How To Create Compelling Challenges For Your Customer Advocates

When it comes to creating a good customer advocacy challenge, while a carefully planned one can make the biggest difference in increasing advocate engagement, a carefully crafted one that shows that you understand how your advocates prefer to interact on behalf of your brand can certainly turn around a potentially sensitive situation.

That’s what Fred Bals, Manager, Customer & Media Relations Programs at Ektron learned when he faced the dilemma of figuring out how to deal with a blog post about the Ektron product written by a developer that he felt was a bit unfair. He wanted to mobilize his customer advocates to discuss the blog post in the comments, but he knew it had to be done the right way, and with great care.

Fred is experienced in advocacy marketing (read our latest Case Study, all about Fred’s successes with his AdvocateHub), but he couldn’t just ask his developer advocates to swarm the blog post. This meant he had to come-up with the right approach, as depicted by this paragraph that summarizes his dilemma:

“I had mixed feelings about that and spent much of Sunday crafting a (large C) Challenge that I could feel comfortable issuing to our Advocates. I wanted to make sure that it was clear that I *wasn’t* asking our Advocates to just say positive things about Ektron. I wanted them to provide their unvarnished opinion, good or bad.”

There were two elements of this story that stood out in addition to the care Fred takes when engaging with his advocates. One was the way Ektron’s advocates rally around Ektron so enthusiastically – that is the kind of loyalty that can’t be bought, but instead must be earned. The second was the positive reaction of the blogger to the constructive way Ektron’s advocates interacted with his post – it completely adjusted his perception of Ektron. For more details, go read Fred’s post on LinkedIn, titled “Mobilizing Your Advocates”. It’s a real world example of how an AdvocateHub can be effectively used.

Next time you see a negative opinion about your product, don’t cringe at it. You’re not alone. Think of your Advocates. They might have a lot more credibility and depth in discussing the situation than you would.

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