Say you are in the market for a new car. Who do you consult for car buying advice? It is likely you go to a family member or friend that is auto-savy. They can tell you everything they know about car companies, makes, and models. Inadvertently, your friend is a brand advocate for the car they end up recommending. This is more powerful than any advertising campaign because your friend or family member is a source you believe is trusted and credible.

Brand advocates are essential to success. Who is advocating for your brand? Advocates give their friends, families, and colleagues advice. Companies should always be looking for brand advocates.  Often, the most obvious brand advocate gets overlooked – the company’s employees. Recall in the scenario above you went to your auto-savy friend for car buying advice because they are knowledgeable about the field and you trust them. In the same sense, it is likely your employees know more about the company and the brand than anybody else. In other words, your employees are credible sources and experts in the field. Whether you sell shampoo, vitamins or windows, use their knowledge. Position yourself on social media as an expert in your field, where friends and followers can come to for useful information about your product or service in general (not just specifically about what you are selling).

When you are stuck for content to post, it is a great idea to use your employees as a social media resource. Ask them how conversations go when they are discussing work with a person they just met.  Is the new person interested in your employee’s profession? What kind of follow up questions do they get about your field? Has your employee encountered any general misconceptions about your field?  The answers to these questions should be shared on social media and used for blog content. Ultimately, share these conversations on your social media sites.

Your customers are already in the door.  How can you benefit from this?

To drive customer loyalty, you must reward your customers. Foursquare, the leading location based social network, offers a great medium to connect your offline and online audience. Foursquare allows users to check into locations on their mobile phones. Then, users can share that location with friends on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Your company can benefit from these check-ins. When users’ friends see where they are checking in to eat and shop, they are more likely to follow suit to eat and shop there too!

Your goal on Foursquare should be to connect your customer’s online habits and offline habits. You can do this by offering deals and specials on Foursquare. Use specials to attract new customers, and reward loyal existing ones.  Personalize your rewards to your customer. For example, to reward a first-time customer, award them a free cookie on their first check in. To reward a frequent customer, offer them 10% off their bill every third check in.  Use a combination of different specials to encourage a growing clientele and satisfy returning customers.

You must claim your business’s location! This makes checking-in easy for your customers.  Make sure to claim ownership of your physical location. If you do not see your business listed, you can access Foursquare from your mobile phone and select “Add this place”.  Provide as much relevant information in your profile as possible – this will help inform your current and future customers.

It is likely that your client base is made up of different kinds of customers. The loyal customer, the trying it out customer, even the out-of-town customer. Personalize your specials so that each customer experience is unique!  Your customers are your business. Reward them!





While Twitter is great for sending out messages to a mass audience, its main strength to marketers is in its ability to build one on one relationships.

What marketers should strive to do is deliver campaigns in the public timeline when there’s an opportunity to get the audience’s attention by utilizing the @mentions feature. @mentions lets users put the @ sign before a username with a message that goes directly to that user’s homepage.

After the user sees that tweet, they either can reply, retweet, mark as a favorite, or ignore it. This is where an intimate relationship with a consumer can begin or be renewed.

To develop a Twitter reactivation program, start with an initial test group. Keep in mind that these campaigns will happen in a public timeline, so do not flood the stream with span-like behavior.

When choosing your test group, remember that it’s recommended to use a maximum of 30 total outbound tweets a day from any account. If you have an account that currently has high volume of outbound tweets for customer service, perhaps use one account for customer service and one for marketing.

To match email addresses to Twitter users, you can import your email list to a gmail account and upload it from the “find friends” tab of the “who to follow” tool on Twitter. You can then choose to follow all the matches, or save them to a list. Because you want to keep your following and follower counts in check, don’t automatically follow everyone. Try instead to save the matches in a private list.

Also consider using customer relationship management platforms, like Salesforce, to help maintain your lists, manage and analyze campaigns, and export campaign messaging for uploading to a Twitter dashboard like HootSuite.