Over lattes at Starbucks a few months back, a business associate of mine suggested that I pick up the book The Gender Intelligent Retailer by Joanne Thomas Yaccato with Sean McSweeny. While waiting for a flight, I picked up the book and began to read, and have been hooked ever since!
Every time I read through a chapter I gain greater insights into the power of understanding your company’s market niche. Thomas Yaccato and McSweeny do an excellent job of explaining the connection between women consumers and business growth – which has great applications to a brand’s social media campaigns. It is not only about understanding the psyche of the female consumer, it is also about understanding the differences between the two genders and how we relate.
Women Demonstrate Higher Degrees of Loyalty:
Women are good at top-down, big picture perspective, as opposed to men who are more likely to think in a linear, step-by-step fashion. Thomas Yaccato explains that women “integrate, generalize, and synthesize, and they tolerate ambiguity better than men do”. As a result, women take longer to make decisions, but it is well thought out. This is one reason why women demonstrate a high degree of consumer loyalty to a brand. They have taken their time and researched enough to determine that the decision they make is the best one for them and their family.
The Power of Word-of-Mouth:
Brands are interested in Facebook ‘Likes’ not because of the one person attached to that like, but because of the community that lies behind that one person. When someone likes a company on Facebook, the company is able to post updates that show up in the person’s newsfeed, subconsciously increasing brand familiarity and their chances of being read by the individual.
When you interact with a woman, you are also interacting with her entire social network as well. It just makes good business sense to make your product, service, and campaign woman-friendly – which means interactive and relational.
Here’s the kicker, women see the glass as half empty.
Thomas Yaccato explains that women tend to biologically internally amplify their negative life experiences. Due to women’s attention to detail, they are more likely to amplify negative experiences and emotions. While over time women show greater trend effects of negative emotions, men on the other hand show greater positive emotions.
WhiteFire Social, a software used by MavenSocial, allows brands to identify their social media influencers, as well as demographic factors such as the average age, and gender of campaign participants. This way, we are able to tailor our custom made Facebook campaign applications for your brand and your clients.
Overall, it is worth it for companies to focus on women – because they are powerful brand influencers with access to a large community of committed friends and family.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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:
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 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 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. http://www.corporate-eye.com/blog/2010/09/25-most-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.http://www.economist.com/opinion/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=6800723.