Webinar Recording: Top 10 Things Advocates Will Do For Your Brand

Below is the recording from our latest social media webinar, "Top 10 Things Advocates Will Do For Your Brand" co-hosted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

Expert Speakers:

1. Give you referral leads and help you sell products and services, serving as a virtual salesforce.

Anytime Fitness Advocates have shared 16,167 offers on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. Anytime Fitness is seeing a 20% conversion rate from Advocate offer shares (5X higher than average).

2. Write highly positive reviews of your products or services, boosting your online ratings.

Anytime Fitness Advocates have written over 7,250 glowing reviews and stories which are displayed on Anytime's Facebook page. Advocates have also published their reviews on Yelp which has increased positive reviews by 30% in the past five months.

3. Create glowing testimonials about their experiences with your company or products.

Outright Advocates have written 1,463 stories, some of which are showcased on Outright's website. Of the Advocates who shared their story, 53% chose to share on Facebook.

4. Answer propects' questions, overcoming buyers' objections and reducing shopping cart abandonment rates.

2,440 Advocates for the VoIP provider, Ooma, have opted in to answer prospects' questions. Each question is getting an average of 2.3 answers. Ooma is seeing a 50% click-through-rate among prospects who get questions answered by Advocates.

5. Share your content and offers with their social networks, driving referral leads, clicks, and sales.

Outright Advocates love to share educational content such as a video about their Tax Resource Center. 43% of people in Advocates' networks clicked through to watch the video.

6. Help you launch new products.

Outright energized their Advocates to help launch their new iPhone app. Advocate sharing drove the app to the Top 25 in the app store.

7. Create better ads than your high-priced ad agency and more compelling copy than your most skilled wordsmith.

One Anytime Fitness Advocate described the club as "the Cheers of fitness clubs." Another Advocate wrote, "This club provides the keys to your future success...guaranteed!"

8. Defend your cherished company and brand reputation from detractors.

Auto-windshield repair company, Safelite, boosted ratings on SuperPages.com from 2.35 to 4 stars by energizing their Advocates to write reviews. Advocates gave Safelite an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars!

9. Alert you to competitive threats and market opportunities.

Outright Advocates alert the company when people post incorrect information about their software on the web.

10. Give you profitable ideas and produce feedback.

Outright created a Facebook group exclusively for their Advocates to provide feedback such as input on a new tagline.

To learn more about the power of advocacy, download Chapter One of Rob Fuggetta's new book, "Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force."

9/19 Webinar: Top 10 Things Advocates Will Do For Your Brand Featuring Anytime Fitness & Outright

Date: Wednesday,September 19, 2012 Time: 9:00 AM PST/ 12:00 PM EST

Hosted By: Zuberance & Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)

Hashtag: #BrandAdvocates


You may spend millions of dollars on elaborate marketing campaigns. But there is nothing more powerful than a trusted recommendation from a Brand Advocate. In fact, Brand Advocate recommendations are the #1 influencer of purchase decisions in nearly every product category from smartphones to software, cars to computers, financial services to fitness memberships. Advocates' love for you is no summer romance or brand fling. When you create and engage an Advocate, you've identified a renewable marketing asset you can leverage for years.

What You'll Learn:

  • How to identify and energize your best customers (AKA Brand Advocates)
  • 10 creative ways to leverage the enthusiasm of your best customers to drive positive Word of Mouth and sales
  • How to measure the impact of brand advocacy program

Expert Speakers

Andy Giefer, Director of Social Media, Anytime Fitness (@agiefer)

Andy heads social media for Anytime Fitness, the world's largest fitness franchise. He’s particularly interested in how social transforms consumer experiences and expectations. In previous roles, he produced award-winning work at a Minneapolis agency, and spent a year teaching and traveling in Argentina. Andy is currently training for his 8th marathon and tweets at @agiefer.

Laura Messerschmitt, VP of Marketing, Outright, a Go Daddy company (@ljmesser)

Laura has over 10 years of experience working with small businesses at Deloitte Consulting, the Export-Import Bank, Intuit, and Outright.  Her first job was in a small business (an after school tutoring program for young kids) and she's still serving small businesses today at Outright, the online accounting solution for sole proprietors.   Laura led Outright threw a tremendous growth period over the last year using advocacy and social marketing to drive acquisition. This culminated in the acquisition of Outright by Go Daddy in July 2012.

Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance and author of Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force (John H. Wiley, 2012) (@robfuggetta)

Rob Fuggetta is the world’s leading expert on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the author of the ground-breaking new book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force." Published by John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc., a major business publisher, Brand Advocates shows how companies are leveraging Brand Advocates to build their brands and businesses – and how you can too! Fuggetta is the Founder & CEO of Zuberance, a social media marketing company that powers Brand Advocate programs for top consumer and business brands. Prior to founding Zuberance in 2008, Fuggetta was the Chief Marketing Officer at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out. He also was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary high tech marketing and communications firm in Palo Alto, where he co-led the global Apple account.

10 attendees will receive a copy of Rob's new book, Brand Advocates


Top 5 Reasons Brands Should NOT Incentivize Advocates to Create Recommendations

(This post was originally published on WOMMA's "All Things WOM" blog.)

A key takeaway from this year’s WOMM-U is that brand advocacy is hot! Not only was it a topic of many of the panel discussions, but also a recent IBM study stated that advocacy is the #1 priority for CMO’s worldwide. Let’s take a look at a key principle of brand advocacy: Don’t incentivize Advocates.

Here’s why:

  1. It’s inauthentic. Paying for recommendations (whether it’s cash, discounts, or rewards) is basically telling your customers, “Look, since our product isn’t worth talking about genuinely, how about I give you some rewards points for an endorsement and we’ll call it even?” Don’t enlist your Advocates as mercenaries. You’re compromising your credibility and reputation.
  2. It’s unnecessary. The top reasons that Advocates recommend is to help others (Comscore, Yahoo!, Dec. 2006) and because they’ve had great experiences with a product or company (Zuberance, 2012). In fact, only 1% of Advocates recommend after being incentivized with rewards or discounts. The key to energizing Advocates to create recommendations is to simply make it easy for them. No incentives necessary.
  3. It turns your customers into spammers. We all have that one friend who constantly shares Living Social deals, for example, on Facebook and Twitter. Why? Because if they get three friends to buy the deal, they get their deal for free. The frequent spam causes us to tune them out, possibly defriend or unfollow them, and definitely devalue the sincerity of their recommendation.
  4. It creates unwanted expectations from your customers. If you continue to offer rewards or money to customers for their referrals, you’re conditioning them to always expect something in return. The minute you stop compensating them, is the minute they stop showing the “love.” 
  5. It’s LAME. Before investing in paid recommendations, focus on improving your company and products so it’s worthy of true praise. Do you think Apple has ever paid their customers for a recommendation? No way! Their products are brilliant, and therefore they’ve created millions of genuine Advocates.

Now, that being said, recognizing and thanking your Advocates is an advocacy best practice. However, it should never be a quid pro quo i.e. IF you write a positive review, THEN I’ll give you a pony. Ponies should only be given as a thank you when there was no expectation of receiving something in return for positive reviews.

Here are some ways to recognize and thank your Advocates:

  • Invite them to exclusive events
  • Engage with them on social channels (sometimes a simple “Thank you” is all Advocates want!)
  • Ask to them to join a focus group
  • Highlight their recommendations on owned media channels
  • Give them sneak previews of a new product or feature

Take the high road and keep your advocacy strategy authentic. TRUE Brand Advocates are more trusted, more influential, and more effective in driving real business results.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Zuberance Founder/CEO & Restaurant.com President/CMO to Speak at WOMMA's WOMM-U

WOMM-U Info Date: May 7-9, 2012

Location: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago

Hosted by: Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)


Zuberance and Restaurant.com are teaming up to present a fantastic case study at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's WOMM-U conference, "Advocacy is Delicious: Turning Restaurant.com Advocates into a Social Marketing Force."

Restaurant.com is the leading provider of restaurant savings nationwide. The company offers the best deal on every meal at more than 18,000 restaurants nationwide with nearly 50,000 daily gift certificate options. Restaurant.com has helped customers save more than $2 billion since the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based company was founded in 1999. Restaurant.com will describe how they’ve created a thriving group of tens of thousands of Advocates and how they’re energizing these Advocates to spread positive Word of Mouth and drive sales.

Expert Speakers

Chris Krohn, President and Chief Marketing Officer, Restaurant.com (@ckrohn1)

Chris is a veteran of the e-commerce, hospitality and financial services industries.  With his strong background in growing entrepreneurial businesses and expertise in marketing, business development and technology, Krohn oversees the Restaurant.com’s marketing and IT functions. Krohn joined Restaurant.com in May 2011 from Whitney Automotive Group, a multi-brand B2C retailer, where he was Chief Marketing Officer and VP Business Development. Krohn’s operating experience also spans the hospitality and financial services industries. He was formerly Vice President of Marketing at Harrah’s Entertainment, head of marketing for Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Managing Director of CME subsidiary, OneChicago LLC.

Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance (@robfuggetta)

As Zuberance CEO, Rob is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the company’s business including product, engineering, operations, customer success, and sales and marketing. Rob is a 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley who has played a leadership role in three start-ups including Genuity, which went public in June 2000. Rob was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna Inc., the legendary Silicon Valley marketing and communications firm, where he co-led the global Apple business. Rob is the author of “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force,” to be published by John H. Wiley, Inc. in June 2012.

Click here to register from WOMM-U

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 livestream.com

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

Recommend your favorite brands at School of WOM and win an iPad! #WOMMA

Zuberance is a proud sponsor of WOMMA's upcoming conference, School of WOM on May 9-11 in Chicago!

What is School of WOM?

School of WOM, hosted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, provides attendees with education and insights into the Art and Science of Creating Talkable Brands—something, as marketing professionals, we all want to learn more about. School of WOM brings people, tools, techniques and best practices together under one roof for three jam-packed days of strategy based, hands-on, practical sharing focused on social business.  It’s a holistic education - perfect for anyone who sees the puzzle in the pieces.

If you’re wondering about things like:

  • Best practices in the latest innovations in WOM and social technologies
  • How to craft a talkable brand story that customers find memorable, irresistible, and shareable
  • How to capitalize on the latest and most vetted ways to measure WOM and social media success
  • How to ignite customer conversations by delivering on experiences

….you’ll learn about that and much more at WOMMA School of WOM

Recommend your favorite brands and win an iPad!

Visit Zuberance in the networking lounge and tell us what brands you recommend. We'll be tracking recommendations from attendees (and their networks) in real-time at the show. Take a minute to share and we'll sweeten the deal by entering you to win an iPad. Stop by our table and take a picture with Brand Advocate Man (yes, he's our superhero) and you'll double your odds!

Join us after School of WOM for the Chicago Brand Advocacy Series!

Zuberance will be hosting an exclusive social media panel and cocktail party for brands, marketers, and influencers the last night of School of WOM: Wednesday, May 11 from 5:30-8:30pm at the River East Arts Center. The panel will discuss "How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales" and feature marketers from CDW, Alberto Culver, Gage Marketing, Zuberance, and will be moderated by Brian Quinton of Chief Marketer.

Click here to learn more about the Chicago Brand Advocacy Series.

Looking forward to an awesome week in Chicago! Hope you can join us!

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

May 11 Chicago Social Media panel with CDW, Alberto Culver, Gage & Chief Marketer

Zuberance is hosting an exclusive social media panel and cocktail party on Wednesday, May 11 in Chicago, the last night of WOMMA's School of WOM, called "How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales." As part of our 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. (Note: This event is not limited to School of WOM attendees.)

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday May 11, 2011
  • Time: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Location: River East Arts Center, 435 East Illinois Street, Chicago
  • Twitter hashtag: #CHIBAS

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 #CHIBAS.

Take a look at the recap of our San Francisco Brand Advocacy Series event featuring marketers from TiVo, Intel, and Edelman Digital.

We hope to see you there!

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manger, Zuberance

Rob Fuggetta @ WOMMA HQ

Rob Fuggetta, Zuberance’s Founder and CEO, stopped by WOMMA’s HQ in Chicago the other day to chat with the fabulous WOMMA team (Kristin Horstman Tara Remington, Steve Ziemba) about Zuberance, Brand Advocates, and WOMMA’s upcoming annual summit in Las Vegas Nov 18-20. The theme for this year’s WOMMA Summit is “Creating Talking Brands: Beyond Social Media.” While at WOMMA, Kristin and her colleagues asked Rob what he thinks makes a “Talkable Brand.” Enjoy!