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How To Cultivate Brand Advocacy



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For many brands, collecting likes and fostering engagement by any means necessary is a sign of a successful social media program. But if you dig deeper into these metrics, what do they actually mean? What is driving the actions? Are they taken by true brand advocates? Are the engagements contributing to the business’s bottom line?

A recent study conducted in partnership with SurveyMonkey has uncovered valuable insights into how to cultivate advocacy. With over 5,000 respondents from 11 countries, the results map how to build relevance and trust and drive forward a brand, business, and reputation around the globe.

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How To Cultivate Brand Advocacy

  1. 1. 11-country survey defines true brand advocates using the Net Promoter Score® methodology Identifying Social Media’s Global Brand Promoters
  2. 2. 2 Followers are important. But it’s the rare promoters who will carry on your brand voice and influence others. Brands around the world are devoting time and money to turn “likes” into leads on social media. However, not all consumers who follow brands are true advocates. So what distinguishes those who simply “like” brands from those who will actively promote products and services on social media? To find out, Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey ran a global, 11-country survey of more than 5,500 social media users to distinguish supporters and sharers from promoters, and identify what it takes to seek out true brand advocates. Companies often track their Net Promoter Score® (a metric used to determine customers’ likelihood of recommending a product or service) and their social media usage in silos. The following research examines the intersection between the two by highlighting a specific group: social media brand promoters. Social media users across all markets universally engage with brands: 84 percent report they “like” or follow a brand or product, and 58 percent proactively share both good and bad brand experiences. But authentic brand promoters—respondents who self-identified as extremely likely to recommend brands and products to friends—make up only 19 percent of all respondents. The following research profiles these promoters, reveals why they interact with brands, and uncovers the behaviors that distinguish them from more passive social advocates. 84% 58% 19%Promoters Sharers Followers 11 countries 5,500+ social media users
  3. 3. 3 1. Followers Many consumers support brands on social media. In the 11 countries surveyed, 84 percent of respondents reported that they “like” or follow a brand, product or service on social media—and the percentage is even higher in emerging markets. Why do consumers follow brands? Many (63 percent) want to express their satisfaction with a brand or product. What do they think they’re getting out of it? Consumers feel that, for the most part, brands are responsive—79 percent say they receive a response to their comments, with Indonesia (90 percent), India (87 percent), and Brazil (81 percent) ranking highest. On the flip side, the French (34 percent), Americans (28 percent), and Japanese (27 percent) say that brands do not respond to their comments. 84% Like Follow KEY TAKEAWAYS Consumers are actively engaging with brands on social media. Most do so because they like a brand or product, and they see that companies are listening and responding to comments. FOLLOWERS Followers support brands with “likes” and comments
  4. 4. 4 AVID BRAND FANS “Like” or follow brands: PLAYING HARD TO GET Never “like” or follow brands: Have you ever followed or liked a brand or product on social media? Responses Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Indonesia Japan UK US ALL Yes 76% 94% 82% 96% 78% 84% 93% 91% 80% 73% 75% 84% No 24% 6% 18% 4% 22% 16% 7% 9% 20% 27% 25% 16% Section 1: Followers support brands with “likes” and comments China 96% Brazil 94% India 93% Indonesia 91% Germany 84% UK 27% US 25% Australia 24% France 22% Japan 20% 96% 27%
  5. 5. 5 While “likes” and follows are important, brands are starting to pay more attention to social sharers, those who go beyond following a brand to actively sharing their experience with a brand on social media. Sharers can be either positive or negative, and represent 6 in 10 respondents (58 percent). They’re hooked on social media—in a typical day, nearly all visit Facebook (84 percent), half visit YouTube (51 percent), and 4 in 10 visit Twitter (40 percent). Not surprisingly, they’re even more likely to “like” or follow a brand (91 percent), and 69 percent do so to hear about products, offers, and news. Most sharers (90 percent) talk about positive experiences with brands. This is even true in Japan (93 percent), whose participants in this study are largely averse to brand feedback on social media. However, 7 in 10 sharers (71 percent) use social media to air their grievances with brands. 84%51% 40% KEY TAKEAWAYS Sharers do more than just “like” or follow brands. They actually post about brand experiences, both good and bad. They’re an engaged group, but are not true brand advocates. SHARERS visit daily visit daily visit daily 2. Sharers Sharers are more engaged but lack advocacy
  6. 6. 6 Most likely to share great brand experiences Most likely to share bad brand experiences Among Sharers Responses Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Indonesia Japan UK US ALL Shared a great brand experience 85% 95% 85% 88% 87% 96% 94% 93% 84% 90% Shared a terrible brand experience 76% 73% 70% 64% 62% 70% 72% 77% 71% 71% Section 2: Sharers are more engaged but lack advocacy Brazil 78% UK 77% Australia 76% Canada 73% Indonesia 72% China 97% India 96% Brazil 95% Indonesia 94% Japan 93% 97% 78% 80% 48%
  7. 7. 7 While brand promoters are similar to sharers in some ways, they’re much more rare and a far more influential group. By applying the Net Promoter Score® methodology to social media users across the globe, we now have a better understanding of who brand promoters are—those who identify themselves as extremely likely to recommend any brand or product to a friend or family member. So who are the true brand promoters? Out of all survey participants, only two in ten (19 percent) respondents qualify. Top countries include Brazil and India, where 42 and 33 percent of respondents identify themselves as brand promoters. Brand promoters rank high in following brands and products on social media (95 percent). Why? They want to hear about products, offers, or news (77 percent), followed closely by wanting to give direct feedback (53 percent) and wanting to interact directly with an organization (52 percent). KEY TAKEAWAYS Brand promoters are extremely likely to recommend products and services to friends and colleagues, making them valuable partners in advocating for brands and getting others to take action. 19%PROMOTERS 3. Promoters Promoters are true brand advocates
  8. 8. 8 Profile of a promoter On a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely), how likely is it that you would recommend any brand or product to a friend or family member in the next month? Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Indonesia Japan UK US ALL Extremely Likely (9/10) 15% 17% 25% 14% 14% 33% 15% 15% 19% 19% Section 3: Promoters are true brand advocates “Likes” and follows brands regularly (66%) Does so primarily to hear about products, offers, and news (77%) Most active on Facebook—83% check their profile at least once a day Interacts directly with brands (77%) to express satisfaction (76%) Trusts brand recommendations from friends on social media (36%) rather than in person (27%) 35% have made a purchase after a friend or follower positively mentioned a brand on social 31% say an online review is most influential in their decision to try a new product More likely to be female (54%) than male (46%) and between the ages of 30 and 44 (41%) More likely to be from an emerging market (Brazil 42%, India 33%, China 25%) PROMOTERS 1%42%
  9. 9. 9 While promoters and sharers have many similarities, some critical differences emerged between the two groups, particularly in regards to their interactions on social media, with brands, and with their friends and followers. Interacting on social media Promoters are inherently active followers of brands. Nearly all (95 percent) “like” or follow brands, similar to sharers (94 percent). But here’s where promoters step ahead: two-thirds (66 percent) follow brands on a regular basis, compared to only half of sharers (52 percent). Half of promoters follow brands to interact directly with them, but only 42 percent of sharers say the same. Promoters Actively follows brands on a regular basis Sharers Actively follows brands on a regular basis PROMOTERS SHARERS China 80% Brazil 78% Indonesia 76% India 74% India 70% Brazil 67% China 65% Germany 64% 4. Promoters vs. Sharers Key differences between promoters and sharers
  10. 10. 10 Interacting with brands When it comes to following brands to be associated with them, promoters (39 percent) do so at a higher rate than sharers (28 percent). Nearly half of promoters (46 percent) also believe a brand’s reputation is important, compared to only 36 percent of sharers. And promoters prefer to link a brand to their own personal identity, with 45 percent saying they feel better about themselves after using a brand; only 35 percent of sharers say the same. Which of the following are reasons for following/liking brands or products on social media? Promoters Sharers To be entertained 42% 41% To interact directly with the organization To give direct feedback 53% 46% To hear about products, offers, or news 77% 69% To be associated with the organization’s brand and values To show my friends what I care about or want associate with 41% 33% Because my friends follow the brand 15% 11% Other 2% 3% Section 4: Key differences between promoters and sharers Indicates difference between promoters and sharers of 10 percentage points or more. 52% 39% 28% 42%
  11. 11. 11 Interacting with friends Friends and followers of promoters also tend to follow brands on social media. Many promoters (59 percent) see their networks regularly mention brands and products, compared to only 47 percent of sharers. Perhaps most importantly, promoters are much more likely to respond to the interactions their friends have with brands—35 percent would purchase a product if it was mentioned by a friend versus just 24 percent of sharers. Promoters say friends are largely positive when they talk about brands Promoters take action when they hear about a brand from a friend or follower on social media 91% Section 4: Key differences between promoters and sharers 69% Go directly to the brand’s website 66% Research the brand 52% Ask their friends about it 44% Follow the brand on social channels 35% Actually purchase a product PROMOTERS
  12. 12. 12 Brand quality is key Quality is paramount, with virtually everyone (91 percent) saying this is why they would be extremely likely to recommend a particular brand or product to friends or colleagues. And quality is the main reason why 61 percent of promoters would not recommend a brand or product. Customer support is another top reason why promoters (54 percent) and sharers (47 percent) would recommend a brand or product. Cost is the lowest priority among both groups. Why would you give these brands or products a rating of 9 or 10? Select all that apply. Promoters Sharers Overall quality Customer service 54% 47% Cost Using or purchasing it makes me feel better about myself 45% 35% Its reputation with my friends or colleagues 46% 36% Other 3% 5% Section 4: Key differences between promoters and sharers 33%41% 91% 80%
  13. 13. 13 Advice to brands Promoters and sharers have one trait in common: While they’re overwhelmingly likely to share great brand experiences, they’re also not afraid to share bad ones. 71 percent of sharers and 60 percent of promoters have also discussed terrible brand experiences online. Brands should focus on what sets promoters apart from sharers Section 4: Key differences between promoters and sharers Overall quality of brands, products, and services The brand’s reputation among friend and colleagues That intangible, but so important, sense of worth that comes from using or purchasing a product SHARERS PROMOTERS
  14. 14. 14 Promoters across cultures Most promoters live in emerging markets like Brazil (42 percent) and India (33 percent). Japan is home to the smallest percentage of promoters (1 percent), followed by Germany and France (14 percent each), and the UK, Indonesia, and Australia (15 percent each). However, take note of important cultural nuances. For example, Indonesia has a low number of promoters even though 70 percent of respondents say they share great brand experiences on social media. This could suggest that the more passive approach of advocacy via social sharing may be more popular in Asian countries. Since promoters are great at making recommendations to others, the ways they hear about brands is also important. In emerging markets, promoters tend to trust online recommendations more than their counterparts in mature markets. Promoters in Indonesia (59 percent), China (52 percent), India (43 percent), and Brazil (37 percent) all say brand recommendations from friends on social media are most trustworthy while Australian (52 percent), American (51 percent), and British (45 percent) promoters rely on in-person recommendations. Section 4: Key differences between promoters and sharers The only country where the majority (36%) felt that social and in-person recommendations are equally trustworthy? Canada!
  15. 15. 15 Section 4: Key differences between promoters and sharers *Due to the scarcity of Japanese promoters, no values were provided for this chart. Among promoters, which is most trustworthy when considering a brand or product? Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Indonesia Japan* UK US ALL A recommendation over social media from a close friend 17% 37% 24% 52% 36% 35% 43% – 19% 22% 36% A recommendation over social media from an acquaintance 5% 15% 9% 8% 10% 16% 14% – 6% 5% 13% A recommendation in person 22% 31% 9% 24% 32% 16% 9% – 45% 51% 27% All recommenda- tions are equally trustworthy 26% 26% 8% 31% 24% 26% 18% – 29% 21% 24% Promoters across cultures 59% 31% 52% 36%
  16. 16. 16 Using the Net Promoter Score® methodology, social media users were asked to identify brands they were both extremely likely and not at all likely to recommend to friends or colleagues. Across all global markets, respondents felt strongly about technology companies, in particular, Apple and Samsung. And reflective of the rivalry among brands and their passionate consumers, both appeared on the unlikely to recommend lists as well. Not surprisingly, mature markets tended to favor the more expensive Apple brand, while emerging markets championed the more affordable Samsung brand. Additionally, sportswear brands Nike and Adidas battled for favor among all countries. Although Nike outperformed Adidas, it was also more likely to appear on the “not likely” lists. Other brands likely to appear on both lists: Coca-Cola, Amazon, and Facebook. Users were likely to recommend an assortment of global luxury and beauty brands like Chanel, L’Oreal, Nivea, and Dove. But people tended to be harder on their own countries’ brands, with far more local companies (especially within the TSP and ISP industries) appearing on the “not likely” lists. And two unpopular “M’s”: McDonald’s and Monsanto. UNLIKELY LIKELY L’Oreal Nivea Dove Chanel McDonald’s Monsanto Local Providers: Telecom Internet Cable Satellite Apple Samsung Nike Coca-Cola Amazon Facebook 3. Net Promoter Score® Brands survey respondents are likely (and unlikely) to recommend Across global markets
  17. 17. 17 Section 5: Brands users are likely (and unlikely) to recommend What brands are social media users extremely likely to recommend to friends and colleagues? What brands are social media users not at all likely to recommend to friends and colleagues? USA
  18. 18. 18 Section 5: Brands users are likely (and unlikely) to recommend UK AUSTRALIA
  19. 19. 19 Section 5: Brands users are likely (and unlikely) to recommend CANADA INDIA
  20. 20. 20 Section 5: Brands users are likely (and unlikely) to recommend INDONESIA GERMANY
  21. 21. 21 Section 5: Brands users are likely (and unlikely) to recommend JAPAN FRANCE
  22. 22. 22 Section 5: Brands users are likely (and unlikely) to recommend BRAZIL CHINA
  23. 23. 23 Final words of advice Powerful conversations may fill the streets for revolution, but people are now moving towards more private and closed places of individual relevance. While it is clear people are more connected than ever—demonstrated by the sheer breadth of networks available—the research shows that it is the depth of connections that change our lives and the world around us. Ultimately, brands need to build relevance and trust through content and connections if they wish to use social media to transform their brand, business and reputation. 5 ways to build a brand’s relevance and trust in social media Moments of truth Connect naturally with the right audience, in the right place at the right time Inspire Use culturally relevant storytelling that flows across platforms and markets, in real-time Measure Focus on harder business metrics, such as leads, sales, performance, loyalty, and the Net Promoter Score®. And analyze data together— not in silos. Precision Move from broad demographics to using behavior, interests and friendships Bond Move from community management to customer engagement 1 2 3 4 5 6. Brand Engagement What can brands do to engage with social media users?
  24. 24. 24 Survey methodology Results were gathered online from 5,639 self-reported social media users aged 18+ in 11 countries using SurveyMonkey Audience. Surveys were conducted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, the UK, and US in May 2015. For the open-ended responses, only phrases with two or more mentions are shown in the word clouds.
  25. 25. 25 A 16-country global study of social media users conducted by Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey in 2014 found that the key to brand engagement is high-quality content. Nearly all respondents read or watch branded content, and just under half (46 percent) say they’re active sharers of content. What does this mean? Companies and content producers have an opportunity to get their message across to even more people. Focus on producing high-quality content that helps address an issue or cause the public is passionate about, and that is both informational and humorous—“edutainment” is the sweet spot. When thinking about the audience, focus less on attracting media attention and more on the everyday person. The content source, individual company, or brand isn’t as important, but where they can find content is. One size does not fit all. Strategies for targeting emerging markets should differ from mature markets. Content for emerging markets should focus on entertainment or humor, while content in mature markets should focus on helpful information. Social media users in emerging markets report that they are overwhelmed with ads. To get noticed, these markets need to produce high-quality content. Addresses an issue or cause the public is passionate about. Is both informational and humorous. Brands should focus on producing high-quality content that: Appendix Overview of Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey’s 2014 Study of Global Social Media Content Sharing