This week's guest is Stacey DePolo, Social Advocacy Manager at GoDaddy. Stacey has 20 years experience in digital marketing. She's worked with tech brands, authors, entertainers, artists, and non-profits, specializing in brand advocacy, influencer marketing, customer experience and social media. At GoDaddy, Stacey has been focused on turning their brand image around through customer and employee advocacy strategies.
GoDaddy is the world's largest domain registrar, with 71 million domains under management. The company is dedicated to small, independent ventures and has more than 16 million customers worldwide. The organization employs more than 7,000 employees with 14 facilities worldwide. I recorded this podcast episode with Stacey at the GoDaddy office in San Francisco. Stacey reveals how she and her team have turned GoDaddy's brand image around from a hated brand to a respected brand.
The Impact of the Advocacy Programs at GoDaddy
The employee and customer advocacy initiatives at GoDaddy stemmed from a need to transform the brand's reputation from loathed to admired. The program started with a pilot of 150 employees and helps develop thought leadership, build influence, and bolster real and authentic relationships. To ensure alignment with the brand message, GoDaddy provides approved messaging for employees to share on topics like women in tech, the future of the Internet, as well as content from their blog and newsroom.
Influencer marketing is more manual and consumes more time than advocacy programs. Stacey says, "Advocacy is organic and flows from great customer experiences." After a customer completes their satisfaction survey with a high score, they're immediately prompted to recommend GoDaddy on social media. Over 600,000 advocates have shared a review or story about GoDaddy. These campaigns are easily translated into multiple foreign languages to expand the reach.
One of the biggest challenges Stacey faces in her role is converting detractors. Her team focuses on one story at a time and engages with their audience on a personal level. By listening to feedback and measuring sentiment, they've seen a positive impact from their efforts.
The stories shared by GoDaddy's advocates generate an average of six 'inbound clicks' per story or review. So, six of their friends and followers clicked through to read their positive brand mention or recommendation. The advocates' social posts help GoDaddy to acquire new customers and increase orders from existing ones.
Advocacy Program Successes at GoDaddy
When GoDaddy launched GoCentral, a DIY website builder that is mobile-first, they enlisted their advocates to spread the word. After publishing a website, customers are asked to review the product. 41% of those who wrote a review also shared it on social media. Stacey noted that each review shared generates about four clicks. The sharing helps to draw in customers and upsell existing ones. In addition to their online advocacy, GoDaddy is empowering employee advocates to speak at conferences.
Stacey recommends brands use technology to listen and analyze brand sentiment. Those that are looking to improve their reputation should find new and innovative ways to tell the story they want others to hear. She encourages organizations to get customers and employees involved in sharing your brand story.
Tune in to listen to a couple more great examples of advocacy in action at GoDaddy - including the amazing story of NuggsforCarter - and discover how to boost your brand image through an advocacy program.