abbey klassen

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.