Recap: Chicago Brand Advocacy Series- How to Turn Social Media into Sales #CHIBAS

Last week, we brought the Brand Advocacy Series to Chicago where top marketers discussed "How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales." The panel provided attendees with valuable insights on how social media has changed the marketing landscape and what brands like CDW, Treseme, and Ooma are doing to energize advocacy.

Watch live streaming video from zuberance at

Featured panel:

Take a look at the video clips from the panel:

View photos from the event on the Zuberance Facebook page.

Key Takeaways from the panel:

  • The more you try and control the brand, the more you lose it. Everybody has a voice now. You have to be in the game and if you’re sitting in the sidelines right now, you’re in trouble.
  • We’re living in an era of engagement and dialogue. Case in point: Gap changed their logo which caused an uproar from Gap customers whose dissatisfaction was amplified by social media. Don’t even try and change your logo without engaging with your customers.
  • 3 out of 4 people no longer trust what advertisers have to say. But 9 out of 10 trust what a peer says.
  • Advocates are people who highly recommend brands or products without being paid to do so. Identify Advocates by asking them “The Ultimate Question,” “On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our product or service to your friends/colleagues?” Those who answer a 9 or 10 are Advocates.
  • Advocates tell the CDW story better than any copywriter could. CDW is leveraging advocate-generated content in their catalog, direct mail, and various places on their website to help explain what CDW does.
  • Nexxus' Promend product (which replenishes split ends) approached Advocates in a pre-launch campaign to get feedback on their new product. They were able to create 150 reviews before launch, so prospects could read about the effectiveness of the product once it officially launched.
  • Ooma (a Voip device provider) who competes against Vonage, decreased their customer acquisition costs by 54% by energizing their Advocates.
  • Thousands of Facebook fans or Twitter followers won’t shift sales. Energize Advocates by making it easy for them to write reviews and testimonials, share offers, or provide feedback on a new product. Then leverage Advocate-generated content throughout your marketing campaigns.
  • It's not authentic if everyone loves you. People will become skeptical of product reviews if all of them are perfect, so don't get people to write inauthentic reviews.
  • One of TiVo's mantras: Don't be afraid to fail, but fail fast. When you find something that works, move it from to experimentation to optimization and push down on the accelerator.
  • There is not a one size fits all approach to social media. Use your common sense about where to grow your community.
  • Measuring the ROI of social media depends on what you are trying to achieve through social media whether it’s increasing purchase intent, content generation, traffic, or sales.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance