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30
Nov

Social Media Mavens – How Women are Dominating the Social Media Scene

Not only is it imperative that companies identify their social media influencers, it is also important that they understand them.  How do the people that affect the life of a company’s campaign make decisions, and interact with others?  What are they looking for from companies?

Women are Social Media Mavens, and are crucial to the success of every campaign.

 What are social media influencers?

{The 20% of your customers who actually bring 80% of the responders to every marketing program!}

Influencers are a part of everyday life, including your social media marketing campaigns – it’s your choice to identify & engage them…or not…

Women have become the most prolific of these social media influencers, and represent 85% of all consumer purchases.  Key social

network membership is comprised of 63% women, while women pass on an average of 83 word of mouth conversations about brands/products each week.

How Women Work

Sorry men, women are still from Venus, while you are still resolutely claiming your stake in Mars, which means the genders are still very different – but this doesn’t stop us from observing patterns of behavior and letting the numbers speak for themselves!

Women are also greatly influenced by word of mouth in purchase decisions more profoundly than men (53% vs. 45%).   Think about it.  Women create close ties with other women, building social bonds that last through high school, university, marriage, child rearing, and retirement.

Relationships are extremely important to women, as they try to connect with their peers throughout the stages of life.  Weekly coffee sessions, or children’s soccer practice provides the arena for women to share their lives with others.

Marketers must realize that word-of-mouth, both in-person, and through social media, increases conversions in any campaign.  Just last night I found an online email opt-in campaign for a free sample of a hand and body cream, which is shipped straight to my front door. When I meet my friends tonight, I will definitely be telling them over lattes what sweet-smelling cream I’ll soon be

Women are Key Social Media Influencers (Mavens) to Many Campaigns.

sampling, and where they can sign-up for it as well – before it’s too late!

Through this simple share I will most likely increase social lift on the marketer’s campaign, because I am bringing in additional attendees – for FREE!  There was no media spend that enticed my friends to opt-in to the sampling campaign – oh the power of word-of-mouth!

In essence “…globally, women control nearly $12 trillion of the overall $184 trillion in consumer spending. By 2014, women will control $15 trillion.”   Marketers are just beginning to understand the significance of women in social media marketing campaigns.  They’ll be there, influencing the outcome of your campaign, its up to you whether or not you identify and channel that influence effectively.

25
Nov

Are Business’ Social Media Campaigns Falling on Deaf Ears?

There is new data out from the TNS Digital Life Survey that shows a thorough view of online life for 72,000 consumers across 60 countries, and produces surprising results about the effectiveness of business’ social media marketing campaigns; people may not be listening as closely as we thought.

Quick Stats:

In Luxembourg, and Germany, 12% of residents are more resistant to brands than invigorated by it, and in Denmark resistance is as high as 16%.

In China though, 26% of residents are more open to brands than opposed to it, and Russia follows them with 17%

Residents in the United States are 9% more likely to be open to brands, while Canada touts only a 6% likelihood.

Are Business' Social Media Camapigns falling on deaf ears?

With companies trying to mark their social media territory and stake their claim in their brand’s social media niche, some are worried that we are heading towards an inability to properly market online campaigns.

Stephen Yap, Group Director of Technology at TNS UK, thinks so. “Winning and keeping customers is harder than ever,” he says. “The online world undoubtedly presents massive opportunities for brands, however it is only through deploying precisely tailored marketing strategies that they will be able to realise this potential. Choosing the wrong channel, or simply adding to the cacophony of online noise, risks alienating potential customers and impacting business growth.”

How do companies create a loud and clear message that attracts and holds the attention of social media participants?

 

The Solution:

It’s about creating a streamlined, targeted social media strategy.

Social media campaigns should not be a passing thought in a company’s marketing budget or strategy; real time and money invested into a proper online strategy.  Most times it is best to outsource your social media campaigns.  Social media campaigns are reinforced by an efficient blogging and social media community presence.  With almost 44% of online sharing occurring in Facebook, it is important for brands to have a streamlined presence on social media outlets, and many times this is best managed

Data provided by WhiteFire: Amy is the brand influencer, influencing the people around her - creating social lift!

by “professionals”.  Why?  Because this is what they do everyday, it’s their bread and butter.  If you need open heart surgery, do you try and perform the surgery yourself?

Brands need to engage with their niche market.  Community Managers should have the freedom to allow their personality to shine through their interactions with others (within reason…no expletives, please).  People want to know they are interacting with…people!

Identify Brand Influencers

It is crucial that a company determines their social media influencers.  These “Mavens” drive conversations about your brand, and share with others.  Identifying a brand’s social media influencers allows them to connect with the larger community – powerful stuff!

MavenSocial determines company’s brand influencers, which is a powerful asset since 83% of people trust the advice of someone they know, as opposed to 13% of advertisers!  We are able to determine what influencer has the most impact (the top social maven).

While there is a lot of chatter out there about the effectiveness of social media campaigns, their effectiveness is only as loud as the strength of their marketing strategy.  Silence the chatter and allow your brand message to engage your market with a clean and professional social media strategy that identifies social media influencers and engages the community.

24
Nov

Thanksgiving Turkey Turmoil: How Social Media Influencers are taking a Stand

Every fourth Thursday in November Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.  A time that was originally celebrated by American settlers and Native Americans, Thanksgiving has drastically transformed, as social media influencers try to convince people to  recall the true focus of this seasoned holiday.

The Past:

American Thanksgiving officially became an annual tradition in 1863.  During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln

What Thanksgiving is all about - Social Media Influencers speak-up!

proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated to give thanks to God for guiding them safely to the New World. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, providing enough food for 13 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.

It is amazing that this tradition has lasted for so many years since then. It was a time of celebration and thanksgiving for the harvest, and expectation of continued sustainability and life in the coming season.

Now:

Thanksgiving has become a prime-time event for business to make some quick cash on days like Black Friday.  Traditionally, Black Friday has been a day that is met with wide-eyed expectation by competitive shoppers, and dreaded by the rest of us.  Businesses mark down merchandise just in time for Christmas shopping.  People run to stores to get the best deals on all sorts of necessary and equally unnecessary goods (do you reeeally need that 15th pair of shoes?).

Canadian neighbours (yes, neighboUrs) head over the border for the fabulous Black Friday shopping, creating a festive mosh pit of American-Canadian shopping fun.  In recent years though, Canadian businesses have tried to keep Canadian shoppers at home with deals all through the months leading into Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but it sounds like Thanksgiving has been heisted by consumerism!

Social Media Influencer’s Place in Thanksgiving:

A recent infographic shared by Kimling Lam, shows how many times Thanksgiving-related topics have been shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  It seems like some Thanksgiving traditions are being upheld despite the thrust of consumerism.

Social Media Influencers Talking about Thanksgiving

There are also Facebook Pages such as “Forget consumerism…Save Thanksgiving!”  This group shares that “Americans have become obsessed with consumerism… and corporate America has preyed on us all! Thanksgiving has always been a holiday for each of us to take time to be grateful for the things we HAVE, not the things we think we NEED.”  People are using social media channels to vocalize their misgivings about the changing definition of Thanksgiving.

In Little Rock AR, people are speaking out through social media against Black Friday hours being extended into the Thanksgiving holiday. Many retail workers are using social media to save Thanksgiving from turning into a national shopping day.

Shoppers no longer need to get up early and stand in endless lines. Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s, and Macy’s will open their doors at midnight instead of the traditional 5am on Black Friday with one goal: to encourage more shoppers to spend more money.

Moving Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day contradicts the nearly 93,000 retail workers who signed a petition that asked for people to spend time with their families and not at the store. Retailers maintain that their customers want the extended shopping hours.

Social media influencers are keeping the spirit of Thanksgiving alive.  Let us be thankful for what we have this season, and spend it with the people that matter to us most.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS.

17
Nov

MavenSocial Case Study: Cold-FX User-Generated Campaign

Recently, MavenSocial conducted a user-generated campaign with Cold-FX, a Canadian company that specializes in natural remedies that help reduce colds and flu by boosting the immune system. They came to us because they wanted people to know they were Canadian (thumbs up!).

Specifically, MavenSocial was asked to develop a social media program to acquire additional opt-ins for marketing purposes using engagement and sharing on various social media platforms.

Read more »

17
Nov

The 80/20 Rule of Social Media Influencers

Mavens: The 20% of your customers who actually bring 80% of the responders to every marketing program!

Social media influences, or Mavens have a huge market and brand influence!  It’s the 80/20 rule – 20% of people who use a product or service bring in 80% of the responders to a program.  Take Coca Cola for example: they say that it is not simply about gaining millions of Facebook fans, it is about the community of people that they bring in because of their influence.  It is about tapping into the community that these followers belong to.  After all, only 20% of Coca Cola drinkers consume 80% of the product.

Identify Relevant Influencers:

There is a disconnect between influencers and brands.  Just because a person tweets regularly and has a blog, doesn’t mean that they are creating real influence for your brand.  It’s all about the DATA.  You need to be able to track the actual influence that someone has over time.  I recently read a great article by Tom Edwards, SVP and Digital Strategy & Emerging Technology at Red Urban (Omnicom) (Twitter: @blackfin360), he recommends Dan Zarella’s Retweetability Metric as just one way to measure an influencer’s reach:

Dan Zarella's Retweetability Metric

How many re-tweets do you have per day, do you even tweet?  What is Twitter, anyways…makes you think, eh?

It is also important to assess an individual’s Facebook reach, Youtube, blog and more. Edwards explains that “each data element

Data provided by WhiteFire: Amy is the brand influencer, influencing the people around her - creating social lift!

receives a 1-3 weighted ranking based on Primary, Secondary & Ancillary influencer target status and all scores are then averaged to gauge an influencers potential brand impact rating.”  Another tool that is causing a lot of racket is Klout.  Klout provides a good starting point for assessing influence online – but lacks the in-depth insight, or personalization for specific brands.

WhiteFire Social is a software that personalizes your brand’s influencer data.  WhiteFire has a great backroom dashboard that creates spider graphs identifying the campaign’s social media influencers, and the people that they directly influenced to join the campaign, or opt-in.  It is a powerful testament to the power of data, data, and more data.  Brands are also able to create custom Facebook Apps and follow the campaign cycle from inception to completion, topped off with up-to-the-minute statistics.  Software like WhiteFire will only continue to gain popularity as brands attempt to define and measure the impact of their social media influencers.

When 20% of people are influencers 80% of the purchasing decisions for a brand, brands can no longer ignore the impact that these Mavens have on the success, or failure of their brand.

16
Nov

How to Extend Your Company’s Sales Cycle

Ever wondered how to extend your business’ sales cycle?  Once people buy your product or service, it can be a one-time deal, and you are left sending emails, or direct mail reminders to entice people to reconnect.  While this strategy is well and good, there are betters ways to connect with people and keep your name on the tip of their tongue.

Community Engagement:

Community engagement is key to creating a longer sales cycle, and disseminating brand awareness.  While one person has a certain amount of disposable income to spend on your product or service, a family can bring in more revenue, while connecting with the community-at-large has even greater revenue potential.  It comes down to basic sociology, humans are social beings, and like to be part of a group of like-minded individuals.  This group influences a person’s dietary choices, form of dress, past-times, and interests, etc.

It's all about the community!

Brand Influencers – The Sweet Spot:

Brand Influencers are crucial to reaching the community because they drive interactions.  Connecting with these people is paramount, because behind them is an uncle, aunt, mother, sister, daughter, brother, fifth cousin – twice removed….you get the point!

When you want to buy a car, a house, or the latest tech gadget, is there someone that automatically comes to mind?  Well, this person is a brand influencer – they influence your purchasing decisions on certain products.

These brand influencers, or as we like to call them, “Mavens”, create a word-of-mouth sensation, because 83% of consumers trust the opinion of a family member or friend over a brand, or advertisement.  These Mavens have already formed a relationship of trust and loyalty with you (or you wouldn’t be asking for their opinion), making them very powerful allies.

The Game Plan:

Why not offer coupons or deals on products or services related to your niche market?  If you are in the landscaping business, team up with a nursery and provide coupons on Spring flowers, or mulch (every garden needs fresh mulch!).  It’s all about creating a lasting experience for your consumers; plus, everyone likes a quality deal!

Or, if you are in the concert business, talk to local shop owners, pubs, and restaurants.  Create deals for your concertgoers, where they can receive 20% off their meal, or a free dessert.  After the concert, attendees can extend the experience by receiving deals on concert “swag”, or head to the nearest pub for a group deal on drinks for the whole gang.

Overall, connect with a community’s influencers, and the rest will follow.  It’s about creating an experience that can be shared with others.

There are endless ways to extend your businesses lifecycle.  We’d love to hear how your strategy worked for you!

 

10
Nov

Empower the People, Empower Your Brand

Social media influencers can be hard to identify, but once they are, they can be a driving force for any company.  With the rise of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogger, the voice of the people are becoming increasingly important.  Social media marketing is about the people and their interactions with other like-minded individuals.  Coupled with marketer’s realization that influencers are the future of brand dissemination, these discussions between people on multiple platforms have become increasingly important in determining the success of a marketing campaign.

The Death of the Journalist

The role of the journalist is quickly becoming obsolete.

With the introduction of social media influencers, the dissemination of information across multiple platforms, by multiple users is a reality.  Unlike traditional journalism, which used reporting forums such as print or television, influencers are able to Tweet, Blog or Facebook the latest brand information, reaching a mass audience of faithful followers.  How should a marketing team approach this new form of PR?  What do these relationships look like, and what benefit does it hold for the organization?

Empower people and strengthen your brand presence.

 

“By listening, reading and participating, brand marketers have an opportunity to make their brands more approachable and shareable than ever before.”

– Chris Brogan & Julien Smith

Speak With, Not At People!

In order to harness the power of social media influence for your brand involves multiple conversations.  It is about entering an online forum and observing the interactions between participants, understanding how they interact with one another, and what they think of your product.  What is the culture of the online forum?  Your observations can evolve into conversations, as you begin to understand how the participants interact with each other.  It is about being authentic.  Online forums focus on truthful representation.

Tell A Story

Join the conversation, but do it through sharing little nuggets of your own personality, likes and dislikes.  Allow the sharing of information to flow.  You are the flagship for the company.  What you say and do will speak volumes to people; the more personable you are, the more likely they are to connect with you and the product.  A happy blogger is a chatty blogger.  Try to give them the best service and product information possible.  Be helpful and approachable; they will spread the word.  It is not about forcing a deal, it is about creating an atmosphere of sharing and innovation; where people can express themselves in an open forum.

Overall, it is about the people.  It’s about joining in, and nurturing conversations.  Create an atmosphere of collaboration, and watch your brand awareness soar.

10
Nov

MavenSocial Case Study: Carhartt Facebook User Generated Campaign

This past year, MavenSocial created a Facebook campaign for Carhartt Inc.  We saw some amazing results, and thought that we would share it here.

Who is Carhartt?

Carhartt Inc., is a U.S.-based clothing company founded in 1889. It is still a family-owned company, owned by the descendants of company founder Hamilton Carhartt, with its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.


Social Media Influencers (Mavens) share avidly with their groups of friends, creating social lift.

Objective:

Carhartt approached us because they wanted to increase engagement on Facebook by increasing Likes and opt-ins.

Now, why would Carhartt, a well-known staple in many a wardrobe, be worried about reaching people through social media outlets?  They understand that there is a large potential market that can be reached through Facebook and other social networking sites.

Scott Haiges, President of ROI Research Inc. explains the social media facts:

+One in 4 respondents have 4 or more active social network accounts,

+More than one quarter access their Facebook or

Twitter accounts at least once a day via their mobile phones.

Haiges, explains “we knew that these sites are extremely popular for socializing, but the level of interest for branding and promotional marketing content is surprisingly large.”  Social media outlets truly are becoming a powerful way to reach an otherwise untapped market.  Facebook is coming out on top with 44% of online sharing occurring on Facebook.

So what does this all mean for Carhartt?

Carhartt knew that they wanted to actively engage a vast amount of people over Facebook; this is where we came in.

Solution:

Facebook Campaigns encourage Sharing, identifying Social Infuencers (Mavens).

MavenSocial recommended a User Generated Campaign.  Users could upload images or videos on how they have creatively used their clothing. Campaign users could then share their images with friends on Facebook, Twitter and via eMail. Every share provided an additional ballot to the user. Users were offered spot prizes for adding an entry and the top creative photos or videos were granted grand prizes.

Results:

+Facebook Likes increased by over 100,000 during the campaign

+Almost 6K new email registrations

+50,000 plus consumer voter interactions

+Top 20 influencers brought in 8% of all the new email registrations. One influencer brought in 88 potential customers.

+219% Lift on Sharing, Total Social Lift including Facebook referrals was 1,627% on Paid Media drivers

We understood that the best way to engage with fans to increase Facebook Likes and opt-ins was through interaction with people.  The power of social media influencers, or Mavens is apparent, with a 219% lift on sharing.  Social lift is the amount of people that actively participate in the campaign, without the company paying for the direct marketing costs; in other words, these Likes and opt-ins were obtained free of charge for Carhartt.  Carhartt’s social media Mavens are the people who shared Carhartt’s information amongst  their friends; who in turn interacted with the campaign.  An example of the campaign’s Maven would be one influencer who brought in 88 potential customers – now that’s great sharing!

8
Nov

Data: The Future of Marketing

There is a fundamental reset occurring in the marketing sector; is your company on board?  In the past, emotions have been the prerequisite for a powerful marketing campaign.  Leo Burnett once said “advertising is the ability to sense, interpret… to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.”  While emotions are important, they are quickly taking a backseat to data, some may know it as, social media metrics.

What has brought data to the forefront, you may ask?

It started around the time of the 2008 Global Recession.  People quickly lost confidence in not only the banking system, but the world around them.   We all promised ourselves that we would not be duped again.  Emotions are not quantifiable; data is.  Data is the surest way to analyze a product, service, and business venture, etcetera.

A Marketing Digital Footprint:

The future of marketing is about identifying and tracking people’s digital footprints.  Klout is a perfect example of the tracking and ranking of our impact.   Klout explains on their website that

Data on brand influencers is crucial to every business!

Klout measures influence online. When you create content or engage, you impact others. Klout analyzes that impact to find your Klout Score, influential topics, and your influencers.
Klout is the standard for influence. Top brands such as Disney, Audi, and Turner use Klout Perks to reach and engage influencers. Over 3,000 applications and partners use Klout data to display Klout Scores,

prioritize based on Score or topics, and segment users.”

Everyone who has a Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or a plethora of other social media outlets has a Klout score, already calculated online.  Klout gives people a number between 1 and 100; the closer you are to 100 the better.  Programs like Klout are taking data and extricating valuable information from it, ranking you on a virtual leaderboard with your peers.

Data provided by WhiteFire: Amy is the brand influencer - creating social lift.

Another form of data aggregation and interpretation is WhiteFire Social.  WhiteFire is a Social Media Platform used to accelerate social media activity, which displays results in a dashboard compiled of deepSocial Analytics.  One is able to identify their social media influencers, and see how social lift is created, right down to the name of the person!

Companies are able to see who influences the outcome of their campaigns, or disseminates their brand message across multiple platforms.

Now THIS is what I call powerful data.

Data allows companies to identify and connect with their social media influencers, changing the way they reach their market.  It is key for businesses to understand and embrace the changing tides, and create a marketing strategy that is founded on data – facts, as opposed to emotions.

8
Nov

Top 5 Ways to Identify Your Brand Influencers

Identify your company’s social media influencers and harness the power of brand dissemination and influence!  Brand influencers have the ability to take an idea, brand, or concept and bring it to the mainstream.  An influencer is defined as someone or something who “determines: shapes or influences; or gives direction to” and has the ability to mould public opinion.  Through tapping into the power of your market’s influencers, you will be able to create a strategy to engage them for your business’ benefit.

Overall, brand influencers can take an idea, brand, or concept and bring it to the mainstream!

Below are 5 ways to identify your brand influencers:

Identify your brand influencers and create social lift!

1.       Identify Your Niche Market

It is crucial to understand where your business fits into the market.  Define what you are trying to accomplish and how y

ou intend to do it.  It is about realistic goal setting and thorough research.  Consider what need your business satiates.  What do you have to offer that other businesses lack?  In most households, the woman makes the purchasing decisions – are you reaching the right person in your marketing approach?

2.       Assess Influencer Reach

When identifying who your core social influencers are, it is important to understand their reach and relevance to the brand that you want to

promote.   How many people do they have following them?  Do the influencers interact with their followers, consistently keeping them updated on new products and promotions?  Look at the frequency of posts and updates; an out of date blog is a dead blog.

 

Approximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all its traffic, that’s HUGE!

Identify who your social media influencers are with up-to-date data that shows the true ROI of social media influencer engagement.  WhiteFire Social provides great software that does just that.

 3.       What do They Share?

Once you have identified your niche market and influencer reach, the next step is identifying what type of information your influencers share.  Do they share links to contests and sweepstakes?  Are they more content focused, sharing branded entertainment content?

The answers to these questions will help you understand where your focus should be.  Are you an organic baby food company?  Best chances are your niche market is moms who want to feed their baby well, at a good price.  Offering coupons and discounts on nutritious baby food might be the right way to cause a buzz.

4.       Do They Create Content that is Legitimate and Timely?

Not only is the content timely, is the influencer innovating?  Are they presenting and disseminating content in a way that you have not seen previously?  If so, then consider the validity of their information.  Have they reported accurate and up-to-date information?

Content is King, folks!

5.       Do They Rank on Google?

One interesting aspect to consider is whether or not they have strong keyword associations on Google.  A social influencer’s organic ranking can be a good indication of their popularity or influence on the topic.  While the organic ranking is not crucial to defining a social influencer, it can be strong indication of their clout on the subject.

Take note!  Social Media Influencers are looking for recognition, and a virtual leaderboard is a great way to boost company engagement with your influencers.  Everyone likes to see their efforts appreciated, and their name up in lights, especially by a business that they endorse just because they can.  The idea is to get people working actively for you; it’s about intention.

Remember, nobodies are the new somebodies!  Brand influencers are the everyday people like you and me!