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Brand Advocacy And Customer Loyalty – Webinar By Srinivas, ReadyPulse

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[Note: Next webinar is “How FusionCharts got to 21,000 customers and 450,000 users sitting in India itself”]

We had a fruitful discussion on turning the loyal customers into brand advocates with Srinivas Penumaka, President & Co-Founder of ReadyPulse. The webinar recording is here.

Q&A During Webinar With Srinivas Penumaka

Q- When you pick up the call and testimonials from external websites say, somebody shares an Instagram photo with the brand and that is a positive photograph and it can be used as a testimonial. What is the copyright issue in taking this photograph and post it elsewhere and use it on your website? Apart from Instagram, there are so many places where people go and talk about the brands but is it just ok that the brands just copy that stuff and putting it on their website? So, how do you handle that?

A- It is definitely becoming a fallacy on the social network. Lets say if it is Twitter, it is all public information because a kind of penalty it can maintain that is public and not private and there is no privacy on that. In general, as long as the content comes from a brand opting property like if it is an Instagram or a Facebook page, where you have to like or something like that, then the brand itself can use the content. But if you start using it for the special ads, then you have to take a very good photo taken by a fan on an Instagram, then you have to take the consent of the person as well as compensate him for the same. It comes as an endorsement tactics which are different for different countries. The above mentioned tactic is practiced in US where the consent of the person is taken and he is compensated as well.

Q- Can we display LinkedIn recommendations on our website? Are there any copyright issues there?

A- We haven’t actually looked at LinkedIn yet but it really makes sense to make privacy policy and also develop one if your policy requirements. But I think it is good in a way for LinkedIn itself.

Q- Can you tell us what tool you used to identify advocates? The tool that shows the statistics of engagement, advocates etc.

A- It is our own software- Readythoms. For more information, you can visit That is tool I used in the picture.

Q- In case of some technical training, I have seen many people who wants others to know that they got trained and working at that skill. How to convert them for giving a feedback or anything to be given on our website or a platform?

A- Set up a testimonial board application at the web page where there is way for the customers to give their testimonial and also see how other people are doing. So, at the end of every session they announce a simple thing like ‘go here, give your testimonial and then you will be automatically entered into a drawing. It could be anything you want say, $25 or anything. There would be some monetary angle and you get a bunch of testimonials or ads and then you can encourage people to share their thoughts. Most often you are excited about what you got at the moment of that particular event. For example, at the end when you are in a webinar or giving a speech, then you can tweet about the speech in general. Write after you walk away from the event. So, you would want to do it at the end of the session.

Q- Except for using a specialised software like ReadyPulse, aren’t there any freely available tools which are just around there that they could use?

A- For example if you are using a Facebook Analytics, most of the time they do not go into the advocate level, the person level as they are normally at a high level. I am not familiar with a tool that is free but there are quite a few tools that are more focussed on helping you tweet or find the right time to tweet etc. We can help you on pricing part if you are interested in our tool.

We at 42inception have been using ReadyPulse now and earlier we were using Tweetpack extensively, where we were not able to get the information about the exact level of engagement or a nice list of engaged users but it does give us an idea about who is talking about us and we could do something about the manual stuff there. But nothing as streamlined as ReadyPulse.

Q- Don’t you think that the Apple vacations customers who are already angry would have been pissed by the brand advocates because he was giving vents to his frustrations and the brand advocates were saying that Apple vacations has nothing do to with it? What is your take on that?

A- Yeah, it a valid point. It is important to note that Apple vacations has itself answered that question, saying that please contact us and we can figure out what we could have done differently. In general, what happens is that all advocates are doing and telling the reality of the situation as it is. If a person is upset and he wants an answer and most importantly the brand cannot get away from its responsibility to respond, it is not that the brand can keep on doing what it is and they do not worry but work from the strength they have in the community.

Q- How can we counter the activity of a competitor who gives fake testimonials to criticize the brand?

A- Basically depending on the software you are using, negative content is already marked as negative and then that will be removed from the testimonial queue, at least talk about our case. If a competitor tries to put some negative thing, we detect it and abuse it and also as I was saying we surface the testimonial build up score that means again that the competitors cannot really comment negative about it. But if a comment gets a lot of attention from the community, it is still not termed as a testimonial but just a negative comment. So people, brand, marketer or the social being within the brand can take up the feedback and do whatever is required. Again, it is not just one line or post that can make a difference; it has to be of a genuine advocate to make an impact.

So, if it is a fake comment, show it to the world that it has come from a fake profile but typically do not spend much energy there, unless it is something persistent that is coming and not one or two comments. Write a blog post on it explaining how your competitors are faking their identity and attacking your brand. Overall, it is a dirty area and better avoid it.

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