People are social by nature. We build relationships with family, with friends, with our local bank tellers and even with the friends of our friends online. We share stories, we give advice, and we recommend. On a daily basis, our actions are influencing those around us and with almost 70% of adults using social networking sites, our actions are amplified exponentially across the Web. Whether we intend to be or not, we are everyday advocates.
Over lunch with my sister last week, she asked me what kind of running shoes were my favorites. Being the huge Nike fan that I am, I recommended she try out a pair of Nike Frees. She went into Dick’s Sporting Goods the very next day, tried on a pair, loved them and bought them. She later posted a picture of her fun new Nikes on Instagram for all of her friends to see. Nike doesn’t know who I am and they aren’t paying me to tell my friends about their running shoes. I am an everyday advocate.
The reason everyday advocates are so valuable is that we truly value their opinions. We trust our friends more than we trust advertisers, which is why brands cannot ignore their everyday advocates. Brands do not need to pay millions to have a celebrity endorse their products, they could enlist their everyday advocates.
Take the Jay-Z/Samsung campaign, which promoted Samsung Electronics and gave away 1 million copies of Jay-Z’s album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” to Samsung Galaxy smartphone users for free – 72 hours ahead of the new album’s release (at a cost of $5 an album…you do the math). Granted, I am a big Jay-Z fan, but just because Jay-Z is promoting Samsung Electronics does not mean I am going to buy a new Samsung smartphone. In contrast, if one of my friends were to tell me the new Samsung smartphone is a must have – different story. I would definitely consider it.
Bottom line — your everyday advocates are out there – and it’s time to start utilizing them.