social media marketing

Meet Your Brand's Advocate, Chelsea Hickey

Nice to meet you, Zuberance Fans! Chelsea Hickey

I'm Chelsea Hickey and chances are if you have an awesome product or service, I’m already one of your biggest advocates. I have an addictive personality and can’t help but being an Advocate. If I love a product, you’ll know before you even ask for my opinion – same goes for not liking products. I’ve been all about word of mouth marketing since before it was cool.

I’m thrilled to be the new Marketing Manager at Zuberance and getting to know all of our Zuber Rants fans. As far as my background, I come from Rubio’s Restaurants, ya know, the Original Fish Taco® people? During my time as the Social Media & Email Marketing Strategist at Rubio’s, I worked closely with Zuberance (shouts out to Alex & Stacey) to create their (Rubio’s) Advocacy program, which had such a huge, positive impact on the email club, social media networks and business.

Rubio'sI’ve been an Advocate of Zuberance since 2010. At Rubio’s, we had Raving Rubio’s Fans, we knew they liked us and had a story about their first Original Fish Taco – but that was the extent of our knowledge. After partnering with Zuberance, we built an Advocate Army of 52,243 (60-70k now). All we had to do was ask our eclub, fans and followers How likely are you to recommend Rubio’s to a friend?

81% of Rubio’s customers who have answered the Ultimate Question have said they highly recommend Rubio’s (they are Advocates) . 81% is one of the highest percentages of Advocates Zuberance has seen among 100 brands.

But enough about Rubio’s, I could go on and on about much fun it was to build their advocacy program and all of the things that came after we built our Advocate Army—but that’s for another day.  You can read more about Rubio’s success with Zuberance by downloading Zuberance’s Word of Mouth Marketing for Restaurants Whitepaper or read the Brand Advocates book by our CEO & Founder, Rob Fuggetta

I’m always connected, digitally, with the fear of missing out – yes, I’m one of those people. I’m currently in VA Beach, missing San Diego with all of my heart—thanks, USMC! I’m an advocate of nail polish, Audi, Apple, Target, Amazon, Lululemon, shoes, makeup, San Diego, Sirius XM Octane, parenting & the United States Marine Corps. I’m known for saying and tweeting what everyone else is thinking. Tweet with me @ChelseaRhane & @Zuberance.

Interested in learning more about what I did with Rubio’s advocacy program or how restaurants can turn enthusiastic customers into a powerful marketing force? Comment below, and we’ll set up a webinar.

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.

Retailers Make Marketing Mistakes Amid Hurricane Sandy Tragedy

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.

Here’s how American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Jonathan Adler, and Gap exploited #Sandy:

American Apparel launched a Hurricane Sandy sale for states affected by the hurricane in case they were "bored":

Urban Outfitters offered free shipping in a tweet that including the hashtag #Frankenstorm:

 

Jonathan Adler also offered free shipping with the promo code SANDY which was then changed to STUCKINSIDE:

Gap even checked in at “Frankenstorm Apocalypse- Hurricane Sandy” on Foursquare and leveraged the hashtag #Sandy to promote shopping:

Just because a topic is receiving a spike in social chatter or is trending on Twitter, does not make it appropriate to exploit a catastrophe. Marketers, have we not learned from Kenneth Cole’s horrendous #Cairo tweet?

These four retailers pissed off a lot of customers and other social media users. And now these brands are in damage control mode. Of course, they’ve apologized for their incredible insensitivity (well, apparently not American Apparel), but their brand reputation is now tarnished.

This is a situation where Advocates could come to a brand’s rescue. Brand Advocates will not only support and promote their favorite companies, but they will defend them as well. For example, Gap could rally their Advocates to share this news: Gap is donating $1 million in cash and clothing to Hurricane Sandy relief. Spreading the word about their support of an important cause could at least drown out some of the backlash their tweet caused in the Twittersphere.

Let’s face it. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. But if you don’t have an army of Advocates ready to mobilize when you need it most, you could be left to fend for yourself.

If you would like to donate to Hurricane Sandy relief, please visit American Red Cross.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Brand Advocacy Gangnam Style

Advocates for “Gangnam Style” have turned a Korean pop single and its star Psy (pronounced sigh) into a global sensation.

Faster than you can say kimchi, Gangnam Style has shot to the top of the YouTube charts. It’s been viewed by over 337 million times on YouTube in only about eight weeks.

I knew Gangnam Style had tipped when I watched thousands of San Francisco Giants’ fans – including 60-year-old Giants broadcaster Jon Miller  – whipping the lasso at the Giants’ division-clinching win recently over the Padres.

How much do you want to bet that Bud or one of the big beer brands is working on a spot featuring Psy right now? Cue the horses.

So what does Gangnam Style have to with brand advocacy? Everything.

When Advocates find something they like – whether it’s a hilarious Korean rap video or an iPhone app for an accounting software company, they share it with their friends.

Outright, which provides accounting software for small businesses, recently engaged Advocates for the launch of its new iPhone app. Result? Outright’s iPhone app jumped to the Top 25 list on Apple's App Store. Outright got an astonishing 90 percent click-through rate among Advocates’ friends and a staggering 713% CTR on Twitter.

As the Outright example shows, you don’t need a hip, clever video or even a sexy brand to get your content and offers out there.

Find your Advocates and make it easy for them to share your content. That’s brand advocacy Gangnam style!

Here's the Gangnam style video for you to watch once again (warning: this WILL get stuck in your head!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

Webinar Recording: Top 10 Things Advocates Will Do For Your Brand

Below is the recording from our latest social media webinar, "Top 10 Things Advocates Will Do For Your Brand" co-hosted by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

Expert Speakers:

1. Give you referral leads and help you sell products and services, serving as a virtual salesforce.

Anytime Fitness Advocates have shared 16,167 offers on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. Anytime Fitness is seeing a 20% conversion rate from Advocate offer shares (5X higher than average).

2. Write highly positive reviews of your products or services, boosting your online ratings.

Anytime Fitness Advocates have written over 7,250 glowing reviews and stories which are displayed on Anytime's Facebook page. Advocates have also published their reviews on Yelp which has increased positive reviews by 30% in the past five months.

3. Create glowing testimonials about their experiences with your company or products.

Outright Advocates have written 1,463 stories, some of which are showcased on Outright's website. Of the Advocates who shared their story, 53% chose to share on Facebook.

4. Answer propects' questions, overcoming buyers' objections and reducing shopping cart abandonment rates.

2,440 Advocates for the VoIP provider, Ooma, have opted in to answer prospects' questions. Each question is getting an average of 2.3 answers. Ooma is seeing a 50% click-through-rate among prospects who get questions answered by Advocates.

5. Share your content and offers with their social networks, driving referral leads, clicks, and sales.

Outright Advocates love to share educational content such as a video about their Tax Resource Center. 43% of people in Advocates' networks clicked through to watch the video.

6. Help you launch new products.

Outright energized their Advocates to help launch their new iPhone app. Advocate sharing drove the app to the Top 25 in the app store.

7. Create better ads than your high-priced ad agency and more compelling copy than your most skilled wordsmith.

One Anytime Fitness Advocate described the club as "the Cheers of fitness clubs." Another Advocate wrote, "This club provides the keys to your future success...guaranteed!"

8. Defend your cherished company and brand reputation from detractors.

Auto-windshield repair company, Safelite, boosted ratings on SuperPages.com from 2.35 to 4 stars by energizing their Advocates to write reviews. Advocates gave Safelite an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars!

9. Alert you to competitive threats and market opportunities.

Outright Advocates alert the company when people post incorrect information about their software on the web.

10. Give you profitable ideas and produce feedback.

Outright created a Facebook group exclusively for their Advocates to provide feedback such as input on a new tagline.

To learn more about the power of advocacy, download Chapter One of Rob Fuggetta's new book, "Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force."

Top 10 Ways to “Sell” a Brand Advocate Program to Your CMO

You’re excited about starting a Brand Advocate program. Now you need to “sell” your CMO or VP marketing on the idea. Here’s some advice and guidance on how to get your CMO’s blessings and budget for an advocacy program:

1.      Keep it simple. Advocacy is a fancy term for Word of Mouth marketing. Some people may not understand or even heard of the term “advocacy.” But your CMO (and nearly all business people for that matter) know the power of Word of Mouth. So instead of saying to your CMO, “We’d like to start an advocacy program,” try telling them: “We’d like to start a Word of Mouth marketing program.”

2.      Find the CMO’s pain/attack the pain. This is “sales 101.” Focus in on the CMO’s pain and show him or her how an advocacy program will help fix it. See chart below:

CMO Pain How Advocacy can Help Real-world example
Negative Word of Mouth, e.g. low online ratings Boost online ratings Symantec doubled its star ratings and increased sales 200% on Amazon.com in one quarter after energizing its Advocates
High customer acquisition costs Lower customer acquisition costs Ooma, a VoIP provider, cut acquisition costs 54% by energizing its Advocates
Get more value from Facebook marketing Find Advocates from among Facebook fans and turn them into a marketing force Ancestry.com has identified over 2,000 Advocates on its Facebook page, and is inviting Advocates to share testimonials plus offers with their Facebook friends.

3.      Give your CMO the “word” on Word of Mouth. 94% of consumers trust Word of Mouth; only 24% trust ads, Nielsen says. If you have information about the influence of Word of Mouth on your company’s sales, give it to the CMO. If you don’t have this research, ask your sales team. Many companies get more than half of their sales from Word of Mouth.

4.      Show your CMO negative Word of Mouth about your company. Negative Word of Mouth comes in many forms: poor reviews and ratings; nasty posts on Facebook and Twitter; venomous comments in online forums. Screen-grab this content and show it to your CMO. Or just have your CMO type in your company or brand name with the word “sucks” and see how many hits you get.

5.      Prove that negative Word of Mouth – even a little – can hurt your company’s sales. If your CMO responds by saying, “Oh well, a few negative reviews aren’t a big problem,” share research with him or her that proves that even a few negative reviews can kill your sales and ruin your reputation. One negative post on social media, on average, has as much impact on customer purchase decisions as five positive posts, NM Incite says. And 80% of consumers change their mind after reading a single bad review, according to a survey by Cone, a Boston-based strategy and communications agency.

6.      Provide stats proving that positive Word of Mouth boosts sales. Numerous studies prove that advocacy drives sales. A one-star increase in ratings on Yelp can boost restaurant sales by 5% to 9%, a Harvard study showed. And companies with only 12% higher Net Promoter Scores (a measure of advocacy) grew their revenues 2X faster than companies with lower Net Promoter Scores, according to a Bain study.

7.      Set clear expectations. When making the case for advocacy, it's important to estimate on how many Advocates you can identify; how many will recommend your brand and product; how many will create and/or share or publish positive reviews, testimonials, etc.

8.      Focus on Return on Advocacy. Advocate marketing programs have compelling, measurable ROI as measured by media and sales value. Club One Fitness, a San Francisco-based fitness chain, got $525,000 in lifetime membership revenues from a two-month advocacy campaign. And Parallels, a software company, got a 30% sales conversion rate when Advocates shared offers and testimonials with their peers. To help you estimate the Return on Advocacy from an Advocate marketing program, download "What's a Brand Advocate Worth?".

9.      Show why your company should move some of its marketing dollars into advocacy. About 90 percent of most company’s marketing investments go to traditional marketing like ads. Yet only 1 in 5 CMOs say they’re getting the marketing results they want. Arm yourself with the facts: What’s your sales conversion rate for traditional marketing programs? How many leads are you getting? How qualified are these leads? Then, drawing on relevant case studies and examples, show how advocacy programs are more effective and less expensive than traditional marketing programs.

10.  Show how a Brand Advocate program will super-charge your company’s Content Marketing Program. Depending on the size of your company, your company may be spending millions of dollars developing content. (Companies spend about 26% of their marketing budgets on developing content, one study showed.) One design firm charges $10,000 to $15,000 for a single infographic! Show how a Brand Advocate program will deliver thousands of pieces of premium content like highly positive reviews and glowing customer testimonials for less than the cost of brand-developed content. Ancestry.com, the popular genealogy website, generated over 6,800 glowing Advocate testimonials in less than 90 days.

-Rob Fuggetta, Founder & CEO, Zuberance, and author, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force” (Wiley, 2012)

To Build Consumer Trust, Brand Advocates Are the Key

These days, the consumer decision journey is more fragmented than ever. Shoppers have an abundant amount of online resources to help them decide which product to purchase and where. With so much information at their fingertips, trust and authenticity are key factors of influencing purchases. About.com recently conducted a study (featured in eMarketer) that found that there are 10 primary trust “elements,” or cues, that brands must establish in order to engender trust, including accuracy, expertise and transparency. 84% of respondents felt that brands needed to prove themselves trustworthy before they would interact with them.

In a social media context, the #1 way (at 41%) that brands can build trust with customers/prospects is allowing them to see reviews from people in their social networks.

Now, I know what you're thinking...How can I get more positive reviews on social networks?

By finding and activating your best customers- your Brand Advocates! Your Advocates won't just write any review. They'll write reviews that are oozing with enthusiasm and excitement. Parallels, a desktop virtualization software company, has energized its Advocates to create and publish reviews on Amazon. The average of star rating was 4.7/5 stars which boosted Parallels' star rating on Amazon from 3.5 to 4.5.

But wait! Advocates' advocacy doesn't stop at just reviews. As Lauren McCadney, head of social media for CDW and a Top 2012 Digital Marketer would say, “A review created by an Advocate is only one manifestation of advocacy. This is just the start of a relationship with Advocates, not the end.”

Brand Advocates are eager to be part of your brand. The question is, how do you want your Advocates to support you? Click here to read 7 ways (beyond reviews) to turn your Advocates into a marketing force.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

Webinar Recording: Top 5 Myths of Brand Advocacy REVEALED with Ancestry.com

Below is the recording of our recent webinar, "Top 5 Myths of Brand Advocacy REVEALED." Enjoy! You can also view the recording on our webinar channel here. A BrightTALK Channel

Featured Speakers:

Key Takeaways:

  • Advocacy is like a marathon (an ongoing strategy), not a sprint (one time campaign).
  • Brand Advocates are highly satisfied customers and others who pro-actively recommend brands or products without being paid.
  • Compared to Fans, Followers, and Loyal Customers, Advocates are the most trusted sources of information. They are highly influential with a massive reach via social media.
  • Myth 1: Brands need to pay or incentivize Advocates to get them to recommend their company/products.
    • Truth: It’s unnecessary to pay or incentivize Brand Advocates for their recommendations.
    • Advocates recommend because they’ve had good experiences with a product or service and to help others. Only 1% said they recommend for incentives or rewards. (Read research study, Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates here).
  • Myth 2: Few Customers are Brand Advocates.
    • Truth: On average, 50% of customers are Brand Advocates (Both B2B and B2C).
    • 64% of Ancestry.com customers surveyed indicated they were Advocates.
  • Myth 3: Only “sexy” brands have Advocates.
    • Truth: Brand Advocates are active recommenders across several categories.
    • Some Advocacy categories that might surprise you are windshield repair, virtualization software, data storage, and web conferencing!
  • Myth 4: Influencers have more power than Advocates.
    • Truth: Brand Advocates are more influential than Influencers.
    • Studies show that Advocates are 5x more trusted than Influencers and 60x more influential than brands themselves.
  • Myth 5: Advocacy Programs are difficult to measure.
    • Truth: Advocacy programs are very measurable.
    • Welcome to the science of Advocacy. The Zuberance platform lets you track, measure, and analyze Advocacy data like in-bound clicks, reviews, and shared stories.
  • Advocates don’t have to go unnoticed; a simple thank you never goes out of style. Advocates can be rewarded without being incentivized by giving them sneak peaks to new product features, inviting them to focus groups, giving them exclusive content, and more.

 

To learn more, download Chapter 1 of Rob Fuggetta's new book, Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force by clicking here.

New Book By Zuberance CEO Shows How to Turn Brand Advocates into Powerful Marketing Force

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRAND ADVOCATES at BrandAdvocateBook.com Getting more customer recommendations is considered the Holy Grail in the social media age. For example, restaurants that boost their Yelp ratings by only one star can increase revenues by a whopping nine percent, according to recent research by Michael Luca from Harvard Business School. For a large restaurant chain, this can mean millions of dollars in sales.

Now, a ground-breaking new book shows marketers, small business owners, and even non-profits how to generate thousands of customer recommendations and boost online ratings by turning their best customers – “Brand Advocates” – into a volunteer marketing force.

The book, Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force (Wiley; ISBN: 978-1-1183-3603-8; July 2012; Hardcover & E-book) provides a step-by-step guide on how marketers, small business owners, and others can:

  • Discover who their Brand Advocates are and what makes these influential customers tick
  • Energize Advocates, generating thousands of positive recommendations on Amazon.com, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere without paying for or providing incentives to Advocates
  • Reward Brand Advocates by giving them what they crave most (here’s a hint: it isn’t money)
  • Measure results and ROI from advocacy programs

 Advocacy is Hot

Driving customer advocacy is now the #1 digital priority for CMOs worldwide, a recent IBM study of global CMOs showed.  And eMarketer recently stated: “Brand advocacy has become a critical part of the social media marketing mix.”

“Ultimate Guidebook to Brand Advocacy”

Brand Advocates is the first book that focuses on these influential consumers and shows marketers exactly how to engage and energize them to drive positive Word of Mouth, referral leads, and sales.

Porter Gale, the former VP Marketing at Virgin America, calls Brand Advocates the “ultimate guidebook to brand advocacy.” Says Gale: “Advocacy is the ultimate goal for every brand. Rob Fuggetta's book is simple, clear, and filled with practical advice.”

 Packed with Real-World Case Studies

Brand Advocates is packed with dozens of real-world case studies from multiple industries and verticals including consumer products, restaurants, health and fitness, automotive, software, consumer electronics, and more. It includes a chapter devoted to how B2B marketers can activate Advocates as well.

Brand Advocates shows how GMC, Ford, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Club One Fitness, Virgin America, Intuit, Microsoft, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino, and many others are leveraging their Advocates to amplify positive Word of Mouth and sales.

Who Should Read Brand Advocates?

  • Brand Advocates is valuable for a wide range of audiences:
  • B2C and B2B marketers in a variety of roles: branding, online/digital, social media, demand generation, eCommerce, corporate communications, market research, and more
  • Sales executives and managers
  • Customer experience and loyalty program professionals
  • Executives and managers in ad agencies, digital agencies, public relations firms, and other marketing services providers
  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Professionals in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) plus in political campaigns
  • College students in business and marketing programs

In addition, any company or organization that is measuring customer satisfaction, loyalty, or advocacy via Net Promoter® can also benefit from Brand Advocates. The book describes how to turn Promoters into a powerful marketing force.

About the Author

Rob Fuggetta is the world’s foremost authority on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the founder and CEO of Zuberance, a leading social media marketing company that powers award-winning advocacy programs for consumer and business brands. A twenty-year veteran of Silicon Valley, Fuggetta has played a leadership role in three start-ups including Genuity, a Verizon spinout. He was formerly a partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary Silicon Valley marketing and communications firm that helped put Apple on the map.

 Available Now

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Brand Advocates is available now at leading book sellers including Amazon.com (print and Kindle edition); Barnes & Noble; 800 CEO Read; and BAM (Books-a-Million). In addition, the book is available directly from Wiley at www.wiley.com in both print and e-book editions from Wiley.com.

Net Promoter® is a registered trademark of Satmetrix Systems, Inc.; Bain & Company; and Fred Reichheld. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective holders.

Online Reviews: Mostly Positive and Driven by Unselfish Motives

A common myth of online reviews is that they’re mostly negative. Many believe that if a customer has a negative experience at a restaurant or hotel, they'll go straight to Yelp or TripAdvisor to voice their frustration. While this may be the case sometimes, online reviews are actually mostly positive, according to a new Infographic by Demandforce. 87% of people post positive reviews most or every time. Only 2% post negative reviews most or every time. The motivations behind writing online reviews are positive as well:

  • 90% write reviews to help others make good decisions.
  • 79% write reviews because people rely on them and posting reviews is a way of giving back.
  • 79% write reviews to reward a company that has done right by you.

The unselfish reasons why people write online reviews align with recent Zuberance research: Brand Advocates recommend because they’ve had good experiences with a product or service (50%) and they want to help others make smarter purchase decisions (37%). Only 1% recommend brands for selfish reasons (i.e. for rewards, discounts, cash).

How to get more positive online reviews

While most businesses understand the importance of their online reputation, many struggle to get their customers to go to Yelp or TripAdvisor and actually write a review.

The key to getting more positive reviews is to make it easy! Reach out to your most satisfied customers (AKA Brand Advocates) and simply invite them to post a review online. You’ll be surprised how many of your Advocates are willing and eager to create glowing testimonials if you just give them the online tools to do so. For example, soon after GMC launched their advocacy program, 300 reviews were created and posted on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about energizing your Advocates, download the whitepaper, “Turning Your Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.”

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance