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Ignoring Your Customers is a Bad Idea and Other Brand Advocacy Must Reads for 5/10

If you were going to build and install an entertainment center in your house, you would probably measure the wall on which you plan to build, right? Of course! It would be foolish to start a time-consuming project without first knowing what the dimensions need to be. You would be going in blind. Even the best eye-baller would need to know the specifics for a project of that scope.

Brand advocacy programs are a lot like that. You need to know what measurements you’re working toward, and how to obtain those measurements to build a strategy. You also want to know if your program or strategy is successful. You don’t want to go in blind and potentially mess the whole thing up. Unlike building materials, customers cannot be scrapped and re-purchased — once you’ve ruined that relationship, it’s not easy to go back. Think of social “listening” as measuring your wall before a home improvement project (in this case, an advocacy program) and social metrics as the guide or plan for completing that project.

These three articles give you metrics that can be used to measure the success of your advocacy program, as well as measure customer feedback.

9 Ways to Measure Social Customer Service
Tricia Morris, @DessertContent

One of the most important aspects of a digital marketing strategy is customer service. The industry has shifted from a brand-managed relationship with the customer to a customer-managed relationship with the brand. This shift means that digital customer service via social media is way more important than it has been in the past. In fact according to Morris, “71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response.” This means that customer service is potentially your first step to brand advocacy. This article gives you some different metrics to use to ensure that your doing all you can in social customer service.

Inside Mastercard’s Social Command Center
Giselle Abramovich, @GAbramovich

Every once in awhile, I like to throw in an article about a company who is doing brand advocacy right. MasterCard is taking advantage of key metrics for brand engagement and are doing the single most important thing in a brand advocacy strategy — listening. They’ve taken social media monitoring to a new level, dedicating an entire team to listening to the conversations being had surrounding new products and payment methods, and overall sentiment. In order to have a successful marketing strategy, a brand must employ certain metrics to understand if what they’re doing is actually working. It’s one thing to say “oh, our customers will love this!” than it is to say “oh, our customers ARE loving this, according to this data.” MasterCard (@MasterCard), by all appearances, really gets this concept and has taken action accordingly.

(At the end of the article, Abramovich explains how MasterCard decided to act once they found out they were only involved in 1% of the conversations surrounding their brand. If you’re curious to find out what your engagement score is, get your free digital snapshot here.)

8 ways to incorporate customer feedback into your startup’s strategy
Scott Gerber, @askgerber
Listening and reacting to customer feedback is an extremely important aspect of a brand advocacy strategy. After all, nobody is going to advocate for a brand that doesn’t seem to care about their customer’s opinions. This, Gerber argues, is especially important for startups. He says, “One of the worst things a successful young startup can do once it actually starts generating reliable revenue is to ignore the people who made that happen in the first place: its customers.” To help determine what kinds of data, or metrics, are useful in making business decisions and which can or should be ignored, he asked a panel of  successful, young entrepreneurs for their opinions.

Next week I will have three more articles for you on the subject of brand advocacy so keep an eye out. If you come across an article that you think is particularly great, tweet it to me @Tiffani_Allen or @CiceronHQ. Ciceron is a brand advocacy firm located in Minneapolis, MN. We focus on all things digital, especially brand advocacy and customer engagement. Let’s talk, tiffani@ciceron.com.

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