After more than twenty years in Silicon Valley, Rob Fuggetta founded Zuberance in February 2007 because he saw a major opportunity for companies to harness the power of word-of-mouth advertising and the social web to drive sales. He recently provided me with this list of the top ten ways to turn word-of-mouth advertising into sales.
1. Identify your brand advocates
Do this by asking them the “ultimate question” for customer loyalty: (On a scale of 0 to 10) “How likely are you to recommend our brand or product to a friend or colleague?” Customers who answer 9 or 10 are considered advocates.
2. Energize your advocates to write and publish product reviews
Norton’s sales jumped by $26 million after its advocates wrote and published reviews on sites like Amazon and CNET.
3. Enable advocates to answer prospects’ questions and reduce buyers’ concerns
A vacation-property rental property site enabled its advocates to answer questions from property owners considering listing their homes on the site.
Want to read more about word-of-mouth advertising? Check these out:
4. Give advocates exclusive offers to share with friends and family
Chili’s Grill & Bar created a powerful marketing force of over 500,000 advocates who shared more than 100,000 offers which drove many diners into the restaurant.
5. Make it easy for advocates to create and share stories about their experiences
Testimonials sell. Amplified by social media, testimonials have more reach and influence than ever.
6. Provide compelling content that your advocates value and share
Look to companies like Levi’s, Nike Football and Victoria’s Secret that provide engaging content on Facebook.
Enable brand advocates help your product launches. Ford’s Fiesta Movement featured teams around the country coming up with ways to “reimagine the way Fiesta gets advertised.”
7. Ask your advocates to defend you during bad times
They are your most credible defenders. Taco Bell enlisted its advocates following a recent media controversy.
Listen to your brand advocates. They will give you valuable feedback that can guide your products/service roadmap. My Starbucks Idea and Dell’s IdeaStorm provide great ideas for both companies.
8. Mobilize employee advocates
Often, a brand’s most enthusiastic advocates are its own employees. Pfizer has enlisted many of its employees as advocates.
For more information about turning word-of-mouth advertising into sales, visit Zuberance, follow@Zuberance on Twitter, or visit the company’s Facebook fan page.