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3 Tips For Designing A Social Media Advocacy Program

Advocates can be existing customers, or supporters of a company, the goal is to recognize advocates and develop a program of support that in terms results in increased community activity on a company’s sites and earns media across media and social media.

I write a lot about engagement and to some that discussion might seem rather ethereal, people ask “how can building a relationship give value,” but to me engagement is all about managing customer and stakeholder relationships, value comes from resolving issues, demonstrating brand, gathering ideas, and as a result you get direct sales. It’s simply a matter of measuring the amount of effort going into building a relationship, and the results coming out, so that you can convince CEO’s that it is worth the effort of venturing into engagement marketing. Perhaps a more apt term for the management and measurement of these processes is CRM, or what Paul Greenberg likes to call Social CRM. What ever the term, what’s important is that you manage the time it takes to engage in social media wisely.

3 Actions For Designing A Social Media Advocacy Program

1) Identify or create a database of customers and advocates, best practice would be to use a CRM system that integrates with social media and the web for metrics tracking.

2) Score advocates' online activities, by scoring the activity of customer and advocates; you will determine who is supporting your company online community. It will be easy to gather data on the owned sites, but social media monitoring tools such as Nielsen BuzzMetrics, or Radian6 would have to be used for earned media. You would give points to advocates for a variety of activities, including:
    - Sharing an article.
    - Writing a comment, does the comment have a positive sentiment?
    - Does the customer or advocate reference a blog article?

3) Develop a rewards system for advocates, rewards do not have to be of monetary value, offering money may even have the opposite affect, instead rewards can include:
- Early access to articles.
- Advocates are able to submit articles for approval and posting on the site.
- Interviewing advocates for the printed or digital version of the site.