2 posts tagged Socialmention
2 posts tagged Socialmention
Is social media that important?
Social Media is here to stay, whether you want to agree with this statement or not. The question is “what are you going to do about it?” You could wait until your competitors and new entrants grasp the vision and start dominating the social buzz around the topics that are important to your future business growth, or you could start by at least finding if there is any social media buzz potential for your business.
No one is talking about my topics!
I have searched for a rich mix of topics in some of the most used social media sites over the years and I am now convinced that there is at least someone talking somewhere about a topic that is key to your business.
I have often been pushed to demonstrate this so many times that I now feel confident that I can find the answer somewhere in a conversation in a popular or niche social media network somewhere around the world. So let’s assume that there are online conversations happening about your topics somewhere in the world today. So the task is now how to find out in say 10 minutes, without paying a penny!
My top 5 free ways to check if you have social media buzz potential.
I now list my suggested top 5 ways to check if you have social media buzz potential. There are many other sources that I often use, but I have selected my best 5 for you that are free and will give you a good spread of results across the major social media sites within 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes!
This is my number 1 favorite. The search box has an auto complete function to make your search even quicker. Look to the left on the results page. You will see how often your search term has been mentioned in the past hour, day, week etc. You can refine your search for tweets, videos, or photos, and there is a nice selection of languages. Note that the photo and video results are not the same as a Google image search showing pictures currently used on web sites.
Here is an example using Topsy.com, using a random search term “NFC chips”. I looked at the video results and saw that the top video result was “How to program your own NFC chips”. Topsy.com indicates the number of comments for each result, so I explored further, and found tweets that were about the video that contained the following; “Check out this awesome video” and “I need to get me a NFC phone and some tags. This is HEAVY!”
To achieve this kind of response from a video would need its marketing tuned to resonate with a social media audience but that is a topic for another day. If all of this is not enough for you, try out the trend graph on the right of the search results. Now you see a graphical view of the trending nature of the social buzz around your search term.
This site is similar to topsy.com, but has some nice additions. In the top left corner of the search results page you will see four boxes labeled strength, sentiment, passion, and reach. Hover your mouse above each one to see the definition. Note the answers and compare them to a related search. Note that the left hand side also lists the top hashtags and top users as well as other information. Click on any of the items to drill down further into the search results.
3) Twitter search (https://twitter.com/search)
You do not need a Twitter account to search Twitter. Just use this link. Twitter is the fastest way to get a message to a mass audience so imagine what you would find here! Advance search gives you options for local search and a few more options. I used the “nfc chips” example again and found the latest tweet was a conversation that sprung from a recent Techcrunch post. It was sent while I was writing this blog post. If you are interested, here it is https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/260382755731435522
4) Linkedin search.
Now who would have guessed that this would be my number 4? It is often overlooked as a search option, but it is where you will find many B2B conversations not found in Twitter or blogs etc.
Let’s try my search term again in the Linkedin search to illustrate my point. I searched the “groups” option for NFC chip related groups, and found 197, with the biggest having 69 discussions in the past month and over 7000 members.
5) Facebook search
Do not discard Facebook as not being relevant for B2B as well as B2C. That is a dangerous assumption. So let’s try my search term for the last time. The top search result was a fan page with over 609 likes and recent discussions about “NFC Mobile Payments to reach $100Bn in 2016” and “Pay for your Parking with your Phone!” Knowing that there are consumers/targeted users discussing your top keywords in Facebook fan pages and groups might be of interest to you. You can drill down in the search results using the left menu by people, pages, groups, events and many other options.
For B2B, Facebook has even more potential for targeting professionals via ads to raise awareness of your B2B campaigns, but again, out of scope of today’s post.
So that is my top 5 free ways to check if you have social media buzz potential.
If you are new to searching you might spend 20 minutes just using the Topsy.com tool and playing with the trend graph, but over time you will get quicker.
Imagine evaluating the validity of how “social” a search term is across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in just 10 minutes! So what comes next?
I would advise a measured approach. You could go on to start the ground work for looking at creating a campaign with offline and online digital elements, where social media could play a vital part, however, that would need more than 10 minutes!
About The Author:
Clive Roach is the social media strategist for Philips Healthcare. He is active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Healthcare. Clive has been working in the eMarketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. Clive is also practical in addition to his current strategic role. In addition to this blog, he tweets daily on three Twitter accounts, has two Facebook fan pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participates in many other social networks.
Connect with the author via: Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook fan page
Influencers vs. Advocates
Let me first deal with that question which some of us have asked ourselves for a while now. What is the difference between an influencer and an advocate? Here are two posts which tried to answer this question;
As you can see from the comments, there were some disagreements with both posts as to what the difference was. I do not have the magic answer either; however, I will share my opinion after first looking at some definitions.
A definition of influencers
Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. Alternatively, Brown and Hayes[*] defined an influencer as “a third party who significantly shapes the customer’s purchasing decision, but may never be accountable for it.
A definition of advocates
A person who supports a cause and exercises his right to be heard, or represents a party before a court or tribunal to defend it or plead on behalf of it.
So it seems to me that influencers are particular types of advocates, who have an effect on the purchase decisions of others, and not in a political or legal sense.
From now on in this post I shall use the term influencer because I am talking here about advocates who, in various degrees, have an effect on the purchase decisions of others, so they are influencers.
How can I find my brand influencers?
You should be able to spot a brand influencer very easily. They pop up regularly and say good things about your brand! When I was a community manager at Philips I had a great relationship with them over a number of years. They would answer many customer questions, and left the more difficult ones to me when they felt it should be responded to by the brand. If you are doing Social media correctly and regularly talking to your followers, subscribers, members, etc, then you will know who your brand influencers are. There are a few other ways to find your brand influencers. I list a few of them;
- Commission a Social listening survey from a competent company like Oxyme. There are many other social media intelligence companies like Radian6, Attentio, Crimson Hexagon, Collective Intellect, Sysomos etc. Radian6 actually has an influencer widget, which gives you the ability to set the factors of influence that are most relevant to you.
- The Adobe Social analytics tool enables you to integrate data from your Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels with your web analytic data to identify the people who have brought you the most referrals, actions, or revenue.It is a very neat solution and I highly recommend it to existing Omniture users.
These two suggestions can not only find the influencers for your brand, but they can also asses how much influence they have. Here are some very quick cost effective alternatives;
- For Twitter and Facebook, RowFeeder could be used to see who is referencing your brand and how often.
- For Twitter, a simple option is to use the Formulist “Top fans” app, which you can now have added to Hootsuite.
- For Blogs, look to see who regularly comments and refers to your blog. You can do this manually or consult your commenting system if you employ one, like Livefyre or Disqus.
- Communities like Linkedin allow you to see who are your top participants. JIVE communities allow you to add points for commenting and many other actions, and as an administrator, you can run reports to see who your top contributors are. You will need to check what they were doing to earn the points, as not all actions are those of influencers, referring to my quoted definitions earlier in this post.
- Lastly, there are some free tools like Topsy or Socialmention. Just search for one of your brand names and see who is talking about it. I particularly like the list of “top users” shown down the left hand side of the results page of Socialmention. Remove your own usernames and then explore the rest! In Topsy.com, use the “search experts” option.
- Here is a list of influencer identification tools that I love sharing. It is a year old, but I just love it.
In many ways, brand influencers share the same characteristics in B2C and B2B. You will find highly technical influencers in almost all subjects and most of them influence both online and offline, so do not discard the powerful effect of word of mouth. Some can tell you far more about your products than your own marketing departments! Here is one of my past posts on the power of word of mouth.
Knowing that influencers are out there is one thing, but interacting with them is another.
If handled well, you can multiply the effect that your top brand influencers will have on your earned media results.
Do not approach them using non branded email accounts, and do not blatantly ask them to promote your content.
Influencers love insightful information, either gained by experience or via data sources. So if you can supply that to them, and in advance of others channels, it might be a huge win-win. They also like to have their questions answered in a timely fashion when they come to you as well. Brands can even ask influencers to answer other customer questions, which I have experienced myself from the influencer point of view.
Start carefully, with one or two influencers, then build up to develop a successful program. I suggest looking at the checklist created by Jeremiah Owyang. It is all good stuff, but working with influencers can also be dangerous if you opt to pay them. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines for disclosure of paid media on blogs and other social media, so it is well worth reading up on this if you choose this pathway and you fall under the scope of the FTC guidance.
One of my favourite authors on the topic of brand influencers was Augie Ray. I enjoyed debating the topic with him while he was at Forrester Research. I suggest having a peak at one of his reports from February 2010, which was titled “Tapping The Entire Online Peer Influence Pyramid”
For any brand in this Social media age, identifying your Influencers should be a logical next step after first crafting your Social policies, and venturing on your first phase of Social interaction. Please refer to the above checklist that I referred to plot when you logically move onto engaging with your influencers.
Have you identified your influencers and what benefits did you gain by engaging with yours?
Interview with the Social Media Jedi about Influencers and advocates on the Pluggio blog
[*] Brown, Duncan and Hayes, Nick. Influencer Marketing: Who really influences your customers?, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2008
Image2: Clive Roach / Socialmediajedi.info