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Posts tagged ‘influencers’


Why Earned Media is the Future of Marketing

For those of you who do not know what earned media is, I will first need to explain paid media and owned media.

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Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

When you are watching television and come across an episode of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, nostalgia sets in and you reminisce about the old days. When you think of “old school” traditional marketing methods, it does not bring on the same feeling of yearning.

How many leaflets and flyers have you thrown straight into the trash without even bringing it into your home? How often do you record television shows on your PVR, only to watch them at a later time and fast forward through all of the commercials? Satellite radio has made it possible to listen to the radio without sitting through any ads. Traditional marketing methods just aren’t working anymore. Say goodbye to traditional marketing and introduce yourself to the world of digital marketing.

There are two types of Digital Marketing; Push and Pull. Push marketing is when the receiver gets the advertisement or message without giving their consent. This is done through methods such as texts, email, and display marketing. Pull marketing is when the client or customer is actively seeking the information. This is usually done through search engines, websites, blogs and streaming media.

Companies have been forced to re-evaluate their marketing methods because of our new digital world. The internet has made it possible for people to get loads of information in a very short amount of time. It has also deepened our ability to multi-task.

Dinner outings with family and friends are starting to resemble business meetings. Most if not all members have their phones out on the table. This is the way the world is going. Technology follows people wherever they go and it’s with them at every moment.

Pretty much everyone has a smartphone these days. People can check their emails and texts from anywhere at any time. The same goes for social networking profiles. Advertising on facebook or through email will reach potential customers a lot quicker and will follow them everywhere. Instead of coming home to a mailbox full of junk mail and using it for kindling, internet advertising follows its targets like a shadow. You can’t burn it to make a fire – not that you would want to.

Digital Marketing has changed the way people receive their information. Instead of only having one to one communication, it is now possible to have one to many, and that many to many more. It’s an ongoing passing of information.  Instead of the marketer doing all of the work, the message gets passed along freely through social networking. If someone is interested in fishing, chances are he has friends that are interested in fishing as well. If he posts a link to facebook sharing a website selling fishing rods, his friends and family will most likely check out the site and pass it along as well.
There is a lot to be said about social media influencers. So much so, that I will save most of it for it’s own post. What I will say though, is that a social media influencer is a person who has a very strong following or readership within one of the social media outlets. Being or utilizing a social media influencer is the least expensive and the most popular method of marketing today.

MavenSocial identifies, tracks and engages your social media influencers, allowing companies to market themselves in the most efficient way possible. We are experts on modern day digital marketing strategies and we help companies receive traffic and reach their marketing goals.

Until next time,


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


+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!


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.


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!


Women – The New Titans of Brand Influence

Women continue to gain strength as they become prominent social media influencers both online and offline. Due to the ‘double shift’, women are affording less time and patience for companies toting jazzy gimmicks and inflated results. Instead, there has been a shift towards social media sharing, where busy women can interact online with their peers. This interconnected forum is a utopia of information for companies who want to interact with their most vocal consumers. Tapping into the female market can be difficult; the first step to understanding your brand influencers is to identifying how they think.

Women are tough cookie, brand mavens!

Women Collaborate, Men Eliminate:

As a result of women’s climbing influence on brand dissemination, it is important to understand their decision making process, and the differences between the two genders. Women collaborate, men eliminate.[i] An article posted in the New Yorker explains that “women talk about brands they like, with a full 96% recommending products they like to others. This is an audience that every brand needs to connect with. If marketing to women isn’t already a priority for your brand, it should be”.[ii]

When making a decision, women tend to consider various viewpoints, collecting a multitude of pieces to the puzzle. Once all the pieces are found, a conclusion is made (both positive and negative). Think of it as a spider web. The initial idea or product is in the centre, with the various permutations, worries and queries spiking out in a wide circle, forming a web of connections and ideas, all beginning from a central idea.  It may take women longer to make a decision, but once they do, it is a well-thought out one indeed.

A Woman’s thought process mirrors an Influencer’s Interactions?

Women tend to multi-track, building layer upon layer of information in order to form a coherent picture from which to form a decision. This is the same way that a social media influencer works. They disseminate the information on a brand or product to others, who then pass it on to people in the network. These networks gain strength, as sharing continues.  Sharing is not only seen as a way to pass on the information to others, but also a way to establish close relationships. Social influencers are crucial to the success of a brand, because people are more likely to trust information they receive from a friend. Both men and women feel safer with people they know; which is why they actively seek support from their social network.[iii]

What’s in it For You?

Understanding who your social media influencers are, and how they process the information you offer them, will allow you to actively engage your primary social media influencers. Through this understanding, you have the opportunity to enhance the resiliency of your product through viral sharing among multiple platforms. Women have become the most prolific of these social media influencers. They represent 85% of all consumer purchases, comprise 63% of key social network membership, pass an average of 83 word of mouth conversations about brands/products each week, and are influenced by word of mouth in purchase decisions more profoundly than men (53% vs. 45%).[iv] Utilizing women’s desire to connect and share with their peers, you have the opportunity to directly connect and engage your market.

[i] Yaccato, J.T., & McSweeny, S. (2008). The Gender Intelligent Retailer, Discover the Connection Between Women Consumers and Business Growth. John Wiley & Sons. Mississauga, Ontario.

[ii] The Corporate Eye (2010). 25 Brands Most Buzzed About by Women.

[iii] Ma, W.W.K. & Yuen, A.H.K. (2011). Understanding online knowledge sharing: an interpersonal relationship perspective. Computers and Education, 56(210-219), p.212.

[iv] Fay, K. Comscore, 2010.

2nd Quote: The Economist (2006). The Importance of Sex.