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How Brands Can Stay Top of Mind with Facebook’s New News Feed

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Staying relevant on Facebook seems to be most brands' major concern with the rollout of Facebook's new News feed. The News feed's subfeeds will allow users to have a quick way to focus on only what their friends are sharing. Users who chose this option are essentially opting out of seeing content from business pages that they follow.

There will be 4 main feeds in which fans can find your content– News feed, Most Recent, Photos, and Following.  Luckily for Pages, the ‘Following’ feed includes both people and Pages, so it's likely users will want to see both, but we all know those people, who don't want to hear from brands.

The ‘All Friends’ feed will certainly be one of the (if not the) most popular feeds.  If users choose this as their feed of choice, brand pages will suffer.  Overall, my guess is that the good and the bad will probably balance out.

What can brands do to continue to be seen?

Without advertising, there is a simple solution: Brand Advocates.

Brand Advocates are your biggest marketers. Advocates' recommendations are the number one influencer of purchase decisions and brand perceptions in nearly every product category from smartphones to software, hotels to housewares, cars to computers, and financial services to memberships.

In a recent Zuberance survey, 89 percent of Advocates said their friends buy or consider purchasing the products and services they recommend. Many consumers and business buyers ignore, skip, and TiVo out ads, but when advocates recommend something, consumers will go out of their way to buy it.

Brand Advocates are motivated by good experiences and a desire to help others. Over the last three years, Zuberance has powered over 30 million Advocate actions. We've never paid or provided an incentive to a single Advocate for their recommendation. And no Advocate has ever been given a freebie if their friends buy something.

Identifying, energizing and tracking Brand Advocates' activity is easy -- assuming you have a Brand Advocate Platform -- and it's what we do at Zuberance.

Brand Advocate receives email:

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Brand Advocate shares offer:

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Brand Advocate's Friends See Your Brand in their News feed:

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Sharing an offer is one of many ways for brands to get noticed and to stay relevant.

Companies that systematically identify and energize Brand Advocates are getting at least a 10X ROI in media and sales value, shown by our analysis of the Zuberance-powered advocacy program. In other words, for every $1 a company invests in energizing Advocates, the company gets $10 in positive WOM impressions and sales. This 10X "Return on Advocacy" is significantly higher than the return that marketers get from paid search campaigns on Google and other marketing approaches.

White Paper: The ROI of Energizing Brand Advocates

What plans do you have to keep your brand relevant when Facebook’s update News feed rolls out?

Request a Zuberance Demo

 

This Week in Social: Twitter to Add Photo Filters, Foursquare Adds Ratings

Twitter to Add Photo Filters to Compete With Instagram - NY Times

Twitter is finally learning a lesson from Facebook: If you can’t buy it, build it. In the coming months, Twitter plans to update its mobile applications to introduce filters for photos that will allow people to share altered images on Twitter and bypass Instagram, the popular mobilecentric photo-sharing network, according to people who work at the company but asked not to be named as they are not allowed to discuss unannounced projects. The filters on Instagram make photos look like they were shot with 1960s Kodachrome or with 1890s sepia tone film.

Users Can Bypass EdgeRank, Opt-In To See All Facebook Page Posts - AllFacebook

The biggest recent gripe by brands on Facebook (as well as George Takei and Mark Cuban) has been the fact that fans don’t see all of their posts. Now, it appears that users can fix this. A reader tipped off sister site Inside Facebook, showing that some users can select to see notifications on desktop and mobile each time a page posts. By opting in to receive notifications whenever a page posts something, users can then see every post — answering a major problem for users and pages alike.

Obama’s “Four more years” bumps Bieber For Most Retweeted Tweet Ever - SF Gate

Not only did President Barack Obama beat challenger Mitt Romney to win reelection, but he shoved pop star Justin Bieber off the top of the charts for most re-tweeted Twitter tweet ever. The tweet, “Four more years,” with a photo of the president hugging first lady Michelle Obama, was sent about 8:16 p.m. Pacific time as the major TV networks were calling the race in Obama’s favor. In three hours, the message had been re-tweeted about 455,000 times, easily shattering the previous record of 223,000 set by Bieber in September.

Foursquare’s New Ratings Feature Should Terrify Yelp - VentureBeat

Yelp, Foursquare is gunning for you. The social network is adding to its iOS app and website a fairly minor yet hugely significant feature: Ratings. With the addition, Foursquare says its service will tell users where people actually like to go, not just the places they’ve visited.

Retailers Make Marketing Mistakes Amid Hurricane Sandy Tragedy - iMedia Connection

Hurricane Sandy was devastating. It took the lives of 113 people. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people will be left homeless. 8,000,000 people were without power from South Carolina to Maine (and many still remain without power). Amid the chaos, four major retailers somehow saw Hurricane Sandy as a marketing opportunity. Perhaps the potential dollar signs clouded their common sense and sensitivity for fellow Americans.

Brand Advocates Are Customer Acquisition Machines: Each Will Bring You 3 New Customers

Fun fact: Customer acquisition is the top priority for B2B companies according to BtoB Magazine. Here's an even funner fact: Each energized Brand Advocate will bring a company three new customers. The best part? You don't have to pay them!

A new Zuberance report lays out the business case for advocacy and shows why energizing Brand Advocates is a highly effective and cost-efficient strategy for boosting customer acquisition.

First, what do we mean by an “energized Advocate?” This is a highly-satisfied customer that authentically recommends your brand, product, or service, whether it’s face-to-face, on social networks or third party review sites, via email, etc.

Advocates Deliver $567 Million for an Enterprise Software Company

In their book, Answering the Ultimate Question, How Net Promoter Can Transform Your Business, authors Richard Owen and Dr. Laura L. Brooks stated that, on average, each Advocate for an enterprise software company will bring in about one-half of a customer via referrals (the actual number was .54). The average customer spend within this industry is $1.05 million. In other words, 1,000 Advocates would bring in 540 new customers, generating a whopping $567 million for the company.

Each Advocate Brings You 3 New Customers

Using .54 as the base case for advocacy, we add 2.5 new customers. Why? There are four additional factors that were not accounted for in Owen and Brooks’ original estimate.

1. Advocates are highly effective “sales people.”

Living in the era of social media, we all know that people trust their peers more than advertising (92% vs 24% in fact, according to Nielsen). Plus, 89% of people say online reviews influence their purchase decisions, according to the eTailing Group. Parallels, a desktop virtualization software company, got a stunning 30% sales conversion rate – about 60X higher than traditional online conversion rates – when Advocates shared offers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and via email.

2. Advocates are frequent recommenders.

In many high-interest categories like restaurants, travel and tourism, and media and entertainment, Advocates refer many more than four prospects. (This was the assumption in the Owen and Brooks analysis.) For example, think about the incredible hotel you stayed at during your recent trip to New York and how many friends and colleagues you raved to afterwards. In fact, 28% of Brand Advocates recommend their favorite brands and products once weekly (source: Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates, Zuberance).

3. Advocates recommend in multiple ways.

In addition to referrals, Advocates drive sales by creating positive reviews and testimonials plus sharing promotional offers and content with their social networks. These activities drive not just social chatter, but sales.

4. Empowered by social media, Advocates reach thousands of prospects.

Since Owen and Brooks conducted their study in 2008, the adoption and use of social media has skyrocketed. Facebook’s Paul Adams states in his book, Grouped, that one Advocate recommendation reaches 10,000 people if it’s passed along only three times.

Depending on the size of your Advocate army and customer lifetime value, energizing your brand’s Advocates may boost several millions of dollars in sales. And since you don’t need to pay authentic advocates, the cost of acquiring customers via advocacy is dramatically less – about 50 percent less in many cases – compared to traditional marketing programs like paid media advertising. Now is the time to turn your Advocates into powerful and inexpensive customer acquisition machines.

Download "The Business Case for Advocacy" now to learn more.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

10 Social Media Stats That Will Spook You

We're in the era of the connected consumer. Every marketer understands this by now (and if they don't, their customer base will soon look like a ghost town). However, as we're running marketing programs day to day, it's easy to forget just how much consumers rely on each other for purchase advice and the importance of online brand reputation. Here are 10 facts that are sure to give you a frightening reminder!

  1. 80% of consumers change their mind after reading a single bad review (Cone Communications).
  2. 96% of Facebook fans never return to a brand page after “liking” it (Brandglue).
  3. Due to EdgeRank, only 16% of your fanbase see branded posts in their newsfeeds (ComScore).
  4. Only 1% of Facebook fans engage with brands (Ehrenberg-Bass).
  5. One negative review can cost you 30 customers (Convergys).
  6. The negative experiences of every 100 shoppers results in the loss of 32-36 shoppers due to customer defection and negative word of mouth (Verde Group).
  7. Almost half of shoppers have avoided a particular store in the past because of someone else's negative experience (Verde Group).
  8. Only 33% of Americans have ever followed a brand in social media (Edison Research).
  9. 67% of social network users say that they rarely pay attention to advertisements on social networking sites (Mintel).
  10. The average consumer today checks 10.4 information sources before buying (Bazaarvoice).

Yikes! Here's a fact that's far from scary: Each Brand Advocate will bring you 3 new customers. Download "The Business Case For Advocacy" to learn more.

Happy Halloween!

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

This Week in Social: Facebook Cuts Off Reach Generator, "Pin This" Sees 637% Growth

Facebook Cuts Off Reach Generator - AdWeek While Facebook recently rolled out the ability for advertisers to target customers in their CRM databases, it is cutting off the ability for big brands to make sure a page post hits a majority of their fans through the Reach Generator tool. “We are simplifying our offerings for advertisers, who can now achieve reach goals through Promoted Posts, a recently launched product which gives businesses the increased flexibility to hand-select and boost posts in the News Feed,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

Look Out, Facebook Like Button: Pinterest's "Pin This" Sees 637 Percent Growth Since Februrary - AllFacebook

The ever-present Facebook like button has seen growth of 34 percent since February in terms of being published to external websites. One would think that 34 percent is a fairly solid growth rate, but it placed Facebook behind Google Plus, AddThis,Twitter, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn. And all of those social networks were dwarfed by the performance of the Pin This button from Pinterest, which saw growth skyrocket by 637 percent.

Twitter's New Cover Shot Head Image- A Couple of Tips - Business 2 Community

As the update stands at the moment – you can effectively enhance your Twitter profile by including a background header image around your profile pic. Great for brands and enables individuals to get a bit more creative too. Simply select to update your Profile using the iPad App and select your Header image.

How to Tap into the Mind of Brand Advocates - AllThingsWOM by WOMMA 

A kick ass product or stellar customer service can be major factors in driving word of mouth. But let’s take a step back and look into the mind of a brand advocate. By getting a deeper understanding of their motivations and personality traits, we can tap into their wants and needs more effectively, forming a mutually beneficial relationship between brands and their best customers.

Five Ways to Spot a Fake Online Review, Restaurant or Otherwise - NPR

Thinking of going to a nice restaurant? Before you decide, you probably go online and read reviews of the place from other customers. Online reviews of restaurants, travel deals, apps and just about anything you want to buy have become a powerful driver of consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly, they have also created a powerful incentive to cheat.

 

This Week in Social: Google Places is Over, Foursquare Gets a Makeover

Google Places is Over, Company Makes Google+ the Center of Gravity For Local Search - Search Engine Land Google Places pages have been entirely replaced by new Google+ Local pages. As of this morning roughly 80 million Google Place pages worldwide have been automatically converted into 80 million Google+ Local pages, according to Google’s Marissa Mayer. It’s a dramatic change (for the better) though it will undoubtedly disorient some users and business owners.

Foursquare Gets a Makeover: Here's What's New - Mashable

After a week of dropping hints from its Twitter account, Foursquare has finally launched its redesigned app. Anyone who was anticipating new breakout features, however, need not get too excited. The main difference between the new and old app is (much prettier) packaging.

Short-Term Lease vs. Long-Term Relationship: The Difference Between Influencers and Advocates - ZuberRants

In general, Influencers are defined by the size of their audience (Twitter followers, blog subscribers, etc) whereas Advocates are defined by their genuine satisfaction with specific brands and products. Now, this is not to say that an Influencer cannot be an authentic Advocate for your brand. In fact, when this happens (rarely), you’ve hit the jackpot!

Social Media Raises the Stake for Customer Service - EON

Americans are growing more frustrated with customer service and businesses are feeling the heat as consumers tell an increasing number of people about both their positive and poor service experiences. The 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer also found that consumers who have used social media for service wield the greatest amount of influence. They tell significantly more people about their service experiences, and say they’d spend 21% more with companies who deliver great service – compared to 13% on average.

75% of Facebook Users Have Never or Rarely Click on Facebook Ads - eMarketer

Facebook is now a public company, and its revenue and advertising plans are under significant scrutiny. However, users are more likely to interact with branded content on the site, not advertising, which may be an obstacle for the social network down the road.

This Week in Social: Twitter Pumps Discovery Feature, Facebook IPO May 18

Twitter Pumps Up Discovery Feature with Social Signals - CNET

Twitter's "Discover" feature is getting more dialed in to users' preferences, a blog post by Twitter Vice President Satya Patel announced this morning. The post says the feature will pay attention to "additional personalization signals" to figure out which stories to display, instead of just showing users what's trending.

Facebook Sets IPO Date For May 18: Report - Forbes

Facebook has set a planned date for its initial public offering of May 18, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter.” The social networking giant is expected to start its roadshow on Monday to pitch the company to potential Wall Street investors, the Journal reports.

79% of Marketers Plan to Increase Spend on Social Media Marketing - eMarketer

As marketers spread their time and resources across digital, social media is becoming a bigger piece of the puzzle. Looking at spending on advertising and marketing tactics, 79% of US marketing professionals said they plan to increase spending on social media marketing or ads in the next 12 months, with mobile and tablet spending not far behind, at 75% and 66%, respectively, as the next areas that will see budget growth.

Report: Cover Images Draw Eyeballs on Facebook Timeline Pages - AllFacebook

Eye-tracking outfit EyeTrackShop turned its eyes to timeline for pages and found that the cover image was king.EyeTrackShop’s findings ran counter to those from another eye-tracking study earlier this month by Simple Usability, which concluded that the importance of cover images was overrated, saying that most users did not notice creative combinations of the cover image and profile image, and many thought of the former as advertising space.

LinkedIn Tops the Forbes Fast Fast Tech 25: Annual List of Growth Kings - Forbes

The crucial question for investors is how much weight you give to things you can’t begin to imagine. That leap of faith is what drives interest in our list of America’s 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies. All of them have shown a remarkable ability to defy sales gravity. We combed more than 5,000 publicly traded technology companies, looking for profitable companies with a minimum revenue of $150 million and a minimum market value of $500 million.

Webinar Recording- Brand Advocates on Facebook: Timeline, EdgeRank, Leveraging Superfans

Below is the recording of our recent webinar, "Brand Advocates on Facebook: What You Need to Know About Timeline, EdgeRank, and Leveraging Your Superfans." (Click here to view webinar recording on Slideshare.)

Featured Speakers:

Key Takeaways:

  • Brand Advocates are a different breed; They are 50% more likely to influence purchase decisions than other customers, 2X more active content creators, and 75% more likely to share great product experiences.
  • Facebook Timeline features give brands more real estate to boost advocacy such as pinning Advocate-generated content, showcasing Advocate reviews, and highlighting Advocate identification.
  • Even though these new Timeline features are valuable, 88% of Facebook fans never return to a brand page after "liking" it. Also, due to EdgeRank, only 16% of your fanbase see branded posts in their newsfeeds.
  • Brands can work around EdgeRank by giving Advocates content to share on Facebook (such as educational content, videos, offers, etc) and encouraging Advocates to create content themselves and then posting it to Facebook (such as reviews, testimonials, etc.) Though EdgeRank still applies to Facebook users, your Advocates will be reaching people in their networks that most likely aren't fans of your brand on Facebook.
  • By leveraging their Advocates on Facebook, brands are increasing reach, building their brand armies, boosting click through rates.

 

To learn more, download the whitepaper, "Turning Fans and Followers into Brand Advocates."

This Week in Social: New Embeddable Tweets, Google to Launch Third-Party Commenting

Twitter Adds Embeddable Tweets: 8 Creative Ways to Leverage Them - Social Media Examiner Embedded tweets allow you to take a tweet or a conversation and post it on your website or in a blog post. You can use this feature to share your Twitter conversation with a larger audience. Read this post to learn how to leverage this new feature in 8 creative ways.

Facebook Adds Yahoo Patent Lawsuit to IPO Filing - Mashable

Facebook updated its $5 billion initial public offering (IPO) filing this week to include the details about its patent battle with Yahoo. This is the third time Facebook has amended its S-1 form. The list of lawsuits against the company seems to grow as the company gets closer to becoming a publicly traded company, which is expected to happen by May.

Google to Launch Third-Party Commenting Platform to Rival Facebook - The Next Web

Google is about to launch a new commenting system that will tie into the search giant’s Google+ platform, web services and web search, a source close to the product’s development confirmed with The Next Web. The Google comment system, which will almost certainly rival that of Facebook, will have deep links to Google’s network of services and websites, indexing comments in Google Search, and most significantly, the system will be available for use on third party sites.

Twitter Rewind: Big Highlights From 2012 to 2006 - Mashable

Six-year-old Twitter is a remarkably different animal than it was when co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the service’s first tweet in March 2006: “just setting up my twttr,” he wrote. To keep the social media powerhouse intact as more people, celebrities and world leaders find their roles in the birdcage, Twitter has evolved its aesthetics, functionality and business model. In this post, Mashable gathered the best moments in Twitter’s eventful existence to help you reminisce.

New Study: Men Seek Online Product Reviews and Tell Their Friends About Their Findings - eMarketer

A new study by Men’s Health magazine and GfK Roper found that men not only compare prices online and read consumer reviews, but they also tell their friends when they learn something positive about a brand or product online. These online shopping activities are significantly higher for product categories like tech, auto, food/cooking, and more.

WEBINAR: Brand Advocates on Facebook: Timeline, EdgeRank and How to Leverage Superfans

[UPDATE: CLICK HERE TO VIEW WEBINAR RECORDING HERE]

WEBINAR: Brand Advocates on Facebook: What You Need to Know About Timeline, EdgeRank, and Leveraging Your Superfans

REGISTER NOW

Date: Wed, April 18, 2012

Time: 11:00 AM PST/ 2:00 PM EST

Twitter hashtag: #zuberance

With 845 million active users and 2.7 billion “likes” everyday, Facebook’s marketing potential has brands foaming at the mouth. However, due to the constant evolution of Facebook updates plus EdgeRank filtering your content, the road to Facebook marketing success is quite a bumpy one. Instead of focusing on simply racking up “likes,” let your Superfans (AKA Brand Advocates) drive your Facebook strategy. Brand Advocates are truly a different breed; beyond “liking” your brand, they’ll proactively recommend your products to their friends, share your content, and help you build your brand army.

Register for the webinar and we’ll teach you how to turn “likes” into leads and Superfans into social media marketing machines.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify your Brand Advocates amongst your fanbase
  • Leverage new Timeline features to boost advocacy
  • Energize Brand Advocates to improve EdgeRank
  • Generate leads and lower customer acquisition costs via your Superfans
  • Plus, real-world case studies on how top brands like Box, GMC, Parallels, and more are leveraging their Advocates on Facebook

About the Speakers

Scott Meldrum, Founder/CEO, Pollin8: Social Content + Communications (@ScottMeldrum)

As an expert in Interactive Marketing and Social Media, Scott Meldrum provides digital strategy, creative and media solutions for leading companies in the entertainment and retail industries. Leveraging 15 years of interactive experience, he has delivered digital advertising and social media programs for brands like Starbucks, Best Buy, Shell, and TiVo, and has helped recording artists Jennifer Lopez, Avril Lavigne, and Coldplay reach star status.

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

Rob Fuggetta is the leading expert on brand advocacy. He is a former partner at Regis McKenna Inc., the legendary marketing and communications firm where he co-managed the Apple account. He later became CMO at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out which went public in June 2000. Fuggetta is the author of "Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force," to be published by John Wiley & Sons in 2012.

Bonus! Each registrant will receive a free copy of the Zuberance whitepaper, “Turning Fans and Followers into Brand Advocates.”

REGISTER NOW!