How JetBlue built long lasting relationships on their 10th birthday #NYBAS

If you want to make an impact on someone, and be memorable, do something unexpected and delightful. For example, what if you were to give away gifts on your birthday?

That’s exactly what JetBlue did on its 10th anniversary, as JetBlue's Corporate Communications Manager, Morgan Johnston, explains in this video. With a dash of social media ingenuity and P.T. Barnum showmanship, they created a series of spontaneous flash mobs around Manhattan with their birthday card/air ticket give away. Just through Twitter, they announced that they would hand anyone a free ticket on JetBlue to anyone who walked up to them with a birthday card (while supplies lasted of course). Within 15 minutes, JetBlue had 400 people with birthday cards lined up to receive free tickets.

Over the day they gave away 1000 tickets. People were so touched by this delightful and generous offer that they tweeted out their experience as well. JetBlue in turn tracked these users from their tweets to the flights they ended up taking. This allowed them to engage with users on a very deep level, following up with them to see how their trip went.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

Recap: New York Brand Advocacy Series- How to Turn Social Media into Sales #NYBAS

Last week, we teamed up with Big Fuel and brought the Brand Advocacy Series to New York where top marketers discussed “How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales.” The panel provided attendees with insights on the value of brand advocacy and what companies like JetBlue, Microsoft, and Kotex are doing to energize Word of Mouth.

Watch live streaming video from zuberance at

Featured Panel:

  • Moderated by: Abbey Klaassen, Digital Editor, Advertising Age (@amklaassen)
  • Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance (@robfuggetta)
  • Avi Savar, Founder, Big Fuel (@avisavar)
  • Umang Shah, Social Strategiest, Microsoft (@umang_shah)
  • Morgan Johnston, Corporate Communication Manager, JetBlue (@MHJohnston)

View photos from the event on the Zuberance Facebook Page.

Watch on-site interviews with panelists and attendees (you can find more videos on our YouTube channel, ZubeTV):

Key Takeaways

  • An Advocate is someone who recommends brands or products without being paid to do so. Use the"Ultimate Question" to identify Advocates: "How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends and colleagues?" Someone who scores 9 or 10 on a scale from 1 to 10 is an Advocate.
  • JetBlue conducts surveys, looks at email, and discussions in social media. They all add up to create the “Voice of the Customer.”
  • Influencers and Advocates are not the same. Advocates are consumers that don’t necessarily have to be bloggers, but within their own social circles they’re very influential. But having an influencer be an Advocate for your brand is the ideal situation because they recommend in a genuine way and have significant reach.
  • 92% trust WOM from their peers, but only 18% trust bloggers. Nothing is more influential than people you know.
  • JetBlue: We want everyone to be a promoter of our company regardless of how many people are following you.
  • JetBlue: We saw 13 million of media dollars generated from doing the “All you can fly in a month” campaign. The community that formed through this campaign organized a party in Vegas (on their own) where over 200 people attended. Jetblue thanked the community by showing up to the Vegas party with boxes of sweatshirts. JetBlue didn’t do anything more than set up and host the community. They didn’t do anything necessarily to “juice” it.
  • Zuberance is dead set against giving incentives to get people to recommend. While it’s NOT OK to incentivize advocates, it IS OK to thank them after recommending your brand.
  • The key to energizing Advocates is to make it easy for them to recommend.
  • Content drives conversation and the right content can drive the conversation you want.
  • Microsoft: Advocates are invaluable to us. We don’t have the influence that an advocate has. We simply can’t have the same impact as an advocate. Coming from Microsoft will never be as impactful.
  • How do you get people to talk about sensitive subjects? Answer is the engagement point, where the brand and the consumer meet. Connect with them on something that’s important to them. Example: Kotex fits, period. It’s about “what fits you.” So it was about taking the issue personal. What was important to the young woman.
  • "The 6am Test” – What’s important to consumers when they wake up? Be relevant to your audience on their agenda? Leverage the interests and behaviors of the people you’re talking to. Understand the person you’re talking to before you engage.
  • You have to earn the right to monetize. You do that through engagement.

Listen (or download the audio) of the podcast discussion here.

Join Big Fuel and Zuberance May 17 in New York for an Exclusive Social Media Panel

Big Fuel and Zuberance are teaming up for an exclusive social media panel and cocktail party on "How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales" on Tuesday, May 17 at the Big Fuel office! As part of the Brand Advocacy Series, the event will bring together leading brands, marketers, and influencers to discuss real-world case studies, best practices and steps brands can take now to draw the line from social media marketing to ROI.

To request an invitation click here.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday May 17, 2011
  • Time: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Location: Big Fuel Headquarters, 40 West 23rd Street, 5th Floor, New York
  • Twitter hashtag: #NYBAS

Featured Panel:

It's the $64,000 question: "Can social media and Word of Mouth marketing make me money?" We see examples of it happening all the time, but no one seems to be offering up any prescriptive solutions. Is there a formula for employing social media to drive measurable increases in qualified leads, traffic, and sales? The good news is that there are answers!

Join us and learn about:

  • Energizing Brand Advocates: How to harness your brand's fans into a powerful marketing channel
  • Real-World Case Studies: How leading brands are leveraging WOM and social media to drive customer acquisition
  • Measuring ROI: How to measure the ROI of WOM and social media
  • Best Practices: The do's and don'ts of effective WOM and social media marketing

To request an invitation, click here.

Join the conversation on Twitter now using #NYBAS.

Take a look at the recap of our last Brand Advocacy Series event in San Francisco.

We hope to see you there!

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance