Creating Brand Advocates – Take the Penguin Approach

As you are aware by now, I am a penguin. Clearly I don’t live my life like the majority of my peers. I have a somewhat more active and popular blog than all of them for a start. Regardless of my increased intelligence, designer lifestyle and somewhat non-penguin ways, I am still in awe of the way my extended family stick together even though they live in some of the harshest environments known to non-flying birds. What can businesses and brands learn from us? Well you have seen March of The Penguins right? Remember the bit where all of the penguins huddle up against the ice ridden winds, rotating who is on the outer rim? Imagine your brand was in the middle of that huddle, surrounded by like-minded souls protecting each other and those in the centre. In times of crisis for your brand, your brand advocates and fans can become your thick circle of penguins. (contd)

Huddle up

You Could Be in the Middle

Amassing that group of penguins is no easy task. After all why should anybody stand up for you during a social media crisis or in the face of criticism? A big question, but the fact is it does happen. The people that have got your back have more than likely built up a rapport and relationship with your brand, they may be long term customers, dedicated users of your products or they may have only recently felt an affinity due to a pleasant online experience with your business. If you are using the social and digital space in the right manner, you should be creating positive relationships. It’s like us penguins sitting on our eggs, we make them feel all warm and close to us in the hope that they hatch and develop with us and eventually join the huddle against the wind (contd)

You there?

Keep em Warm! (credit - Mickey Evans)

It is your responsibility to:
• Identify the people that talk positively about you in the online space
• Recognise them, this can be as simple as thanking them publically
• Reward them – this does not mean with cash! Give them some exclusive content, invite them to a product launch – make them feel special, because they are!
• Maintain the relationship – don’t think that they will stay with you forever, forget about them and they will drop you quicker than Penelope penguin dropped me the time I got caught kissing a Walrus.

This sounds easy right? Well to build this level of rapport and relationships, it takes one hell of a lot of work, just like when my penguin friends walk (have you seen us walk!?!) hundreds of miles to get food for our new born chicks. Do the work and see the reward. Be idle and there will be nobody there to back you up when you need it the most.

Are you working with your advocates and fans for the good of your business? How are you rewarding them? What measures do you use to identify them? I would love to hear your real life examples…

Dave loves ya x

About Dave the Social Penguin

Dave is Mike's right hand Penguin and easily the smartest Penguin ever to waddle this earth. Dave loves you.

  • Geoff

    Very true. Many brands only enter the social space to deal with critisim and negative convosation when it arises. This is rarely effective and a hard slog at best. Put the work in now, and should that fateful day ever arise, hopefully you’ll have an army of advocates to fight your corner.

    • Dave the Social Penguin

      Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for the comment! Like you say, the ground work will help soften any blow, just make sure it is done for the right reasons!


      Dave x

  • @illegaljacks

    This is spot on. As someone who had no idea what social media was a year ago, it’s been integral to my business’ survival. And as noted above, done properly you can engage with all sorts of people about all sorts of things, one of which might even be your product. They key is not to sell, simply to engage, although that takes a lot of time. Then having done so, you invite your brand advocates over one night to say thanks, fill them full of chilli and beer, and this is the result!

    • Dave the Social Penguin

      Hi Mr Jack,

      Thanks for your comment. I have forgiven you for threatening to start making Penguin burritos.

      You truly do act like a Penguin with your engaging approach to your social media practices, and have nurtured many relationships and they will serve you well!


      Dave x

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