It is no secret that throughout the history of mankind people have made important decisions based on trust. Not so long ago, the control of a business's reputation was in the hands of the companies themselves: brands used public relations — radio, television, and other advertising channels — to reach millions of potential customers and deliver a highly controlled message to them. But social media changed everything. Information is spreading too quickly for brands to manage it. Control over reputation and trust is again in the hands of environment. So now more than ever before, brands need to turn customers into passionate advocates.
The role of the brand's advocates is difficult to overestimate; restaurateurs of any scale understand their importance for the project. Some millions of dollars budgets (yes, the modern food service market knows such stories) for tastings and invitations opinion leaders and social media influencers to lunch / dinner, who later become ardent defenders of the brand.
In fact, this is modern representation of an old tactics - word of mouth! A consumer who liked the service informs a friend about her choice, and he spreads the information along his chain of acquaintances.
Research firms estimate that only 18% of people trust brands, but 92% trust brand advocates. Nine out of ten online consumers say referrals from friends and family are the most reliable form of advertising for them. In the digital age, such recommendations
are one of the most powerful advertising tools. Therefore, any project should strive to increase the number of loyal clients and build up an army of advocates.
And the coolest brand advocates come from once disgruntled guests. Provided, of course, that you worked out the negative so competently that the person not only became a regular visitor of your restaurant, but also its active defender in the information field!
Everyone can be a brand advocate. The only question is the extent of their influence. And there can be as many of them as possible. There are always loyal consumers of your service who are ready to defend the brand on social networks. That is, not a promotion specialist or a restaurateur, but the consumers themselves stand up for the brand, and this is a very effective tool!