"What is an Advocate Worth?"
"How does having more Advocates help us?"
"Why is it important for us to know who my Advocates are?"
These are the questions we hear when we tell our clients that we stimulate advocacy around their brands, introduce them to their Advocates, and help them register new Advocates.
To answer these questions, lets start with the basics: An Advocate is someone that tells the people in their network about your brand. You have customers who are Advocates of your brand, employees who are Advocates of your brand, and probably partners who are Advocates of your brand.
Why are Advocates Valuable?:
Advocates generate new customers for you while lowering customer acquisition cost. Here's a few more reasons:
- They touch people you don't touch
- They're really effective sales people: Let's face it, their word means more to their friends than yours.
- They sell better, but cost much less than the rest of your marketing channels and sales people
Why getting to know your Advocates is Important:
Advocates and the referrals they generate are not random. People are motivated to talk about your brand for a lot of reasons, including: They love your stuff, you have great customer service, you're running an amazing promotion that they want to tell their friends about, you are offering an incentive to do so, etc.
When you get to know your Advocates and understand what makes them refer you can activate them when you need them. For example: What if I told you that all of the young men in your database, ages 18-25, are 3 times more likely to tell their friends about you if you email them and offer $10 for every new customer they bring in? You'd email them and offer $10t, right? Now that you know what makes them tick, you could activate these guys when you need to get the word out about:
- New Product Launches
- Special Promotions
- New Features
- Seasonal Promotions
This is a simplified version- but until you know your Advocates its hard to motivate them to refer more and even harder to create new ones. Who says "what you don't know won't hurt you"?!
Why you want more Advocates:
This one is easy:
- The more Advocates you have out there, the more referrals you'll get.
- The more referrals you get, the more leads you'll generate.
- The more leads you generate, the more closed transactions you'll have.
Its that simple. Your Advocates are extremely to your organization- get to know them! Learn more about how uRefer introduces you to your Advocates.
Social Media Management has quickly become a very important marketing practice. Recently, Radian6 was bought by Salesforce for $326 million which helped to increase the buzz around the industry. . . but many people still don't have a clear understanding of what it is or why its important.
What is social media management?
Here's the basic definition: “Social media management solutions can help you manage outbound and incoming online interactions . . . They streamline and consolidate how you listen to and participate in relevant conversations in the different places they’re taking place — blogs, social networks like Twitter or Facebook, and other public and private Web communities and sites”. SmallBusinessComputing.com "What is Social Media Management and Why Should You Care?"
Who's Using It?
Altimeter's Jeremiah Owyang reports "Although the nascent Social Media Management System space is only one year old, 58% of corporations have adopted at least one of these 28 (Social Media Managment System) vendors" Read the rest of his blog post here.
What does it mean?
The sudden success of the social media management industry reveals that companies are developing an intense interest in what people are saying about them to their networks. However, one thing that most social media management companies do not do is to motivate more people to talk about them. They listen, where Referral Management companies help to stimulate Advocacy. As more companies focus on the interactions of their Advocates on social networks they will also seek out ways to increase, influence and measure the effectiveness of these conversations.
Learn more about the marketing space that includes both Referral Management Systems and Social Media Management:
by Nick Mekas
Groupon might not be best thing since sliced bread.
Groupon has the potential to bring you a ton of new customers. But are these the ones you want? The coupons force retailers to sell their goods and services at half off and how many of these new customers are just ‘coupon creatures’- meaning they have no intention of returning. This is a fascinating article on the Groupon’s backlash: http://gawker.com/#!5785317/the-groupon-backlash-is-on
Marketers have to consider whether or not their marketing channel is delivering not only customers but the right customers.
By now we all know Social Networks are not just one trick ponies. They allow you to build online communities, listen and converse with your customers, and reach your clients on levels never realized before. Once your business has a Facebook page, for example, customers can post reviews, make recommendations to your team, and tell other visitors about their experiences with your product/service. But let’s not forget one key fact: Your customers don’t live on your page- even if they do visit once in a while. They live on theirs. More importantly, your customers’ friends, family, and colleagues don’t live on your page.
Your company’s pages, groups, and discussion boards allow your customers to talk to you- building loyalty, and increasing customer retention. But if you want to use social media as a sales and marketing tool, your company needs to encourage customers to talk about you on their pages.
Look at it this way: your company’s pages represent your house, where you can introduce your guests to others, provide entertainment to keep them coming back, and catch up on the latest gossip- all great. You also want to be invited to your customers’ houses, where you can be introduced to their friends and show their networks what you do.
So, first you have to be invited, and to be invited, you have to do three main things: Make sure the host likes you, give the host a reason to take the time to introduce you, and make them confident that their friends will want to meet you.
And its easy. You already have hundreds, if not thousands, of people who know and like you. Now all you have to do is reach out to those people, incent/motivate them to take the time to make a referral as well as make it really easy to do so, and give them a great offer (like a discount, or special add-on) to pass on to their friends.
In uRefer’s case, we give our clients the ability to offer their advocates easy ways to make referrals through social media channels. We also make the process 100% trackable, so that advocates can be paid for successful referrals. Not only does this give you the ability to encourage people to spread the word but also let’s marketers see who is referring them, in response to what, as well as whose social networks are responding to the message.
Referral Programs aren't just about bringing in new business- they also help companies find new talent.
Referral Programs that engage current employees in the hiring process by encouraging them to introduce new employees is one of the most effective and commonly used referral program models. In fact, in a recent story on NPR, “Help Wanted: References Fill Jobs And Pockets” they say that “about 85% of Fortune 100 companies” currently use referral programs to recruit talent.
There are many different reasons for the popularity and success of these programs. Here’s just a few mentioned in NPR’s story:
- With employee referral programs, the relationship between a current employee and a new employee helps to establish trust from the “get go”.
- Employee referral programs lower the cost of new employee recruitment.
- New employees that are hired through a referral program will stay with a company longer, on average, than those hired through other methods- saving future recruitment dollars.
How to get started:
- Engage Current Employees: Let them know what positions are open, what the desired skills associated with those positions are, and how to refer new employees to HR. Make sure to clearly show employees that their input is valuable and will not go unrecognized.
- Motivate Employees To Get Involved: Sometimes this is as straightforward as offering a cash reward to current employees who introduce your next employee. But cash isn’t the only way. Motivation can be given through prizes, recognition at the next annual company meeting, even a private luncheon with the CEO. Just make sure that your employees feel valued and appreciated for their contribution. Careful tracking and management of your employee referral program are crucial for this effort!
- Empower Employees With Tools To Refer: Your perfect new hire might be a friend of one of your current employees- but that doesn’t mean they’re neighbors. Your prospective new hire could be on the other side of the country and probably keeps in touch with Facebook, Twitter, or email. So give your employees easy ways, using these tools, to reach their talented friends with the right information about your company. > Learn more about uRefer’s uEmpower tools
"How do you summarize uRefer in 2 minutes or less?"
We think about that question a lot here and are always working on coming up with the answer. Do you focus on revenue uRefer generates for our clients? The unique features that separate us from the competition? How about explaining how it works?
So our friend Bob Kimball put together a mock-pitch in "classic infomercial" style. We think Billy Mays would have been proud!
So let us know what you want to hear from us and have fun with our uRefer commercial "on steroids"- we definitely did!
by Tom Hand
You know we're big proponents of not only motivating and empowering your advocates to refer, but also understanding them. See what's in the works at uRefer as we develop analytics that help track who is referring to whom and how referrals help your company's message spread across the country.
Your company's advocates are extremely important- it's time to know where they're coming from.
Why is it important to know your advocates? >Learn more about Advocate Relationship Management