Turn Your Customers into Ninja Brand Advocates

"I have a big house, car, girls and loads of money. What do you have?" "I have mom, bro." - Famous dialogue between protagonist and agonist brothers (from a Bollywood film)
Stop underestimating what you have. Right Now! You have best marketers at your disposal. They are best of best social media experts! They know how to advocate and stand for what you stand. They will vouch for you when some shit about you. And they will be the biggest inspiration when you have none left. They will pay you for this all! They are your current customers. Who love your service / product so much that they have spent their bucks on it. You will never ever get better brand advocates then these awesome people who love you (or are most likely to fall in love with you).

Customer v/s Brand Advocates

Customer: Gets stuff / service from you and pays for it. (Worst Business Strategy Ever) Brand Advocate: Gets stuff / service from you, pays you for it. You get connected and interact. In the process, you help each other grow. You develop one on one relationship with them - they love you, you love them.

What Brand Advocates Can Do For You:

  • Give basis for development for your next product / service.
  • Test your stuff for you and give honest feedback. (In return, let them keep it?)
  • Market for you as they boast how they are involved. They always do.
  • Blog for you!(What an idea!)
  • Handle your social media presence.
  • And what not...

How to turn Customers to Brand Advocates?

Be Human

Stop treating them like numbers. Even prisoners get better treatment. Treat them like customers. The love nothing more than themselves and when you love them too (or at least try to) you can have their money and advocacy. I hate robots already. (I love the way Del.icio.us puts this in their emails 'PS- Don't reply to this email, for I am a robot and cannot respond. For any questions, contact our humans at') Even robots are better than you nowadays! Ha!

Over deliver

Every super brand does this. They have free stuff, gifts, coupons all over their customers' place. People argue, 'Of course they can afford that. They are super brands.' But that is not the story, it's the other way: they are super brand because they over deliver. Or a product yet under development so they can test and tell you how it is? Just send them a card on their Birthday or an email perhaps?

Make them Feel Special

"There is something written on forehead of every person, if you could read it. The words say - I am the most important person in my life."
For you, it is about you - the big picture is that. But the pieces of this big picture are them and are all about them. Make them about them.

Communicate

So many brands have humongous email lists but none of them are using it effectively. They are talking as company to lump of customers. You can do that with an advertisement too. Email is personal, let it be personal. I love when Evan Williams (Twitter's CEO) writes to me personally. Well he does to millions, but still I feel special. Interact. On facebook, twitter, email... wherever your customers are. Be there for them. Let them take you for granted.

Note: Communication is not I post, you read. That's stupid egoism. Communication is we talk and we hear too.

Some more tips:

  1. Get hashed on twitter. I mean, get start using a hash-tag for your brand. I love #thesiswp community. I am surprised how ignorant #Aweber is.
  2. You are not supposed to be on every networking site - just be where your customers are. And if they are on more than one site then be there.
  3. Show your appreciation for their involvement by giving goods away. It works hell better than you think.
Feel free to add yours dear one. I really want to learn what you can teach me.
Photo:AFC Bournemouth - Fans 15 by Lucy Boynton, on Flickr