cultural innovation.

As the swift evolution of the digital marketing machine occurs, consumers’ needs have made their way to the forefront now more than ever with competition being fierce and ferocious for brands to stand out.

So let’s talk about why the shift to inbound, content driven marketing is making waves with consumers and what your brand can do to build brand advocates.

PUT SOCIAL SELLING ON THE BACK BURNER

Traditional, outbound marketing is no longer a sustainable strategy on its own in the world of B2B or B2C marketing.

The State of Inbound Report 2016 from Hubspot reports:

“73% of inbound marketers say the best leads originate from inbound practices, compared to just 18% of outbound marketers.”

When brands shift from broadcasting on social to a combined effort of inbound and content driven marketing, they can appeal to their target audience’s interests.

By doing so, brands can drive valuable, engagement-rich content that will not only add value to the consumer but allow for two-way communication to begin in an online setting that emulates a brick and mortar shop feel.

According to Forrester Research

“[brands]…that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at 33 percent lower cost per lead.”

Using an omnichannel marketing plan with concentrated efforts on inbound tactics, brands would likely see higher retention in brand advocates and establish a base of warm leads to nurture.

Once the shift begins from outbound to inbound, the importance of transparency and truth in a brand’s culture will allow their customers to experience who they truly are – beyond the product or service.

The Power of a Transparent Truth Teller

The most common mistake brands fall victim to is jumping on the social trend wagon with the hope of optimizing sales opportunities or gaining virality.

What often happens when a brand steps away from their truth is a significant misalignment with who they say they are and how they show up for their consumer.

While some opportunities are great for exposure, the importance of transparency and truth must be maintained for a brand’s integrity to stay intact online.

Nurturing those existing follower relationships and maintaining frequency as well consistency will benefit a brand in the long term.

“Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube allow audiences to feel connected to businesses while learning about the brand values and vision.”Chirag Kulkarni, 15 Trends Every Business Leader Should Watch in 2017

Rather than executing a poorly thought out “post-and-pray” strategy which yields lower engagement rates, become present and proactive with social listening tools like Hootsuite or Social Mention to tap into your audience’s needs.

Then your brand can provide consumers with value-rich content tailored to their needs that create brand love and brand loyalty.

Brand Love Builds Brand Advocates

Establishing brand love builds brand loyalty, which in turn creates brand advocates.

Your brand advocates are your biggest fans and are likely to be return customers because they follow your brand’s truth (and they love what you offer).

Developing brand love through value-focused content is what will drive that level of loyalty between your customer and brand.

There is a major potential of utilizing brand advocates to nurture new leads and build a referral base.

CEO of Influence CentralStacy Debroff states:

“As we head into 2017, influencers will entrench as defining voices in consumer marketing, as brands concede advertising control and look to passionate brand advocates to sway consumers on social media…”

Ensuring your brand voice is consistent, frequent and truthful will allow your brand to take a seat amongst popular influencers online who will inspire followers to transition into brand advocates.

Bridge the gap between consumer and company by sharing your brand’s story on social to leave your customers with an experience that makes them want to say “Wow…Brand is Truth.”

References

An M., Brudner E. (2016) State of Inbound 2016 Report. Published by Hubspot. Retrieved from The State of Inbound Report 2016

Harrison K. (January 9, 2017) Top 10 Trends That Will Transform Digital Marketing in 2017. Published by Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from Top 10 Trends That Will Transform Digital Marketing in 2017

Hughes B. (December 30, 2016) 3 Inbound Marketing Best Practices to Steal for 2017. Published by Entrepreneur. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/287171

Kulkarni C. (January 3, 2017) 15 Trends Every Business Leader Should Watch in 2017. Published by Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2017/01/03/2017-tech-trends/

Sellas B. (June 25, 2014) Why The Post and Pray Method Doesn’t Work (and What To Do Instead). Published by B Squared Media. Retrieved from http://bsquared.media/post-and-pray-method-doesnt/


About the Author

Alison Masniuk

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The Communication Maven - Alison Masniuk is a content and communications specialist based in Calgary, Alberta. She has a professional background in Human Resource Management, Public Relations, and Digital Marketing. Alison is passionate about social media and technology, always looking how to communicate a brand's story through original content and strategy.

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