Do you have social followers who are significantly more engaged with your brand than the majority of your other followers? Perhaps they enter every contest, or they start conversations about your brand online, or they offer suggestions and comments on a regular basis. These followers could be your next brand advocates - online influencers who share positive ideas and sentiments about your brand with their followers.

Nurturing brand advocates isn’t exactly the same as influencer marketing. Although both rely on the fact that customers are far more likely to trust another customer than they are a brand, influencer marketing usually requires a more structured agreement than working with a brand advocate.

Brand advocates are people who already love your product or service and are already engaging with your brand. Nurturing these brand advocates could take the form of sending them a free gift or a coupon, as a “thank you.” You could invite them to a members-only section of your website and waive the membership fee. You could offer them an early look at your latest product offering. The goal is to keep them engaged and sincerely show your appreciation for how they’ve been spreading the word about what you do.