Learn to wield the power of evangelism

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Deb Kennedy
Deb Kennedy

In traditional marketing, loyalty is typically attributed to purchasers, but when it comes to e-commerce and social media, your most valuable customers aren't necessarily the ones who spend the most. 

A good customer should not be identified solely by their purchases, but also by their ability to influence others. Your greatest word-of-mouth evangelists are a powerful influential group. Consumers might ignore your marketing message but value the word of a brand evangelist on product review sites, message boards and social sites.

If you're an e-commerce marketer who wants to capitalize on this highly influential group, consider these tips:

1.   Keep it simple. Create content that's easy to copy and paste so it can be inserted into blogs, Facebook pages or other social media. Offer a variety of share buttons, as well as the ability to e-mail content. 

2.   Leverage emotional equity. There's a strong emotional connection between the evangelist and the brand. What this means to the e-commerce marketer is that when a consumer and brand connect, they genuinely want to advocate. This emotional equity is what's going to help with retention, cross-sell and acquisition.

3.   Content is king. If you're going to leverage the interactive connections between consumers who are proactively searching for product information and the brand evangelists, make sure your content is fresh and up-to-date.

4.   Augment your social efforts with e-mail. When the two are combined, you have the greatest chance of garnering the strongest emotional connections. Evangelists want to read your e-mail and they want to connect with you via social media.

5.   Reward and recognize evangelists. A good customer should not be identified solely by their purchases, so make sure your metrics include recognition and reward of their ability to inspire and influence others to buy your products or services.

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