Social media is taking over the world. Okay, well maybe not the whole world, but an important chunk of it is now being taken over by this relatively new and increasingly important industry. Through the use of social media, the power of relationships between businesses and consumers are becoming invaluable as a way of marketing products and brands towards their potential customers. Through sharing and retweeting, the marketing goal for many companies is how their loyal customers will influence friends and family to also become interested in their products and have incentive to buy.
The fatal flaw in this way of thinking is that the company is assuming that if I buy their product, for example a tent for camping, that the people around me are also going to want this type of item and others like it. The problem is, I’m the only person in my group of friends that enjoys camping and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get my (happily) city-dwelling friends to come out for a fun weekend in the great outdoors. So my realm of influence is rather small, as I don’t have anyone to share these particular interests with. However, what if there was a way that I could connect with other people who share my love of camping and still be involved in other mutual interests with my current friends group?
Enter in Pinterest.
Since its inception two years ago, Pinterest has become the fastest growing website in history, allowing its users to create virtual pin boards filled with pictures of products and photography representing their interests, hobbies and inspirations through uploads of their own favourite product pictures or repins from other users who share the same common interests.
This represents a gold mine for the potential marketer because now instead of having only reached little old me from my sale, they now have all of my fellow camping fanatics following my pinboards closely; chances are, with more than 80% of pins being repins, they will definitely rack up more interest through sharing than through any other social media site. Not only are major corporations starting to take notice, it is now predicted that in five years time 40% of social media based revenue will come from Pinterest users. Currently, Pinterest users are already 10% more likely to buy something they have pinned on their boards, and are 10% more likely to spend more to get that item.
Last week Kotex launched a Mother’s day campaign in which they found and reviewed the pins of fifty inspirational women, then had the most pinned brand send the woman a virtual gift. If the woman repinned the gift she ended up getting the real gift in the mail as a reward. The reward for the brand who sent the gift? Almost all of the women who received their gift acknowledged it not only through Pinterest, but through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, creating 2,200 social interactions in total. Now that is what I call intelligent and innovative marketing.
And with that,
Recently, I was watching a TedTalks, Johanna Blakley: Social media and the end of gender. Blakley claims that social media is going to help us dismantle stereotypes that we see in traditional media.
Most media companies use rigid segmentation methods and strict labels to define us. Media companies believe that if you fall in
a specific category, you are predictable in certain ways. You have certain tastes, and like certain things – popular culture is largely based on these presumptions. In traditional media, the older age demographic of 55-64 are not even taken into consideration, it is as if they do not exist!
We are able to define ourselves online.
Social media allows us to connect with people based on our specific interests. Companies realize that THIS is the mass audience of the future, but they are having a hard time acting on this knowledge, because they are using the traditional demographics.
While companies are monitoring our movements online using social media, they are now identifying our interests, instead of guessing at them through demographics. What are they finding?
Women are driving the social media revolution.
In every age category, women out number men in their use of social networking technologies. Social media is having a huge impact on traditional media – could this mean that heading into the future, women are going to take over global media? Will our media landscape become a feminist landscape? Not necessarily. Instead, women will be hired on in advertising companies and put an end to stereotyped demographics (i.e., the Hispanic female between 18-24 likes big earrings, bright red lipstick, and fake nails, etc.). We will now know what people like to do, no guess work required.
Through our social media analytics software, MavenSocial is able to do just that, identify brand influencers on a campaign. We are able to connect a person’s email account with their social media networks, therefore giving a 360° account of the person’s social media presence, identifying what they like through their choices (i.e., what campaign do they enter? One that offers coupons on free cooking lessons, sky-diving, or a free week at camp?). Guess work is now a thing of the past. Heading in the future, will brands continue to pander to traditional demographics, or will they acknowledge that social media is the source for brand ROI? With Facebook and Twitter’s membership comprised of 50% women, the female population continues to dominate social media. As a result, women will continue to be a valuable audience and target for marketers. As social media evolves it will be interesting to see how advertising and marketing adapts to these rapid changes.
In the past five years there has been a marketing reset in the marketing industry. Marketing is evolving into a digitally focused entity, where it is becoming as much of a science as it is an art. While emotion can still be an asset to a marketing campaign, the results can be hard to track.
In a client meeting last week, we had an interesting discussion with the Senior Vice President of a Fortune 100 company. He explained that he was looking for a new marketing solution for their company that would address their need to identify their brand influencers in order to increase sales. They also have a client network list that they would like to connect to their social media accounts (millions of names long). As a result of the extensive changes in marketing in the past five years, he said that their company did not know how to market in the digital age. They wanted to find a way to increase their client network list, as well as identify the influencers within this network, thus encouraging brand sharing to increase sales.
In the Past – the Bowling Ball Effect:
Marketing success depended on the size of your ball, your strength, and how far you could throw it. Marketing was not about precision analytics; it was about having the biggest ball to throw into the crowd of unidentified potential customers, hoping for the best. There was no way to track who influenced people to buy the product or service. The assumption was that if a campaign had taken place during the same time period there was a spike in sales, it “must” have had “something” to do with it – thus making the campaign a “success”.
measuring the effectiveness of every dollar spent on a campaign. Using WhiteFire, we see the Social Lift (free traffic to a campaign) to a campaign increase anywhere from 100 to 500% (check out our Canadian Tire case study).
In the age of social media marketing, companies need to have a strategy that is based on precision. Marketing is becoming a targeted pursuit of customers, as opposed the Bowling Ball Effect of mass marketing. The SVP of the Fortune 100 company we spoke to explained that they did not have a precision strike on marketing anymore. As a result of their lack of digital marketing strategy, they came to us for an answer that could help them identify their brand influencers. Marketing has gone digital, and is now scalable and measurable – does your company know how to navigate these new social media waters?
Check out our case study on Girls Night Out Wines to learn more about how MavenSocial identifies brand influencers.
Imagine being part of the social media conversation surrounding your company or brand, so close in fact, that you can search for
Twitter tweets in any area on the map, and then tweet them back! This would have huge implications for marketing, as businesses in real-time address consumer complaints and comments, offering coupons, or URLs to answer their tweet!
Real People – Real Time
Snap Trends is a social observer system that identifies the social media conversation around a specific word or phrase through tweets on Twitter. Users are able to change the location and radius of their observing to ‘tap into’ the conversation across a specific area (check out a Snap Trends demo here).
Automatic, Highly Targeted Leads
Searches for company or product specific keywords can be run automatically, aggregating the information for later use.
Join the Conversation
Through Snap Trends, one can set-up an automatic response for specific keywords or phrases. For example, if people are tweeting about needing a new laptop for back to school, if your company sells laptops, you can directly reply to these people through your own tweet, with a special offer. These tweets can be sent en masse to people who tweet with that specific keyword.
Social observing technologies like Snap Trends are changing businesses social media marketing strategies as they learn how to monitor their brand any time, and anywhere around the world. Snap Trends is a great way for businesses to join the conversation and create a positive brand experience (and raising sales!!).
Would your business be interested in using a social observing system like Snap trends? How would Snap Trends help your business?