True Believers: Finding Your Brand Advocates and Starting a Movement

Become brand advocates.

True Believers: Finding Your Brand Advocates and Starting a Movement

Nov. 29, 2017

Organizing a movement is no simple task. There are things to be done, people to be motivated, and events to be spearheaded. Quite simply, it can be exhausting; but when you’ve got a good cause, it’s all worth it. And building your brand is a very good cause.

There are lots of reasons you might choose to start a movement, but consider one very important one first. Movements contain energy, and there’s not a brand or dealership around that couldn’t benefit from a giant infusion of energy—the kind you get from people who believe in the same things you do, work toward the same goals, and celebrate successes with you. The energy that churns during a movement is contagious.

What Is a Movement?

According to Merriam-Webster, a movement is “a series of organized activities working toward an objective.” You already have an objective, which is to promote your brand, gain followers, and ultimately, sell more. Now it’s time to organize your activities and the various facets of your objective into a plan that results in brand interaction and recognition.

There have been many movements throughout history, some more famous than others. From animal rights to veganism to global issues, every movement has one thing in common. Every movement has a cause. Your reason for inciting a movement and initiating action on the part of employees, brand ambassadors, and consumers is to gain momentum for your brand. Although it may not be as globally impactful as other movements, with skill and planning, yours will aspire to achieve results nearly as legendary.

If you’ve ever looked around and wondered how you could differentiate yourself from your competitors, or if you’ve ever thought your brand could be doing something more to attract and engage consumers, then it’s time to enlist your cavalry. Why? Because one-man movements simply don’t pack the punch that full-fledged crowds do.

Who Are Your People?

It’s important to find the people who are strong brand proponents for your dealership. Your brand advocates will be integral to the success of growing your business and building your brand in online social circles. Advocates form a community of supporters for your products and services, and they lend their voices to your online efforts, offering both a more personal touch for consumers and the online interaction shoppers crave. They are likely to purchase more, but additionally, they have been shown to influence and motivate other shoppers. In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust brand advocates when it comes to helping them make purchasing decisions.

Brand advocates can be defined by several characteristics:

  • They are likely to recommend your dealership.
  • They are passionate about the products and services they support.
  • They have influence and are able to actively promote your dealership amongst their social circles.
  • They help other consumers discover value in the products and services they believe in.
  • They interact frequently—with consumers, friends, and brands.

Simply liking a product or a brand and then posting online doesn’t necessarily make someone a brand advocate. In fact, brand advocates are a special breed of consumer, and when you have them on your side, you have an entire team of supporters who are willing to be an online voice for your brand. Talk about teamwork!

Where Are They Hiding?

Brand advocates can be found just about anywhere and range in age, background, and online ability. However, the key thing to remember is that brand advocates are willing participants with the brands they love, and they WANT to help brands succeed. Once you’ve won their trust and loyalty, they are eager to dive in and share what they’ve come to love about your products and services.

Since advocates are so proactive when it comes to backing the brands they love, finding them isn’t as difficult as you might think. As your dealership becomes more active in online social circles, be on the lookout for people who are vocal about promoting what you offer. Your brand advocates are waiting to interact with you; identify them and put their online voices to work for your dealership with a few helpful tips:

  • Make friends. You’re already online working to boost your brand, so be sure to befriend and engage industry-specific influencers. Look for people who are talking about dealership and service experiences, and keep an eye out for those who are interacting with online reviews, comparisons, and similar articles. Social listening and really zeroing in on what consumers are interested in and talking about will earn advocates for your dealership.
  • Be engaged. Brand advocates are on the lookout for businesses that are willing to take the time to interact with them. When they feel appreciated and valued for their contributions, they will be even more likely to comment and share your posts with friends.
  • Focus on engagement. It’s easy to hyper-focus on the number of followers individual advocates have, but keep in mind their influence lies with the level of engagement they display on social media forums. Look toward influencers who actively leverage the power of social media; you’ll see great results as you build connections with these individuals.
  • Reward them. Remember the importance of keeping brand advocates interested in your products and services, and don’t let their initial excitement wane. A great way to maintain and build momentum is by offering things like incentives, sneak peaks of products and events, and special advocate-only offers. Be creative and remember your advocates are everyday consumers who appreciate the little things you offer in exchange for their brand support.

Brand advocacy is all about building relationships, and as you know, building and maintaining relationships takes time and effort on your part. Your efforts to create and grow meaningful relationships with your advocates will pay off as they work to keep your brand front of mind with shoppers. By empowering your customers to speak as advocates for your brand, you’ll be acknowledging how important they are to your business, and in return, they’ll continue to speak up on your behalf.

Starting a movement begins with a cause—and as you increase your reach and grow your number of brand advocates, you’ll gain momentum. Getting your dealership seen, recognized for all it offers, and shared by consumers who are proud to be your social media ambassadors is integral to your success as online and mobile shopping trends continue to grow.

In a busy marketplace, your dealership can’t afford to be lost in the crowd—and that’s where your brand advocates come in. They’ll keep you linked with potential shoppers and give consumers a more personal way to experience your brand. They will help you start and maintain the brand movement you are creating. Remember, your advocates are proponents of your brand and WANT you to succeed, so the more you work to support them and offer ways to share your dealership with others, the more you’ll get out of the relationship.

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