Influencers vs Advocates

What is the difference between an influencer and an advocate for a brand? A lot of people recommend that a brand practice “influencer outreach”; others suggest a brand advocacy program is paramount for an organization. In his recent book, Smart Business, Social Business, Michael Brito discusses these two important points. Michael and I shared the stage recently at the Lithium Technologies “Likes to Loves” event in Orange County, CA, and I had the opportunity to interview him briefly on this very topic.

What do you do at your organization? Do you reach out to influencers in an effort to get them to share about your brand? Do you work with your brand advocates to help energize their natural passion for your brand? What is working for you?

3 Responses

  1. Becky,
    Thanks for sharing this content. I disagree with the definition of influencers “expecting” some time of compensation for their “promotion” of your company or brand. In fact, influencers should never be paid off. I think that there isn’t a huge gap between influencers and advocates. Overtime an effective influencer program should develop brand advocates for your company.


  2. All customers are influencers. Customers will tell other people about their experience with your company. Your goal should be to make every influencer an advocate. I do understand the distinction you are making between influencer and advocate. However, if you pay an influencer to tweet about your company and deep down, they’re not an advocate, will the marketing really create the kind of impact you want? I suggest you treat each and every customer like the influencer they are and turn each one of them into an advocate.

    Jack Dempsey
    Principal, Pretium Solutions

  3. Pingback : Influencers vs. Advocates.. but what should brands do to have success? - Social Media Jedi Blog