How small businesses, associations, and other B-2-B organizations can embrace brand advocates

With the explosion of social media, more and more consumer organizations are successfully taking advantage of brand advocacy to promote their brands. For small businesses, associations, and other B-2-B organizations, this may seem a bit more challenging—as tangible products more easily develop the level of fanaticism necessary to cultivate advocacy. But that doesn’t mean that brand advocates don’t exist for this market—or that they are any less important. They just might be a bit harder to identify. However, understanding the six brand advocate archetypes, and the best ways to embrace them, can have significant benefits for your organization.

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Is Crowdfunding as a Social Media Strategy Here to Stay or Just a Passing Fad?

Have you heard about the Veronica Mars Kickstarter miracle? In just 11 hours, the ever-loyal fan-base of the cancelled show guaranteed that their favorite adult Nancy Drew-esque sleuth would return, this time to the big screen, to the tune of $2 million. The excitement for some is palpable. What exactly is crowdfunding? Is this the sign of a new way of doing things?

According to Wikipedia, crowdfunding is  “the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding,motion picture promotion, free software development, inventions development, scientific research,and civic projects.” Kickstarter is one of many burgeoning crowdfunding websites that have appeared on the internet in the last few years. And while the Veronica Mars Kickstarter project is not the first of its kind (there are 31 crowdfunded films currently showing at SXSW), the sheer amount of money raised speaks volumes for the power of the voice of “the people.”

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