What Is Customer Advocacy?

Customer advocacy refers to customers who speak positively about your brand, recommend your products or services to others, and defend your brand against negative reviews or comments. These customers are often referred to as customer advocates or brand ambassadors. 

Customer advocacy is crucial for businesses as it leads to improved brand reputation, increased customer loyalty, and higher revenue. When consumers become advocates of your brand, they continue to purchase your product or service and promote it to their family and friends, essentially becoming a free marketing channel. 

The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.” – Dharmesh Shah, Founder, and CTO of Hubspot.

That statement really captures the value of customer advocacy to a brand. Lasting relationships with loyal customers who happily serve as ambassadors for your brand will always help your brand grow more than any advertisements will, without the cost.  That statement really captures the value of customer advocacy to a brand. Lasting relationships with loyal customers who happily serve as ambassadors for your brand will always help your brand grow more than any advertisements will, without the cost.  

However, you either offer something worth advocating for or don’t! Customer advocacy is not something that can be forced or bought. It’s earned through creating a positive brand image and consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences. You must know your consumer inside-out, what truly matters to them, the trends they care about at any point in time, and their wants, needs, and concerns. Fortunately, there is an abundance of this data online. This is where social media listening comes in.

What Is Social Media Listening?

Social media listening, also known as social listening or social media monitoring, is basically a hack into the consumer’s mind. It refers to analyzing and tracking social media conversations to gather information about your brand, industry, or topic.
Social media listening typically involves using tools to monitor various platforms for comments, mentions, and other conversations surrounding your brand or the product/service you offer. What are they saying about your brand? Is it negative or positive? What’s the mood?

How Social Media Listening Can Increase Customer Advocacy

You can better understand their preferences, needs, and pain points by taking the time and actively listening to your consumers. Then, you can make improvements, resolve issues quickly, and provide that exceptional customer experience mentioned earlier. Here are some other ways social media listening allows you to connect with your audience, hear what they’re saying about your brand, and increase customer advocacy: 

1. Better Insight Into Your Audience

You might think for your skincare line, your primary audience is women aged 18-25, but after monitoring the conversation, it turns out that your product has mainly appealed to middle-aged men. Everyone loves glowing skin!
Social media listening allows you to identify your target audience and determine what’s relevant to them, the type of language they use, and the things they’re passionate about. You can gauge what kind of questions are frequently being asked and create posts that directly answer them, and you can establish a brand voice that feels authentic and relatable.

2. Improve Customer Service

Social monitoring helps you provide a better customer experience. By promptly responding to questions and comments, you’re showing your consumers that you really care about their experience with your brand and value their feedback. You’re showing that you’re empathetic to their comments and that you’re committed to total customer satisfaction. This can quickly turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal advocate, improve customer retention, and ultimately drive more and more business to your brand.

3. Monitor Competition Chatter

Social media users may be your harshest critic, and you can always count on them to bring to light areas where your brand or competitor brands are falling flat. Use that to your advantage! Where is your competition missing the mark? What can you offer that competing businesses don’t?

Maybe a particular retailer doesn’t offer enough sizes, the purpose of their product was unclear, or customer service was unsatisfactory—using social media listening means finding and answering questions consumers didn’t even know they were asking, then leveraging that to make your business the solution. 

4. Manage Crises

Social media listening allows you to read about potential issues your consumers are experiencing or concerns about your product or service. Knowing this information enables you to stop problems in their tracks before they spiral out of control or prevent them altogether before they even develop.

That said, because social media has quickly become a critical part of how people communicate, share opinions and information, and interact with businesses, your brand must have a crisis management plan in place. In the event of a crisis, such as a product recall, security breach, controversial statement made by a team member, and so on, social media will be one of the first platforms for stakeholders, customers, and the media to express their opinions and criticisms. Without a plan, brands struggle to respond quickly and effectively, leading to lost customers, reputational damage, and financial loss. Now let’s get back to it.

5. Establish Partnerships

Social media listening can help companies establish brand and influencer partnerships by identifying potential people and businesses that align with their values, marketing objectives, and target audiences. By monitoring conversations, you can gain insight into the content that resonates most with your audience and the most popular brands and then use that knowledge to collaborate with influencers who are the most influential (and relatable) in your industry. 

For example, pretend you’re that same self-care brand mentioned earlier. You would likely want to search for influencers whose personal brand revolves around self-care and see if you can offer a solution through your product. And similar to the previous strategy mentioned, listening to consumers’ complaints about what brands aren’t doing also gives you an opportunity to reach out to that brand for collaboration. At this point, again, your business becomes the solution!

“A new survey released by Curalate highlights how social media content has become the new storefront, with 76% of U.S. consumers purchasing a product they discovered in a social media post.” – Business Wire.

6. Measure the Effectiveness of Campaigns

With social media listening tools, you can track conversations surrounding your brand and identify which marketing campaigns are performing well and which are not. Then you can make data-driven decisions that’ll help you optimize your social strategy and reach your biz goals.

7. Stay Up-to-Date on Trends

Leveraging social media listening tools can help you stay on top of trends. You can identify emerging trends and opportunities just by listening to the buzz surrounding your industry. Thus, allowing you to stay ahead of your competitors. Doing this will help you position your brand as a thought leader in your particular industry and tailor your marketing messages and content to better resonate with your audience. 

Needless to say, simply listening—and we mean really listening—has been and always will be the key to any successful relationship. Customers want to be heard in 2023, so listen and engage with them, address their needs, and get to know their passions and what excites them. By doing so, you can gain valuable insight, create a positive image, improve loyalty, stay ahead of your competition, and drive revenue growth.

Need some help implementing a social media listening strategy? We hear you! And we’re here to help.

At Serendipit, we specialize in helping businesses establish a plan that can lead to increased customer advocacy and improved overall performance. We can help you identify the right tools and tactics and help develop a strategy that’s tailored to your unique needs. Contact us today, and let’s talk about your goals!

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