This Week In Social Media: 5 Do's and Don'ts of WOM Marketing, Social Media = Social Business

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts of Effective Word of Mouth Marketing  - Cara Fuggetta An article for the SocialTimes summarizing key takeaways from our New York Brand Advocacy Series panel discussion.

Social Media Revolution: 2011 Edition Another Erik Qualman video that's chock full of social media stats, 2011 edition. Social Media Becoming Social BusinessHBR- David Armano  Social Media is turning into Social Business to most organizations.  Harvard Business Review suggests that there are areas of Social Business that are poised to explode: Organizational Design, Social Business Intelligence, and Cultures of Collaboration, Co-Creation & Shared Value.  Social Media and Social Business must be linked - the expectation for real-time responses is only increasing.

13 Startups that Wowed Us Catalyst S+F's Jim Nichols offers a list of companies that appear to have the stuff to move the needle for marketers.

Small Businesses That Understand Social Media At this point, it is almost irresponsible to not have a social media presence as part of your marketing mix.  However, many businesses continue to be behind the trend.  This NY Times article highlights two small businesses who are successfully harnessing their social media.  Their approaches are interesting, inexpensive, effective, and easy to reproduce.

-Lucy Arnold, Marketing Intern, Zuberance

Think you need to incentivize your customers to recommend you? Think again!

By leveraging Zuberance...

  • Chili’s identified a brand army of nearly 1 million strong who published 50,000 reviews on Yelp and shared 320,000 offers on Facebook, Twitter, and email.
  • Each Advocate of Blurb (a print-on-demand publishing service) that recommend the company, brought in 1.6 new customers.
  • 30% of Intuit’s Advocates have written reviews and shared offers with their social networks.

When I tell people what Zuberance is all about and the results we’ve seen from companies energizing their Advocates, here's most common response I get (from marketers and non-marketers alike): “So how exactly do you incentivize people to make these recommendations?”

The answer is simple: We don’t! (As explained by Zuberance Founder/CEO, Rob Fuggetta, here)

The last time you went to an exceptional restaurant, you probably went to work on Monday and raved about the best steak you’d ever had to your colleagues. What did that restaurant give you for the recommendation? What about the smart phone you suggested to your cousin or the bottle of wine you recommended for your sister-in-law? How much did those companies pay you?

So what motivates a recommendation? Take a look:

Recommending brands and products is not a selfish action. However, if you encourage your customers to talk about you by leveraging a selfish motive (such as referral programs), it taints the recommendation. This makes your customer look bad because he’s trying to score some cash or reward points at their friend’s expense; and it makes you, as a brand, look bad because it’s basically telling your customers, “Look, since our product isn’t worth talking about genuinely, how about I give you some rewards points to do it and we’ll call it even.”

Keep recommendations for your brand authentic by going above and beyond to please your customers (becoming “customer-obsessed” as Josh Bernoff put it in a recent Forrester report.) Then, you won’t have to worry about paying or incentivizing your customers to talk about you. Because let's be real, that’s just lame anyway.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

How Blurb Cut Customer Acquisition Costs in Half

Eileen Gittins, Founder & CEO of Blurb, a print-on-demand publishing service, discusses the tremendous impact that working with Zuberance has had on Blurb's marketing efforts.

Here are some key highlights that Blurb has seen within the first 90 days through leveraging the Zuberance Advocate Platform:

  • Blurb was able to cut customer acquisition costs in half compared to other marketing channels.
  • 42% of Blurb Advocates that were identified shared offers on Facebook, Twitter, and Email.
  • On average, one outbound share by Blurb Advocates generated one inbound click.
  • Each energized Advocate (Advocates that shared offers) brought in 1.6 new customers.
  • Redemptions of offers shared by Advocates had a 2X shopping cart total above average.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance