Three Ways To Create An Advocacy Program

In my new Forrester report, Three Ways To Find, Create, And Energize Advocates, we share data and examples of successful advocacy programs. We also recommend an approach to define and reach the best candidates for your advocacy program. 

Not all advocates are created equal—someone who “likes” your brand or follows you on Twitter is not an advocate (yet).  This is an important fact to realize before you plan and launch an advocacy program.  Building a program can be costly, so you need to invest wisely in advocates who can create the biggest bang for the buck.  While it’s nice to have anyone advocating on your behalf, you need to get the Mass Influencers doing so.

As introduced in the Forrester Peer Influence Pyramid, Mass Influencers are the minority of those in social media who create the majority of the influence posts and impressions about products and services.  These are the people who combine influence, trust, relevance and scale to create powerful advocacy. 

Three ways to create advocacy programs - Promote, Find or Attract

There are three ways to create mass-influencing advocates: 

  • Promote them:  Take people who have little influence on their own and make them Mass Influencers through involvement in your program.  The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is a successful example of this approach. 
     
  • Find them:  Identify Mass Influencers within your category using tools such as Klout or Radian6 to locate people who have influence you can tap.
     
  • Attract them:  The most overlooked but powerful approach is to attract Mass Influencers and empower them with experiences and information.

The new report identifies and shares several successful advocacy programs and defines key elements that help these programs succeed.  If you’re a Forrester subscriber, you can access and download the report here

Comments

Hi Augie, This is an

Hi Augie, This is an excellent framework for companies looking to leverage word of mouth. BzzAgent was excited to work with Klout on one of the advocacy programs you review in this report. One thing we can’t emphasize enough with advocacy programs is the importance of starting with the right communications and measurement strategy. This ensures that all interactions include disclosure, script-free messaging and honesty of opinions. From there, brand monitoring, surveys and media mix modeling analysis demonstrate the impact this word of mouth is having on brand reputation and product sales.

BzzAgent, Klout, Starbucks & Kraft

Thanks Brian. In the Forrester report we share more details on the way BzzAgent used Klout to aid a Starbucks/Kraft advocacy program. It's a great case study!