Say you have a small company and just started to see some activity in your social networks. Also say that you’ve read about how the number of “Likes” of your Facebook page is not a decisive factor that could create sales for your small business. However increasing your community will still be your first objective and unfortunately in some cases, it turns out to be the only goal in the strategies of many companies.

You are doing the right thing (in a way) trying to raise your social community, especially on Twitter. I am not saying all that work was for nothing but you could achieve more, much more. The “Likes” and Twitter followers are just the first step of your campaign. The search for influential fans (Key influencers) in your community that could help you spread your brand awareness is actually a more important step 2. Choosing the right advocates for your brand and getting actual benefits from it is YOUR STRATEGY.

Influencers give you awareness - brand advocates give you sales - SWIt

Influencers give you awareness – brand advocates give you sales – SWIt

Let’s make clear the difference between key influencers and brand advocates. The former usually have a wide community in the social networks and their messages are shared, commented and re-tweeted more. The actual value that you could get from a key influencer is brand awareness.

However, the brand advocates, despite not having as much influence, they are passionate about your brand and incredibly loyal to it. They will exercise a much stronger persuasive power over a community close to them than key influencers. According to a study from Nielsen, 92% of social network users do trust the opinion of brand advocates who, in most cases, will be a friend or a close relative. The value that an advocate could give you could even lead to a direct sale.

Influencers vs Brand Advocates

Influencers vs Brand Advocates –Developed By Zuberance & Convince and Convert

How to detect your brand advocates

A very well-known tool to find and track your influencers is Traackr. Its most powerful use is the possibility of turning them into advocates. On that purpose this tool first track how many times your company is mentioned or contents shared across social networks in order to select those who really like your brand. Once you get their names, Traackr allows you to analyse their profiles and get to know what kind of content they prefer the most.

Tips and best practices 

Once you have located who they are, just follow some tips to get the benefit from them:

1. Find their level of influence. You can use any of the tools we examined on the previous post “The Best Tools To Measure Your Social Influence… And Klout”.

2. Listen to them and answer as soon as possible to their mentions. Take part in chats with them (Facebook or Twitter threads). Share their contents. Pay them special attention.

3. Check what hashtags they are using and start using them.

4. Ask them for ideas. Give them the opportunity to feel like part of your company.

5. Invite them to take part in your blog.

From that point onwards, start enjoying the benefits that your advocates will provide to your brand!

Do you have any other idea to contribute with this post? How do you find your advocates? Do not hesitate to drop us a comment below or via our fanpage! We are looking forward to your thoughts!

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