Social Media Advocacy has been been at the heart of the most successful social networkers’ plans for a number of years, but now it should be at the core of everyone’s online strategy.
Let me explain.
You have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Google+ accounts and you spend lots of your time posting updates, watching what others post and sometimes contributing to message threads in shared groups and fora. You feel busy because you are publishing, sharing and contributing.
You have been measuring the success of your activities by watching your growing number of Likes, Followers and Connections. As the numbers grow you feel satisfied you must be getting good value from the time and energy you are committing.
The good news is that you are probably seeing some value and if you are keeping people engaged online then you are creating a great platform for generating new business opportunities from them.
However one big test of just how good your networks are is whether or not your connections, friends and followers are advocates.
Advocates are defined as connections who share your communications on your behalf with their networks. They regularly re-tweet, they click ‘share’ and they distribute your content far and wide. In simple terms they are marketing your business for you and the intrinsic quality of each piece of advocated content is up to 10 times the value of anything that you could publish yourself. Social advocacy is the equivalent of a digital recommendation and as we know word-of-mouth can be one of the most powerful marketing tools in your armoury.
So the next time you publish some content, engage in a discussion thread, or make a new connection, think:
1. Is this something that is easily sharable?
2. Have I written to provide value for my contacts’ contacts or just my first tier of connections?
3. Did I really think about publishing the right content in the right place at the right time to help my advocates advocate?
4. Can I measure the reach of everything I publish to test just how far and wide the message went?
5. Will I remember to thank each and every advocate for the time they took to share my content?
If you can answer yes to each of these five points then you do have a social advocacy strategy. If you can’t then you now know where to begin.
Oh, and if you would be so kind as to share this blog with your contacts I’d be very grateful. Thank you.