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Natascha Thomson
Natascha Thomson is the CEO of MarketingXLerator and brings over 20 years of experience to her Silicon Valley consulting practice.
© 2019 Marketing XLerator

A tweet summary of the #SSUAdvocate panel at the Social Shake Up 2013. The most tweeted sentence came from Emily Yellin: “An advocate is somebody who tells the truth about your product”.

At the Social Shake Up 2013 in Atlanta, SAP hosted a panel on the topic Can You Build a Better Advocate Through Social Media?, to which Malcolm Kimberlin from SAP was so kind to invite me. Little did I know how heated the discussion would get, as Malcolm obviously has a gift for pairing together the right people: all individuals with strong opinions; none of them afraid to share them.

The panelists were Emily Yellin, Brian Vellmure, Anneke Seley and yours truly, Natascha Thomson. Our talented panel host was Kai Petzelt from SAP, supported by audience moderator Ric Dragon. A video will be available soon.

In good social media fashion, Kai had crowd-sourced the topic for our panel, a process he describes in this blog: How I found the Answer to the Million $$ Social Media Question.

Us panelists certainly did not agree on many issues, including the definition of an advocate, or even the role of marketing (let’s face it, the goal of marketing is to make people take action, which means you want to manipulate them).

The tweets below summarize highlights from the panel:

  1. Here a picture of our panel (sans Kai). From left to right: Anneke, Natascha, Emily, & Brian.

I like that the panel is representative of business #ssuadvocate…

  1. “@samfiorella: Q: if an advocate advocates, but no one is listening to them, are they an advocate? #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup
  2. An advocate is really someone that is telling you the truth about your product ~ #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup
  3. I like that @EYellin expanded the advocate definition to include negative “advocates”, they too provide value #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup
  4. @samfiorella Yup! Customers will buy from you, advocates will fight for you. #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup
  5. Great insight coming from #ssuadvocate We think advocacy is extremely important – we even did a global study about it
  6. People are more credible when you are not paying them #socialshakeup #ssuadvocate
  7. #ssuadvocate panel agrees that listening before engaging is key for building brand advocates #SocialShakeUp
  8. 85% of responders say they’d pay up to 25% more to ensure superior customer experience #remarkable #ssuadvocate -@kevinttully #SocialShakeUp
  9. Hiring people who are naturally kind/interested others’ needs speaks (authentic) volumes about your biz. #ssuadvocate #socialshakeup
  10. RT @bacraw: @JasonEng_ @RicDragon @jmoss224 u thank ur advocates. Brand recognition, opportunities, product. Branded value. #ssuadvocate
  11. We’re loving the discussion coming out of #SocialShakeUp‘s #ssuadvocate panel. Might be of interest to attendees:
  12. RT @sparksgrove: It’s not about the product experience, it’s about the customer experience. #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp
  13. Love this RT @jasondominy: “It’s not just about being remarkable, you have to market the remarkable.” @nathomson #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp
  14. “The people who are willing to share the truth about a product, people tend the trust more.” @NaThomson #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp
  15. If you send a sales prospect to a happy customer who says only good things, has less credibility @annekeseley #ssuadvocate
  16. Amazing day of learning on Twitter – if you aren’t listening, you aren’t learning! #ssuadvocate #NYTedtech
  17. #ssuadvocate panel agrees that listening before engaging is key for building brand advocates #SocialShakeUp
  18. “You have to pay attention to influencers, but don’t do that to the exclusion of everyone else.” @EYellin #SocialShakeUp #ssuadvocate
  19. RT @jasondominy: I think advocacy is really about humanizing a business relationship. #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp #ronr
  20. Yes. RT @kasperrisbjerg: @samfiorella damn. Sounds like I am in the wrong session! #ssuadvocate
  21. Our panel, very happy after the great audience participation during our panel. Left to right: Brian, Emily, Kai, Natascha, Anneke.
  22. Cay @CayBee22
    Build a better advocate ROCKED!! Great interactive throw down! #ssuadvocate #SocialShakeUp
    Tue, Sep 17 2013 13:37:26
  23. I believe I can speak for all of us when I say that some lasting connections were created at the event. Anneke already agreed to speak at an upcoming social media practitioner event in Silicon Valley. Contact me if you are in SV, do social media for a living, and would like to join.

    See you at the Social Shake up 2014!

    For more social media tips and news, visit



2 thoughts on “Can Social Media Help You Build a Better Advocate?

    1. Thanks JC:

      the blog does not represent the “heated” discussion we had.
      In the end, we agreed on a lot of things, even though we used different terms.



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