Janet Kalandranis makes some interesting points in her article ‘social media shifts: goodbye marketing funnel’ about the changes social media has made in terms of brands’ online interactions.
She points out the increasing importance of brand advocates in terms of online engagement – and I agree completely with her funnel (see below).
Kalandranis says: “brands are now realizing that the funnel doesn’t end with a purchase in this new age where brand advocates can be created…” but I think this is only part of the story.
Brands may be beginning to realise that advocates are important but I believe most are still missing the trick of keeping these advocates engaged in the long term.
For example, a brand may run an online initiative – a competition for example. They may be lots of interest and buzz online about it. They then choose the winners – people who have engaged with the brand and feel positively about them…. This gets some online conversation going.
Many brands still aren’t thinking in the long term about what to do next once they have identified and engaged with true advocates of their brand.
A new funnel is needed – an advocate funnel. Once an advocate is identified – or created – brands need somewhere to move them to next, otherwise they just fall out of the bottom and the brand needs to spend the same time and resource constantly finding and creating new advocates (if these undervalued and underutilised people can actually really be called advocates in any real sense).
For those interested in making the most of their online advocates, Qube will be writing a series of blog articles and white papers detailing our successful approach to advocacy acceleration for brands in the coming weeks.