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SXSW Interactive 2013

Defining the New Social Media Advocate

Brand advocates are at the heart of social media marketing. Whether moved to action by strong emotional ties to a brand or motivated by compensation and/or tangible incentives, brands and agencies are relying on the “borrowed reputation” of their advocates to amplify their marketing and advertising activities. Advocacy programs now operate under the cloud of consumer mistrust in digital and social content as the lines between paid and earned media continue to blur. While there is nothing inherently wrong with paying advocates, some argue that such programs are not suitable for brands to conduct on social media, regardless of the level of transparency offered. This panel examines how brands can best activate the kinetic advocacy of their social networks while preserving trust and building stronger individual and community relationships.

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  1. How has social media changed the fundamentals of brand advocacy in the years since it became viable?
  2. Are there a reasons paid brand advocacy should not be used on social media?
  3. What’s the value in parsing those from whom brands “borrow” reputations into categories such as advocate, endorser and ambassador?
  4. Is full, transparent disclosure sufficient to build and protect brands’ networks of trust?
  5. What are the risks, for both brands and advocates, of advocacy programs gone awry?



Neil Glassman, CMO, CMP.LY

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Social and Relationships
  • Level: Intermediate
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