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Tapping into the power of social media during live events

As brands continue to pour more dollars into social media, one of the most effective opportunities for targeted messaging, engagement, and intelligence continues to be live events. At Earshot, we have seen engagement rates and share rates more than triple for brands that are able to effectively message event attendees “in the moment” or retarget them post-event. Whether it’s a concert, sporting event, or business conference, marketers have a unique opportunity to extend their reach and create a more lasting impression with attendees through social media. Event-goers are a captive audience, most are active on social, and as a result, it opens up a natural communication channel between brands and relevant attendees when done properly. If you are not doing event-based social media marketing already, here are 4 ways to consider getting immediate value from live events through social: 1.Surprise & Delight One of the tried and true ways to capture earned media is to find relevant influencers who will share a unique brand experience to their audience of followers. The key is finding the right person – the “needle in the haystack” at these events – and providing the right “delight” so they are inspired to share. Upgraded seats, free gear, or backstage access all create instant brand affinity and amplify the reach of the brand beyond the event to those following this person on social media. By using the proper tools to surface and engage quickly, marketers can now surprise & delight in seconds at hundreds of events every year. 2. Intelligence and Insights Diving deeper into the profiles and opinions of attendees can reveal invaluable clues... read more

Taking Social Customer Service to the Next Level

The recent events with United Airlines and Pepsi have reinforced the impact that social media can have on a brands’ reputation and the importance of good social customer service. It’s no longer enough to give community managers or social care teams a screen full of brand mentions and expect them to excel in their jobs. The time required to make sense of whether the post or handle is relevant is time that could be spent engaging more customers or influencers. One of the main challenges is prioritization and being able to create sophisticated rules for routing relevant posts to the right person at the right time. If brand mentions are the initial filter, other variables to consider should include location, loyalty status, social influence, sentiment, and other post / person level data points that can be captured and applied with the right tools. Simple rules-based approaches to prioritization are not enough – it requires a dynamic, heuristic-based approach to properly surface the right posts in real time. In addition to more intelligent routing and prioritization, applying these variables can help social teams capture relevant posts missed by typical brand mention filters (e.g. when a brand is misspelled or not mentioned at all). In many cases, posts should be routed to the employees who are best equipped to resolve the issue offline. For example, a hotel chain may want to provide access to the GM’s at all of their properties the brand mentions coming from their property as a way to stay ‘tuned in’ to what is happening and to take action offline at the property level. If five different... read more

Finding the right micro-influencers is harder than it looks

As brands start to take a more holistic approach to influencer marketing and extend their relationships from celebrity influencers to micro-influencers, the importance of choosing the right ones becomes paramount. At first glance, it might seem easy to enlist an influencer marketing agency to find talent, but most of these agencies are simply finding people based on follower count and content, not the true impact they have on their online and offline audience. In order to optimize a micro-influencer strategy, marketers need to understand in detail the level of engagement of someone’s audience, the specific types of people following this person and their interests, the effective reach once content is shared, and ultimately, the impact on sales and brand awareness. This requires sophisticated micro-listening capabilities that are not necessarily solved by traditional influencer talent sourcing, but rather, through the application of technology designed to surface the best micro-influencers for a given brand. For example, bloggers, public speakers, etc. have incredible reach and influence that is not always captured by simply looking at social media metrics. These types of people have influence on their audience in a way that is unique from most as their content is consumed in multiple formats. Similarly, credentialed topical expertise commands attention in a different way than just another influencer on social media with reach. The respected chef, wine expert, or musician is going to make an impression on their audience that is much more impactful than the average influencer. Further, drilling down where these people live and how their voice and reputation can be carried more profoundly in a certain part of the country... read more

Measuring the “ripple effect” with your Influencers

As more and more brands begin to activate influencer marketing programs this year, there will be close attention paid to the quality of the content, the engagement of their audience with that content, and ultimately how the sharing of content yields new business and more brand awareness for the marketer. The effectiveness of any marketing spend is ultimately tied back to how it drives sales so some of the same metrics for success with traditional paid media (reach, efficiency, etc.) will apply to influencer marketing but with a new spin. The “ripple effect” for influencers and micro-influencers can be described as how well their message ultimately carries throughout their network of followers and beyond. The obvious way to measure this is to look at # of followers, # of shares, do some quick math to look at the collective reach of an influencer for an average post and apply a premium CPM to that content. It’s both a function of their own reach (followers), and the propensity of their followers to share content (potential reach) based on timing, quality, and topic they may be posting. But the real “ripple effect” is really how far that message carries beyond the initial post and initial shares. How did it impact conversion rates? How did it lead to offline behaviors? Did it yield new, organic posts about the brand from people exposed to the content? How did it contribute to brand recall at the moment of purchase? All of these metrics are now within closer reach through new tools designed to track an influencer’s impact back to the brand. One of the... read more

Why your customers are your best influencers

Everyone knows by now that marketers are shifting a lot of their attention (and budget) to influencer marketing. Consumers don’t want ads, they want stories, and they want to hear from real people in a thoughtful, unique way. Most influencer marketing platforms today are built to connect brands to people who have meaningful reach on social media, create great content, have some topical relevance or expertise, and have strong engagement from their audience. This is a good formula for a successful influencer strategy, but it’s missing a key ingredient of what consumers crave the most: Authenticity. No doubt, an over-used word these days, but there is really no substitute for what it means to have someone who genuinely likes and actually uses your product before they’re incentivized to do so. One of the overlooked goldmines for finding authentic influencers is in the CRM of every major marketer today. It’s these true customers who love their brand, talk about it to friends, and use it regularly because they like it. They may not have millions of followers, but many will have tens of thousands of followers who are engaged with what they are saying. It only takes a few dozen of these micro-influencers to create significant reach, but finding them amongst the hundreds of thousands (or millions) of customers is hard. Most marketers still cannot connect an email address or purchase data to how influential a person may be on social media. Despite a litany of personal data and purchase behavior, they are not capturing social media data on these customers along the way. Not just their social ID, but... read more