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Four simple steps to identify and reward your brand advocates - Thomas Harris

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

Four simple steps to identify and reward your brand advocates

I was speaking with a client earlier this week who was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to create campaigns that your social advocates love to share.

Just follow these four easy steps, then sit back and enjoy while your brand advocates share your email content with all of their friends, causing your brand awareness to rocket.

Create the campaign
Analyse the social sharers
Create a dynamic segment for social sharers
Build an automated customer lifecycle for social sharers

Create the Campaign

Let’s start at the very beginning: campaign creation. This is where you and your team decide on the social channel that you wish to include within your new email campaign. Here in the UK the most commonly used channels in email campaigns are Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but I know my colleagues in Germany use Xing and Vimeo in their campaigns. Which of the social channels are most popular with your recipients?

Top tip: Including individual social sharing icons on each content/product block increases the likelihood of the recipient sharing that content with their social network. The reason for this is that they will be sharing a specific element as opposed to an entire email campaign, which may have areas of less interest for that individual’s network friends.

Analyse the Social Sharers

As a marketer, I’m sure you are well-practiced at measuring the success of your campaigns, but remember to look specifically at the social reach of each campaign – it’s a great opportunity to learn from your mistakes. What is really interesting is being able to drill down into the individual social network shares, as this provides a view of the individual recipients who are actively pushing your content toward their social network. Let’s not underestimate what this means, a recent study indicated 18- to 24-year-olds have an average of 510 Facebook friends (Edison Research, 2013). Furthermore, and what I find most useful, is the ability to save the list of recipients that have shared your content as a static segment for use in later social campaigns – what more could you want? Well…

Create a Dynamic Segment for Social Sharers

It’s always a good idea to encourage good behaviour, so don’t neglect your loyal recipients; they have worked hard for you. Reward them for sharing sections of your campaigns by creating a dynamic segment to use within a customer lifecycle. The screenshot below displays how the segment would look within the Emarsys solution:


You will notice that you are able to select not only the amount of social shares a customer has completed, but also the timeframe for doing so. Within the above segment I have asked the solution to build a dynamic segment which includes all of the customers who shared the clients content five times via Facebook within the last 30 days. And here is what you do with it…

Build an Automated Customer Lifecycle for Social Sharers

Once you have created a segment, you can include it within an automated customer lifecycle program. For this example, I have chosen to run a weekly social sharing campaign in order to reward the social advocates with a personalised thank you and possibly a little reward. Such a campaign would launch each week to any recipients who have reached the threshold of five network shares in the last month, as defined by the segment. And this doesn’t have to be the end of it – you can use this reward to lead into a more sophisticated program to increase your engagement with these customers.


This is just a simple example of how you can introduce bespoke lifecycles to increase social sharing. If you would like to find out more, please leave me a comment.