You've probably spent a lot of time and energy building up your business, so now it's time to locate those people who love to shout from the mountain tops how great they think you are. Why? Well eventually you'll want to reach out to these very special people, thank them and treat them extra special.
At my company VerticalResponse, we create a list of advocates from different channels so that when we're ready to really motivate them even more than they already are, we can do it easily. So where do you start?
Your Employees - Your employees can be the very best advocates for your business. You know who your best employees are and those who love what they do. Ask them to talk about your business on Twitter and Facebook if they'd like, and to post that they work for you on LinkedIn.
Best Customers - Look to see who your best customers have been, these are probably people that have purchased from you a number of times. Then based on your criteria, create your "best customer" list.
Survey Responders - If you're sending out customer satisfaction surveys, why not monitor who responds positively to your surveys? Then create your "survey advocates" list.
Google Alerts - Sign up for FREE Google Alerts with your business name, your name, even you competitors name. See if there is anyone who keeps talking about your business more than a few times. Call this your "google advocates" list.
4Square - If you've got a local business, monitor who becomes the Mayor of your business on 4Square. When they check in, make sure you know and you find them and give them a special discount or deal. They'll be sure to visit often and tell their friends. Call this list your "4Square Mayor" list.
Twitter - Search your twitter handle on twitter.com. You will see who is talking positively about you. We use TweetDeck and set up a variety of keywords to track. Then from that easy interface we can manage our conversations with them. Make sure you RT them asking them to send you an email, include your email address. "Thanks for the RT! Email me at [email address] for a special deal!" You only have 140 characters so make sure you can fit it all and you will get their email address so you can start to build your email list of "Twitter advocates."
Facebook - Create a Facebook Fan Page and monitor who is speaking up with comments and likes. Set up a "Reviews" Tab and ask your followers what they think about you. Then message them back thanking them. Ask for their email address so you can send them something (free product, discount.) For anyone who "Likes" what you write, add them as a friend on Facebook. Then message them and ask for their email address as well. Start to build your list of "Facebook advocates".
Blog - Check out those who've commented on your blog. Most blog platforms enable you to see their email address. These will be your "blog advocates."
Now that you've collected all of your advocates, keep this list fresh at least every month. Then be sure to reach out to them with an email marketing campaign, thank them and give them some extra special love.
Are you finding your best advocates? If so, how? Please comment!