We are hearing so much now about social media creating a shift from "the wisdom of crowds" to "the wisdom of friends," but what does that really mean for brand advocacy? A lot. It's this "wisdom of friends" that brings a new "social power" to Brand Advocacy.
Social power (the ability to influence) used to be determined by who had the most money, or was the most intelligent, or was the most effective at impressing their will on others, but that's changing thanks to social media. Now social power comes through connections of friends, or the "wisdom" of friends, so advocates have much greater influence.
Numbers still hold some power, and they always will, but the strength of connection is becoming even more powerful. Consumers care about reviews, evaluations and what other consumers say about your product, much more than advertisements... and that is great for a brand. What they care about even more is what their friends think about your product. One or two friends' opinions -- the "wisdom of friends" - carry more weight than many other opinions combined.
Bring Brand Advocates into the equation, and you see the power here. An Advocate is so impressed by your brand or product that they can't wait to tell their friends about their experience... and because of this trend toward 'wisdom of friends,' their friends are primed to pay attention to those recommendations. Friends immediately trust their friends who are Advocates, purchase the recommended product, and if that experience is everything they hoped for (and it likely will be, since advocates won't be excited about anything less), a new Advocate is born and the cycle continues.
Since your Brand Advocates are seeing an increase in their social power, this means your brand itself now has more power to influence. And the more social power your brand has, the more Advocates it will create. It's a mutually-beneficial relationship circle, all built on this 'power of friends."
Advocates are an incredible asset, now more than ever, treat them as such.