Friday, November 4, 2011

Where can you find better Brand Advocates?

In the search for brand advocates, the usage of social media sites is the hot topic for most marketers. It is seen as a great way to directly connect with customers and to get them to start talking about your brand and recommending it to their friends. This is the ideal situation however, and marketers find that it is much harder to create true brand advocates. Corporate-Eye conducted a survey and found that the number one reason people ‘like’ a company’s Facebook page is to receive discounts and promotions. This doesn’t really scream brand advocacy, but a new social media is trying to put a new twist on the brand-user experience. is introducing the idea of having each user choose a brand in which to “sponsor” their profile page. In exchange, the user owns all of his or her data. Although it is still in its infancy and has not fully been planned out, it will be interesting to see exactly how integrated the idea of a brand sponsor will be. It does offer a huge opportunity for people to be true brand advocates by picking a brand that is really important to them. This could be a much more authentic and engaging way for users to interact with brands which should prove to be much more effective. As a marketer, this is definitely something to keep an eye on to see if this either gains any traction or has an influence on other social media sites. As social media marketing continues to get more advanced and moves beyond number of 'likes' or friends, level of engagement will be something to look at.

Unthink does not stand much of a chance competing directly with giants like Facebook, but just getting a fraction of those users could be seen as a success (CNN). Their business model is based on providing a better tool for these brands while providing users with the protections they are demanding. Every once in a while we hear of the next Facebook, and it is the users who ultimately decide if it is worthy. It appears that Google+ has fizzled, because people weren’t willing to try something new that their friends weren’t already on (UWIRE). A site isn’t very social if you have no one to talk to, and Unthink must certainly be aware of this.

Alex Greenwald, Graduate Northwestern IMC, @agreenw

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