women said, woman listening to gossipSatisfied customers are a great thing. What’s even better are satisfied customers who feel compelled to tell others about your great brand.

The challenge is finding ways to motivate those customers to go out of their way to promote your business.So says Ekaterina Walter, CMO of digital media company BRANDERATI, and a contributor to Entrepreneur.

Walter offers several valuable tips on how to convert happy customers into “raving” brand advocates.

Turn Your Receipts into Customer Feedback Questionnaires

 “Your in-store purchase receipts are a guaranteed point-of-contact with most satisfied customers,” Walter notes. Why not ask for customer feedback by printing details of your online survey at the bottom of the receipt - along with details about a prize customers might win by responding?

Don’t stop there, Walter says. “Make the survey social” by linking to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites. This way, customers can share the experience of entering your promotions with their friends and followers.

Invite Customers to Review Your Business

According to Nielsen, more than 90 percent of customers around the world say they trust “earned media” (recommendations from family and friends) over all other forms of advertising. So when customers purchase your product or service, contact them and ask for a review.

People buying online, for example, often provide their email address as part of the transaction. “An email list is a powerful marketing tool,” Walter notes, “so be sure to send a follow-up email asking for feedback and linking to sites like Amazon or Trip Advisor to make it easy for customers to post reviews.”

By simplifying the process, you increase the odds customers will take time to review your business online.

Use a Socially-Activated App

Walter describes how the clothing company Free People “is leading the way when it comes to community building.” Free People invites fans to upload Instagram photos featuring the way they style their Free People items, while also uploading the photos to the “Add a style pic” on its own website.

“This gives customers a great idea of how the item looks in real life, as well as building a whole community around style and fashion, with ‘likes’ shown as hearts,” she says.

Make it Easy to Find Your Social Properties

“Remember, the more members you have in your current communities, the more chances you have to convert potential customers into real customers.”

Prominently feature links to your Facebook page, Twitter handle, Pinterest page and other social communities on:

  • In-store receipts
  • Storefronts and walls in your business location
  • Menus and napkins
  • Vehicles
  • Websites
  • Email communications
  • Local advertising

“Empowering your customers with the ability to share their opinions on your brand requires a leap of faith,” Walter notes. But if you believe in your brand - and why shouldn’t you? - turning customers into brand ambassadors “can be the most powerful marketing tool you ever use.”

How do you transform customers into brand ambassadors?