Case study: how to create advocacy beyond the shop floor

The BWS Insider initiative utilises team members to create compelling content on social platforms, rather than rely on a traditional business account. The 30 advocates selected by BWS share the drinks they love across their social channels to create brand advocacy beyond the shop floor.

Background 

Known for offering a wide range of products, BWS is positioned within the market as a convenient and efficient liquor option. While the brand is currently sitting as Australia’s largest liquor retailer, it has always had a detailed vision for how to stand for something that would be compelling to Australians.

With the team considering new ways to capture consumer’s attention on social media, BWS landed on the Insiders program.

Objectives

The overall purpose behind the program was to create advocacy beyond the shop floor. The method of doing so was to create a program that empowered team members to become brand advocates on social media.

In line with its core and ultimate vision for the brand, BWS aims to elevate the meaning of true convenience. By tapping into an internal network of digital natives, who genuinely know the individual customer and what they want, the brand can create content that is helpful and anticipates consumer’s needs.

Program key performance measures include cost-effective content production (attributing a production value to the number of uploads), equality of imagery, and shareability of the content and engagement rates.

Strategy

A key insight that helped springboard this program was that people trust other people more than anything else. Essentially, authenticity really matters to everyone, but even more so to millennials, who rely on genuineness to guide them on which brands they choose to support.

While most brands now accept that they require a social media presence, many still struggle to know how to maximise social platforms to their benefit and overcome their fears of allowing team, staff and customers to control such an influential platform.

Business brands no longer cut it – customers want to know about the personality behind the brand. Customers don’t want to be told what to buy, they want to feel like they’re discovering things themselves. Through each of the BWS Insiders customers will begin to discover new drinks and expand their repertoire.

The strategy roll-out involved each of the Insiders first capturing consumer’s attention as a brand advocate, then building trust and finally inspiring action. This process starts by telling frequent, consistent, and generous stories that engage and educate an aligned audience, and as a result, builds customer confidence, and earns permission to influence behaviour.

Execution 

The initial pilot program was held over the course of 3 months. Off the back of this successful pilot, BWS has expanded its Australia-first program to accommodate a total of 30 advocates hand-selected from over 300 applicants.

These digital natives have been tasked with sharing the drinks that they love across their Instagram, interacting with and growing their community, acting as spokespeople on behalf of BWS, working with the marketing team to generate awareness and educating customers and the wider team on what’s new and trending, together with highlighting old favourites.

To ensure that they support these budding superstars, BWS is providing them with access to social industry leaders who can show them how to create content schedules, develop social strategies and understand their insights.

Results

The Insiders implemented real-time market testing whereby they approached their content with flexibility and viewed it as a two-way street with their audience. They adapted their content off the back of their audience engagements to ensure they were curating content with the perfect balance between aspirational and relatable.

Following the pilot program which included 13 Insiders and 4,328 followers, BWS identified the clear strengths of the program and expanded this year to capitalise on this success. With an average engagement rate of 35 percent, a rate well above the industry average of 3.5 percent, The Insider content now stands as the best performing content across BWS’ socials.