All About Brand Advocates and Social Marketing
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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

I tweet, therefore I am.
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9 Comments

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

  1. Alex says:

    WORD!!!

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  3. Ed Loessi says:

    Great article!

    This is of course the same question that rages on in the daily deals space. Groupon and others have bet the farm on the idea that everyone wants to get 50-70% off on everything in order to try something new. When in fact, as you point out above most people just want to share information and help other people discover new things. It is not necessary to give a huge incentive, nor is it sustainable.

    Now I am not saying that it isn’t important to have specials or offers or even good deals, it’s just important to make them relevant and something that people want to share with others. It’s as you say above be known for good service and a quality product and the customers will take care of the rest, and of course give them a good deal as often as is practical.

    Ed Loessi
    Co-founder – OfferedLocal.com
    http://www.offeredlocal.com
    http://www.twitter.com/offeredlocal

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  9. Meredith Conder says:

    Very pertinent! Thanks.

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