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Your online brand supporters are also your most loyal customers.

Give your customers opportunities to be your brand’s voice online as this will strengthen their loyalty to your business.

It is well known that happy customers are your best brand advocates. Typically brand loyalty results in brand advocacy. However, a recent study into online brand advocacy (OBA) has shown that the reverse is also true! It has been found that the more your customers advocate for your brand online, the more brand loyal they become.

So, what is OBA? It is a completely unincentivized positive expression about your business, given in user-generated content (UGC) by your customers. OBA includes brand defence in a time of need, sharing of in-depth brand knowledge, the use of positive virtual visual cues (such as emojis and emoticons) and the sharing of overall positivity about your business, online.

Unlike prior studies which used makeshift brand advocacy measures, this study, led by Dr Violetta Wilk, a Digital Marketing academic at Edith Cowan University, is the first to use a validated OBA measure. The study shows that there is a reciprocal relationship between OBA and brand loyalty.

By giving OBA, customers strengthen their relationship with a brand. Therefore, as a business, you need to create opportunities for your customers to give OBA. The question is: does your digital marketing strategy include such tactics? If not, you are missing out.

To read about practical recommendations for brands, you may wish to view the study’s paper:

Tell us how your business nurtures your online brand advocates. What opportunities does your business create for your customers to give OBA? Please share in the comments below.

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