17 ways to discover your best brand advocates

We all know they’re invaluable, but finding them isn’t easy. Have you tapped all your resources? Here’s a checklist.

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There are three primary sources for organizations to discover potential brand advocates: internal, external and automated tools.

Internal sources of brand advocates include:

1. Loyalty program members. Regular users of your products and services are the first place to look for brand advocates. The people who often complain, or better yet, send in suggestions on how you can improve, are great potential candidates.

2. Early adopters. Some people live on the bleeding edge. They are the ones who want to be the first to check out the latest products, and as such, are in direct touch with the provider organizations. In the software industry, these early adopters are known as beta testers.

3. Forums. Most companies provide support forums where customers can post questions and typically other members, users of the products and services, provide answers. The forums we see today are the closest incarnation of the old bulletin board and newsgroups, where a whole lot of people went to search for answers and a bunch of passionate product lovers supported them by responding to queries.

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