A Field Guide To Brand Advocates (an entirely different breed of consumer)
Research shows that brand advocates, people who habitually share information on the products they use, are thought leaders in their constantly expanding social circles and their influence the options and purchase decisions
of many others. These advocates can be your most effective salespeople if you know how to work with them. Here's a look into the habitats, behaviors and motivations of these in-the-know consumers.
- #1 Habit. Brand advocates are more than 2.5x more likely to use social media to expand their social circles. How often do you use the following platform to send information about products, brands, sales or stores?:
Social networking sites (advocates - 58%, web users - 27%); Email (advocates - 53%, web users - 39%); eCommerce website (advocates - 43%, web users - 22%); Online feed mechanism (advocates - 28%,
web users - 7%); 2) Frequently visit social networks to meet new people: 2x as likely to use social networks to share product information; 4x as likely to use online feedback sites and discussion boards; 3x more likely to
share product information with someone they don't know; 3x more likely to blog; 2x as likely to use Amazon.com and Twitter.
- #2 Behaviors: 1) Brand advocates are prolific content creators - they write and share more than 2x as many online communications about brands. Influence opinions & purchase. Brand advocates talk about the products
they use every day: 3x more likely to discuss personal care products; 2x as likely to discuss children's products; 2x as likely to share to discuss household products; 75% more likely to share a great experience about a
product; 50% more likely to influence a purchase; 2) Indicate the extent of your agreement or disagreement with the following (% shortly agree): People ask me for information (advocates - 65%, web users - 39%); People
make purchases based on my information (advocates - 57%, web users - 38%)
- #3 Motivations. Brand advocates genuinely enjoy sharing product information and they are always looking for new things to share: 1) Communicate to relax (advocates - 54%, web users - 16%); 2) Thought leaders:
Like to be seen as thought leaders; Appreciate how valuable consumer reviews are online; value their relationship with brands; Biggest motivation is to be seen as a good resource by the brand; 3) Meaningful contributions:
2x as likely to be driven by the need to contribute to the pool of information; 150% more likely to value their perception as a good source of information; 70% more likely to be seen as a good source for information by
people around them.
*A research study conducted by Dr. Kathleen R. Ferris-Costa, University of Rhode Island, College of Business Administration. Download the complete field Guide from BzzAgent at: u.bzz.com/FieldGuide.