social media best practices

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.

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

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