Brand enthusiasts are the ones who support brands, sounds the alerts when something is wrong and celebrate the brands successes. Every brand, no matter what type or size, has brand supporters, super fans, evangelists. But, how do you find the real evangelists of your brand when there’s so much social chatter every single day? Here are my ten tips for locating the right brand evangelists
1- Define What Makes a Brand Evangelist
Before you can begin to locate brand evangelists you must first define what makes someone one. Is it the number of comments they post, how many times they re-tweets, their frequency of likes or pins or, instead, is it the quality of their actions, meaningful comments, answering brand questions, purchasing significant products or services? There are many things that could qualify someone as a brand advocate so take the time and decide whats the perfect recipe for a your organizations brand evangelist.
2- Define Who Qualifies as a Brand Evangelist
Can employees, family and friends of employees be brand evangelists for your organization? Do brand evangelists have to be from a certain state, country or set of countries? Be clear on qualifications for who can and who cannot participate as a brand evangelist. Knowing who can and cannot qualify as a brand evangelist will help you find the right supporters quickly.
3- Pull Together a Brand Evangelist Program
If you’re looking for brand evangelists you should have a clear understanding of why you are looking for them and what you will do once you find them. Further, this step can help you decide what actions and types of folks would fit well into the brand evangalists program, allowing you to search more specifically.
4- Decide what to Look For
There are literally millions upon millions of conversations via social media platforms so sifting through these can be difficult. Some of your strongest evangelists may not be posting directly to your Facebook Page or Tweeting you. Instead they may be talking about your brand, giving recommendations and singing your praises on blogs, forum you’ve never heard of and on Facebook Pages and to Twitter handles not directly connected to you. These are the folks you want to locate. To do this create a strong list of key words that will alert you when the right conversations are happening. Set up alerts and searches through Google Alerts or another free or paid service like Radian 6, Shoutlet or Wildfire.
5- How Many Brand Evangelists
Depending on your strategy for utilizing brand evangelists you will want to decide on a number of evangelists you’re are looking for. Whether your limit is 10 or 10,000 it is important to know your top number before you start. This will help you better qualify each possible evangelist. Once you find a brand evangelist you will want to do something with the very important group. Be sure your strategy or program is something that can be handled by your team.
6- Check Your Social Sites
Along with being alerted for conversations it’s still extremely important to watch all of your social sites to see who is engaging, how often and in what manner. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest are some of the main sites that should be monitored on a daily basis. While monitoring these sites pay close attention to whose engaging.
7- Track Activity
To have a clear understanding of who is truly a brand evangelists and not simply posting or talking intermittently it’s a good idea to track activity. Keep a spreadsheet with the names, types of activities and how often to show you who stays involved in a meaningful way over a period of time.
8- Reach Out to Evangelists
You’ve been watching from afar, taking notes and judging activity but there will come a time when reaching out and starting a conversation will be required. If you think someone may be a true brand evangelist reach out and ask some questions to find out if your perception of their brand loyalty is accurate and if that person would even be open to being your organizations evangelist.
9- Use the Right Tools
Monitoring manually should absolutely be part of your strategy but it can’t be the only tool. There are too many conversations, too many social platforms and not enough eyes on your team to track all of this. In order to run a successful brand evangelist program and get the best evangelists participating you’ll need to start using some search and alert tools. There are free tools like Google Alerts and then there are more advanced tools that aren’t so free like Radian6 and Shoutlet that will do a lot of the work for you. In fact, Shoutlet has the ability to rank how people engage with your brand. These days there’s probably a tool available that can do most of the searching and organizing for you, if you can afford it.
10- Do Something with your Findings!
Now that you’ve found the best brand evangelists for your organization it’s time to get your strategy running. Whatever you do don’t just locate these brand evangelists and keep their names on a list somewhere. My next top ten will give you guidance on how to get your brand evangelist campaign up and running but for now keep on looking and cultivating your evangelists!
If you’re interested in learning more about social media marketing consider attending one of GSMI’s Social Media Strategies Summits: