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Supercharge Your Social Part 1: What is Advocacy Marketing and Why You Need to Care

Advocacy Marketing is the most powerful way to get organic exposure for any business. Social Toaster reported that 2020 was the year of Advocacy marketing. They found that “On average, brands generate a 650% ROI for every dollar invested in influencer and advocacy marketing. They also found that:

  1. Earned media (press, word of mouth, peer to peer referrals) drives 4x the brand lift as paid media.

  2. Word of mouth (advocacy) marketing has been shown to increase marketing effectiveness as much as 54%.

  3. 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, making it one of the most trust-rich forms of advertising.

These are big claims! How is this possible?

On average, each of us is attached to 400 people on social media. At the time I wrote this book, to boost an ad on Facebook to 400 people in the DFW metroplex would cost me $10. That doesn’t sound like a lot…BUT let’s explore a very simple use case.

Let’s say I own a bar and have arranged for a band to play on Friday night that I need to promote to a hyper-local demographic. I have 2 cooks, 2 bartenders, 4 servers and 2 security guards working the event. What are my cost effective options to promote it? Mostly social posts, events, etc. But how do I get the word out? Well, I ask my employees to share those posts/events with their personal following.

Why would I do that?

  1. The majority of my employees’ connections are local.

  2. Events are a social thing and people love to support their friends.

  3. My employees want as many people as possible to show up because they will monetarily benefit from the volume of sales so they should be happy to help.

Think about it…if I have my 10 employees share one social post to their personal page, a group, a business page…it doesn’t matter, I get 10x the exposure!

People DO NOT have to share to their personal profile if that makes them uncomfortable.

Who they share to just has to align with your demographic, or in this case a hyper-local community. Each employee will on average reach 400 people. We already learned that is worth the equivalent of $10 of Facebook ad spend. $10 x 10 = the equivalent of $100 in ad spend. If I do that 3 times a week for 3 weeks to promote my event I just earned myself the equivalent of $900 in free advertising!

But that’s not all…

Organic exposure does two other things for your business that you wouldn’t expect:

  1. You’re told to get a Facebook business page and get people to like it. In some cases, you run a paid ad campaign with the intention of collecting more likes/followers. Here’s what they didn’t tell you…little do we know, back in 2019 Facebook decided to go back to their original intention of genuine organic engagement. Soooo, as it relates to our business pages, they throttled the % of people that see our posts to 7%. Then when people start liking, commenting, and sharing our posts, they open the funnel up to 12.5%. That’s what the well-established brands get. That’s it. So you might run a paid ad campaign to build your ‘like’ community but at the end of the day they only show your social messages to a limited number of people that follow you. If that’s the case, then how are we supposed to reach our intended market? More Facebook advertising?

  2. It not just increases your businesses social footprint but also drives SEO, IF (and this is a big IF) your social handles are somewhat synonymous with your URL. Why? You can’t have a business named ABC Roofing and your social handles be @IWannaRoofYourRoof. Google will not recognize that these two things are the same and you will not get credit for your social activity. Now, this is important…social engagement partially drives your Relevancy Score for Google. This is one of the 4 major areas that Google looks at when deciding your Quality Score. This is the score that drives your page ranking. To get a simplified view of the considerations that go into Google's SEO page ranking logic go to These are:

  • Website Content

  • Relevancy Score

  • Reputation Management

  • Website Quality

So has anyone gotten the memo?..YES!

Coca-Cola is one of the many brands to have used this influencer marketing strategy to promote their brand. As a Coke ambassador, Yannick Merck often shares photos of himself holding a Coke can or wearing a Coke sweater.

Macy’s in-house influencer program is a testament to this shift in roles. As a part of their program called, “Macy’s Style Crew”, 300 of their employees have also become brand ambassadors.

Soooo…what have we learned? Ambassador marketing can change everything for our business! We can buy certain modes of ambassador marketing in the form of commissions or other compensation, but we can’t buy advocacy. Now that we understand the value it can have for you, what next? I’m sorry to break it to you…but you can’t just have it or buy it (sound familiar ladies ;) ). It needs to be earned. So how do you do that?

Social media to-date has been about:

  • WHAT should I post?

  • WHEN should I schedule it; and

  • WHERE should I post it to?

Ambassador marketing builds on this and forces us to also solve for:

  • WHO do I want to have share my social messages

  • WHY would they want to (the age old What’s In It For Me – WIIFM); and

  • HOW will they do it in an effective way?

This series will cover all six constraints that need to be solved for to be successful. Stay tuned for Part 2: How to Create Engaging Content

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