brand advocacy series

Bringin' 'Em Back: 5 Must-See Videos on Brand Advocacy from 2011

The Marketing Power of Brand Advocates A rock star collection of mind-blowing stats about your most enthusiastic customers (AKA Brand Advocates.)

Use Your Advocates' Reviews as Marketing Copy

CDW's Senior Segment Marketing Manager, Lauren McCadney, on Advocate reviews: You can hire the best copywriter, but they'll never beat an Advocate when it comes to authenticity. (Clip taken at the Chicago Brand Advocacy Series.)

How JetBlue Built Long Lasting Relationships on Their 10th Birthday

If you want to make an impact on someone, and create Brand Advocates, 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 Morgan Johnston, Corporate Communication Manager, explains in this clip taken at the New York Brand Advocacy Series.

How Do You Energize Brand Advocates?

At the New York Brand Advocacy Series, attendees and panelists were asked, "How do you energize Word of Mouth?" Here are their answers.

The Adventures of Brand Advocate Man

It's a's a, it's BRAND ADVOCATE MAN! Watch the story of how Brand Advocate Man helped a struggling marketer energize her Advocates and become a social marketing Superhero!

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Brands are just as excited about connecting with their Advocates

 Andrea Syrtash is a relationship expert and author of the book “He’s Just Not Your Type and That’s a Good Thing” and the upcoming “Cheat on Your Husband with Your Husband.”

At the Zuberance event “How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales” I asked Syrtash how her Brand Advocates have gone out of their way to help her sell her book.

Syrtash said getting Brand Advocates to promote her book was never done intentionally. She was simply looking for like-minded people that wanted to connect with her. But since doing that, her fans are fully responsible for getting their friends to come out to see her during her book tour.

One great moment came when someone tweeted a nice comment about Syrtash’s book. Syrtash was so touched that she followed the fan back and thanked her. Syrtash’s fan was so excited that the author reached out and started following her on Twitter. The feeling was mutual. Syrtash was equally excited.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

Sponsor your audience to energize Word of Mouth

In an effort to juice conversations, Intuit gives grants to small businesses to get people talking about small business, explained Laura Messerschmitt of Intuit.

This is not a “pay-for-play” solution which is a major “no-no” when seeking out recommendations for Advocates. Intuit is just trying to show general support for a community, especially at the local level.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

A successful social media campaign is integrated with all marketing and media efforts

Social media isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. If the client is in the B2B space they need to spend months if not years building a relationship. That’s because B2B sales cycles can be extremely long, said Mark Kurtz, Chief Growth Office and VP of New Media for Gage Marketing.

But in the B2C space, Gage can be very aggressive through promotions, contests, and ad campaigns. Ultimately though, social media doesn’t exist and survive in a bubble. It’s all about integrating a campaign, said Kurtz.

Connect social media with all forms of media.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

Paul Dunay: Give Brand Advocates special access [VIDEO] #NYBAS

Paul Dunay of Networked Insights can’t imagine a world in which Brand Advocates read about a company’s new product in a press release. If you’ve connected with your Advocates in the social spaces, that’s where they should hear about it.

It’s counter intuitive to not give them special access to information. It’s important to foster that special relationship.

Most companies don’t think to do this, but you need to, and you should fight internally to get the right to do this. Dunay remembers at one past company he did have to fight with corporate communications, but ultimately got the right to invite the company’s Advocates to a webinar that announced the new product before the press release came out.

He likens his story to the famous Universal Theme Park case (Dunay accidentally mentioned Disney) in which the theme park invited a handful of select Harry Potter bloggers to get a sneak webinar preview of the new attraction “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” This exclusive blogger preview was their first step. They could have gone with any type of expensive advertising push which they inevitably did. But they chose first to reach out to Harry Potter Advocates who were also influencers. The smart move translated into an eventual reach of 350 million people.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

Use your Advocates’ reviews for marketing copy

You can hire the best copywriter, but they’ll never beat an Advocate when it comes to authenticity.

CDW realized that truism and as a result they started using advocate reviews in their marketing copy, said Lauren McCadney, Sr. Segment Marketing Manager for CDW.

With the success of using Advocate reviews, their next step is allowing Advocates to produce videos. Plus, CDW is building out a more formal and trackable Advocate referral program.

Build a relationship with an Advocate like you would with a friend #NYBAS

For so long brands have operated on this model of selling and showing product, explained Avi Savar, Founder of Big Fuel at the New York Brand Advocacy Series event he co-sponsored with Zuberance at his offices.

Brand Advocates can’t be bullied into liking your product. You need to create a relationship with them. That can often come from just having a great product, great customer service, or both.

If you want Brand Advocates, you need to shift your communications from a “Show me/Sell me” model to a “Help me/Entertain me” model, said Savar. Building a relationship with a customer to turn them into a Brand Advocate is no different than building a relationship with a friend.

The best way to create engagement with customers is through social and digital platforms, Savar suggested. Content drives conversation and advocacy. It is a commodity which can be leveraged on behalf of a brand. Audiences are engaged by content especially when delivered in the right context.

If you do it right, you can build a relationship with the customer for life, said Savar.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

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

How do you convert a passive fan of your brand into an Advocate? #NYBAS

After moderating a fantastic event "How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales" in NYC, I asked Abbey Klaassen, editor of AdAge, what she thinks the trick is to convert a passive fan into an active brand advocate. Someone who goes out of their way to tell everyone how wonderful your product is.

Klaassen said a great way to convert fans to advocates is to simply delight them in completely unexpected ways.

As an example, she told a great story of receiving a free burrito at a Chipolte restaurant. Klaassen had always been a customer and a passive fan of the chain of Mexican restaurants, but one day, out of the blue, she received this special unexpected treat. A free burrito!

It was an element of surprise and delight that took Klaassen off guard in a positive way. The net result is she came back to her office and told everyone about it. "I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I like it," said Klaassen.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions

How Do You Energize Brand Advocates? #NYBAS

Zuberance was built on the belief (and hard data to back it up) that your Advocates are your best sales force. While companies often wisely incentivize their sales staff, that’s not a good idea for your Advocates. An Advocate is someone who has already raised their hand and said they’re willing to recommend your product. You don’t need to, nor should you, provide any incentive.

Although, having someone say they’re willing to recommend you, and actually do it are two very different things. Once they say they’re an Advocate, how do you energize them to actually engage with you and make a recommendation? At the Zuberance event “How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales” in NYC on May 17, 2011, I asked the attendees and panelists, “How do you energize word of mouth?” Here are their answers.

-David Spark, Social Media Journalist, Spark Media Solutions