All About Brand Advocates and Social Marketing

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 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.

If you are thinking about running a Social Advocacy Program for your business, I’m sure you have some questions. Is such a program right for my business? What goes into building and maintaining a Social Advocacy Program? What are the risks? Altimeter’s Jeremiah Owyang recently hosted a webinar on Social Advocacy Programs. View the recording on Slideshare.

1. Why should we consider Social Advocacy Programs?

  • Social Networking is the most popular online activity. This is where your customers are spending their time, but companies can’t keep up with customer dialogue. 41% of social business programs are merely reactive.
  • Companies know that they aren’t always trusted. Trust is among peers. Customers trust people like themselves—other customers. Customers are often skeptical of business executives and marketers.
  • The most advanced companies are the ones that leverage customers. Forward-thinking marketers are energizing their Brand Advocates to drive positive Word of Mouth, leads, and sales across industries including hospitality, health and fitness, software, and more.

2. What do Social Advocacy Programs look like? What are their characteristics?

  • They consist of trusted members of the community. Advocates are enthusiastic customers who are not incentivized nor employed by the businesses they promote.
  • Advocates represent brands’ products and lifestyles. Advocates often embody the essence behind a brand.
  • Advocates are invited into companies as key stakeholders. TurboTax’s InnerCircle program gave Advocates the opportunity to submit and vote on software ideas.
  • Advocates are rewarded through recognition, access, and community. Microsoft’s MVP Program recognized Advocates by giving them the title, “MVP.” The MVP Global summit, an annual conference made up of Microsoft’s most enthusiastic customers, shows how advanced these advocacy programs can get.
  • Advocates may defend brands during times of crisis. The Walmart Moms Program is made up of mom (and dad) bloggers who frequently defend Walmart when the mega corp. is under heavy scrutiny.

3. What is the Social Advocacy Program tradeoff?

4. What are the best practices for my Social Advocacy Program?

  • Get ready internally. Articulate a program charter and take care of the legal side of things. For example, Advocates might need to consent to terms of agreement to show they know they won’t share revenue with the business they advocate for.
  • Identify Advocates. Jeremiah suggests to create a portfolio mix aligned with program goals that might have to do with certain brands, demographics, customer lifecycles, products, lifestyles, or work styles. Another more direct way to identify Advocates is to simply ask your customers how likely they are to recommend your brand.
  • Build Relationships. So many advocacy programs start with real face-to-face interactions. Fiskar’s Fiskateers lead the “United States of Fiskateers” which consisted of local craft meet-ups nationwide.
  • Amplify Voices. Give your Advocates the tools to share their excitement about your brand and make it easy for them to do so. Provide them with opportunities to write reviews, create testimonials, share content, answer prospects’ questions, and more.
  • Foster Growth. Your Advocates crave engagement.  Involve them across all your marketing initiatives as they are eager and willing to help you amplify your message.

6. What is the most important thing I need to know about Social Advocacy Programs?

  • These Programs aren’t about your brand. They are about your Advocates and putting your Advocates in front of your brand is necessary to establish trust amongst your customers. Trust is the underlying mechanism at work with Social Advocacy Programs that cause sales to skyrocket.

-Beau Cowan, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance


Webinar: Top 5 Myths of Brand Advocacy REVEALED

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Time: 11am PST/2pm EST

Twitter Hashtag: #BrandAdvocates

REGISTRATION: Click the orange “Attend” button in the webinar player below or click here.

10 webinar attendees will win a free copy of Rob Fuggetta’s new book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.”

Brand Advocacy is hot! According to a recent IBM study, brand advocacy is the #1 priority for CMO’s globally. As forward-thinking marketers are developing strategies to find and activate their most enthusiastic customers, it’s important to put to rest some myths surrounding advocacy. This webinar will address what it takes to run a successful advocacy program and the characteristics and motivations of Brand Advocates.  (Do you know what Advocates crave most? Here’s a hint: It isn’t money.)

What You’ll Learn:
•    Surprising insights about who Brand Advocates are and what makes them tick
•    Best practices for engaging and energizing this influential segment to drive leads and sales
•    How to measure the impact from brand advocacy programs
•    Real world case studies from top brands like, Rubio’s, and Intuit

A BrightTALK Channel
Expert Speakers

Nick Cifuentes, Global Social Media Director, (@nickcifuentes)
Nick Cifuentes is the global social media director at, the world’s largest online resource for family history, with more than 2 million paying subscribers as of July 2012. An industry veteran, Nick has worked in digital media and marketing since 2004, functioning in strategy, copywriting, analytics, search, planning, online media, and social media. He is a frequent guest writer on various industry blogs, and publishes his own blogs as well, including one focusing on digital media, and another on his side passion, ultramarathon running.

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.

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.”

Date: April 12, 2012                  Time: All day event                  Price: FREE


Webcast provider, BrightTALK, is hosting an all day online summit on the topic of “Social B2B” on April 12 where our Founder/CEO, Rob Fuggetta, will be presenting on brand advocacy.

Social media has definitely been the buzz word for the last decade, but what makes it unique for B2B organizations? Does Facebook and Google+ work for B2B and is LinkedIn the best social network to engage professionals? Experts will share their best practices on social media programs aimed at the B2B buyer, social CRM and the important steps you need to take to become a social business.

Some of the presentations include:

  • How Three B2B Companies Are Leveraging Brand Advocates to Drive Sales featuring Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance
  • Mastering B2B Social Media featuring Kipp Bodnar, Inbound Marketing, Hubspot
  • The Shift to Social Business featuring Michael Brito, SVP Social Business, Edelman Digital
  • The Secrets of Building Online B2B Audiences with Social Media featuring Quoc-Thai Dang, Demand Generation Marketing Manager, BrightTALK
  • And more!



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


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.”


Check out the recording of our recent webinar where we revealed new research, “Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates” featuring Founder/CEO of Zuberance, Rob Fuggetta.

View more videos from Zuberance

3 Surprising Findings About Brand Advocates:

1. Brand Advocates are more active than previously thought

  • Advocates recommend 9 brands on average
  • 32% recommend 10 or more brands
  • 16% recommend more than 15 brands
  • Advocates recommend on average 26X per year
  • 30% recommend once weekly or more
  • Brand Advocates are active in many industries. The categories most recommended are Technology (25%), Restaurants/Dining (15%), and Entertainment/Leisure (14%).

2. Brand Advocates have larger social networks than earlier estimated

  • Brand Advocates have 200-450 people in their social networks.
  • Online Brand Advocates have 300-600 people in their social networks.

3. Brand Advocates recommend both consumer and business products

  • 67% advocate both business and consumer products.

Other Findings

  • “Power Advocates” make up about 15% of Brand Advocates. They recommend dozens of products, do so several times a week, and have 500+ people in their social networks.
  • 83% of Advocates say their recommendations impact purchase decisions of their friends- 61% say their friends consider buying the recommended product and 22% say their friends actually purchase the recommended product.
  • Email (at 57%) and Facebook (at 35%) are the most used online tools for recommending.
  • Altruism, not rewards, spur Advocates. 50% say they recommend because they’ve had good experiences with a product/service. 37% say they recommend because they want to help others.

3 Implications for Marketers

  1. Find and energize Brand Advocates now to drive advocacy and sales.
  2. B2B Marketers need to engage and energize Brand Advocates.
  3. Don’t pay or provide financial incentives to Brand Advocates.

Download the full report on “Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates” now.

All the findings are also outlined in Infographic form here.


Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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

Twitter hashtag: #zuberance

In the social media era, power has shifted from advertising’s Mad Men to millions of trusted Brand Advocates.

Zuberance, a social media marketing company that focuses on Brand Advocates, will present three surprising results from a major new study about these influential consumers. The study, which involved 1,445 US consumers, shows that Brand Advocates are even more influential than previously thought.

Join this free, interactive webinar to get new insights about Brand Advocates including:

  • How often Brand Advocates recommend, what they recommend, and why
  • The surprising size of Brand Advocates’ social networks (it’s much larger than previously thought)
  • What happens when Brand Advocates recommend products and services

You’ll also get expert advice on how you can turn your brand’s Advocates into a powerful marketing force. This webinar is sure to fill up fast. Register now!

Bonus! Each registrant will get a free copy of a new whitepaper that details the findings of Zuberance’s ground-breaking new Brand Advocate study.

Expert Speaker: Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO of Zuberance and author of upcoming book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force”

Rob Fuggetta is the world’s leading expert on brand advocacy. Fuggetta is the founder and CEO of Zuberance, a social media marketing company that powers advocacy programs for leading consumer and business brands. Fuggetta is a former partner at Regis McKenna, Inc., the legendary Silicon Valley technology marketing and communications firm, where he co-led the Apple account. He later became the CMO at Genuity, a Verizon spin-out which went public in June 2000, where he launched the award-winning Black Rocket e-business solution. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force.

Check out the “Three Surprising Facts About Brand Advocates” Infographic!

The recording below is from our recent webinar, “3 B2B Case Studies in 30 Minutes: How Box, AVG, and Parallels are Leveraging Customer Advocates to Drive Sales Now” featuring innovative marketers from leading B2B companies.

Click here to view the webinar recording on Slideshare.

View more videos from Zuberance

Expert Speakers:

Success Story #1: Box (program live for 3 months)

  • Box has identified a brand army of 51,000 Advocates via email, in-product notifications, Facebook, and their newsletter. 46% of their customers highly recommend Box.
  • Box Advocates have created over 13,800 glowing stories which have generated over 17,000 in-bound clicks from Advocates’ networks.
  • For new press announcements and product launches, Box looks to their Advocates to add the halo effect and to get the social world chatting.

Success Story #2: AVG Technologies (program live for 4 months)

  • AVG has identified 26,000 Advocates mostly via Facebook. 66% of customers highly recommend AVG products.
  • AVG Advocates have created 7,200 positive reviews and rated the product on average 4.5/5 stars which were then posted to CNET, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • 4,000 offers were shared by AVG Advocates to their social networks which yielded a 50% response rate.

Success Story #3: Parallels (program live for 4 weeks)

  • Parallels has identified 30,000 Advocates via email and in-product notifications. 66% of their customers highly recommend Parallels products.
  • Parallels has energized Advocates to create and publish reviews on Amazon which boosted ratings from 3.5 to 4.5 stars in two weeks- average of 4.7 star rating.
  • Parallels Advocates shared 4,200 offers with their social networks that yielded a 21% sales conversion rate.

Want to learn more? Download our whitepaper, “The ROI of Energizing Brand Advocates.”


3 B2B Case Studies in 30 Minutes: How Three B2B Companies are Leveraging Customer Advocates to Drive Sales Now

Date: Wed, Feb 29, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM PST/ 2:00 PM EST
Twitter Hashtag: #zuberance

Word of Mouth is the “world’s most powerful sales tool,” according to Nielsen. Today, thanks to social media like blogs, social networks, Twitter and more, WOM is more influential than ever. Forward-thinking marketers are boosting positive Word of Mouth by finding and activating their enthusiastic customers (AKA “Brand Advocates.”) But how do marketers harness the power of social media and Word of Mouth in B2B environments?

Expert Speakers:

Key Takeaways:

  • How to identify and energize your best customers (AKA Brand Advocates)
  • How to generate referral leads and boost sales via Social Media
  • How to lower customer acquisition costs and increase conversion rates and sales via your Brand Advocates
  • How to measure the impact of mobilizing Brand Advocates

Please feel free to share the invitation with your social networks!

P.S. Do you have any burning questions about the best ways to energize your Brand Advocates? Enter them on the registration page and we’ll be sure to address them during the webinar.