By Jason Falls, Fast Casual:
Since the early days of social media marketing, which is to say for the last 10 years or so, the coveted Nirvana for brands has been to recruit, engage and empower its most loyal fans in hopes they’ll advocate on behalf of the product, service or company. Building an army of marketers you don’t have to pay drives word-of-mouth referrals and buzz, which is often cited as 10 or more times more effective than traditional advertising. Having a community of loyal advocates on your side is a powerful marketing weapon.
As the space evolved, we saw branded walled-gardens (like those built by Mzinga, Jive and others in the 2005-07 range) evolve to less formal (Facebook Groups, etc.) and the point of these communal areas shift from user communities/customer support units to “share our content” cattle calls. But the tools and technology are improving and there are an interesting array of software platforms and strategic approaches available to companies and brands now. We reviewed six such companies recently to uncover what software, strategic approaches and opportunities are out there to help you drive more fan-generated recommendations and referrals of your product or content… Read more