Earshot Blog

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

It’s Time to Take Social Media Filtering to the Next Level

As the number of daily conversations between brands and consumers on social media continues to grow, it’s becoming a much bigger challenge for marketers to adequately support the volume of daily inbound brand mentions with the resources they have in place today. In fact, according to Engagor, 45% of retailers are ignoring customer service inquiries on Twitter altogether because they don’t have the resources in place to handle them. Adding more people (and costs) to keep up with the volume is a hard pill to swallow for most marketing departments and especially the CFO. That said, in today’s world it’s also become unacceptable for brands to fail to reply to posts that are relevant – especially when they are coming from loyal customers who spend thousands of dollars a year with them and expect a reply or become at risk in leaving the brand. One of the biggest issues contributing to this challenge is that despite all of the social media management tools out there today, the signal-to-noise ratio for inbound posts is still far too high in the feeds of the community managers responsible for engagement. Sifting through meaningless posts from businesses or from people who are not deserving of a response to find the right ones that need responding to is only becoming more complicated for social media teams. Keyword filtering is just not enough anymore and most of these community managers are spending too much of their time vetting posts and vetting people – directly impacting their productivity and response times. Ultimately, this leads to higher labor costs for the business and / or impacts retention... read more

The Rise of the Micro-Influencer

Savvy marketers are starting to put more of their budget into influencer marketing as they begin to realize the results it can yield at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. The success of well-known influencers such as Logan Paul or King Bach with younger consumers is now widely documented, as their sheer reach and impact through social media is truly compelling. Beyond just their reach, these influencers have the unique ability to connect with a demographic that responds better to irreverent, clever snippets that involve the brand in more natural ways than a 30 second TV spot. Their content drives engagement and carries more weight with younger people since it feels real. In short, effective influencer marketing is here to stay with new companies like TapInfluence or Studio71 zeroing in on how to connect these top-tier influencers to brands who want to be represented. That said, these major influencers can only endorse so many brands and there are only so many that are talented enough to connect the right way with their audience. Their influence is not so much expertise or deep passion for the brand as it is a channel for awareness. Demand for limited spots drives up the price of well-known influencers so it can be difficult for all brands to wedge their way into this powerful channel with the biggest names on social media. With this being the case, how can marketers extend the success of these major influencers to credible “micro-influencers” who can champion their brand? The ones who have tens of thousands of followers, credibility, and in some cases, may be fans... read more

Brands Are Now Moving from Reactive to Proactive Engagement on Social Media

Most brands have figured out the importance of monitoring and responding to consumers who @ mention them on social media. Whether it’s a customer service inquiry or positive experience with the brand, the @ mention invites marketers to engage as the door has been opened by the consumer for conversation. In fact, there is a growing expectation from consumers that these brands will respond to them within minutes, not hours after they make their post. Marketers are now beginning to discover opportunities to proactively engage consumers on social when the person may not necessarily @ mention them, but when the timing and context is suited for their brand to jump in and be a part of the conversation. Doing this the right way leads to new customers, stronger brand affinity, and more valuable earned media from new fans of the brand. The key to making this type of engagement successful is creating a true value exchange with the consumer where they feel educated, incentivized or humored in a way that makes the brand feel real. For example, one of our automotive clients recently saw an impressive 42% conversion rate from proactive engagements they made to “auto intenders” who were either looking for help or simply exasperated from the car buying process. Rather than aggressively solicit these people for new business, the brand used empathy and assistance to make a more meaningful connection with these people in the “moment”. As a result, they were able to realize a strong ROI on the number of conversions, impressions, and overall results that this approach yielded. Keep in mind that these were people... read more

5 Ways to Drive Higher ROI at Events through Social Media

Marketers spend more than $50 billion every year on events to promote their brand. Usually, the goal is to create a strong connection between the event and the marketers’ brands through sponsored dollars that can yield a return on investment over time. With this kind of commitment, extending the reach and impact through social media is an opportunity for marketers to improve overall ROI. At Earshot, we are monitoring and scoring social media posts in real-time for thousands of events every year so that major brands can quickly connect with attendees and amplify the experience to a larger audience. With thousands of opportunities to discover and engage attendees with relevant content through social media during these moments, marketers can achieve incredibly high engagement and share rates and impact results pre, during, and post event. After having seen success with events ranging from Lollapalooza to the Consumer Electronics Show, here are 5 ways we see leading brands utilizing social media at events to achieve better event-based ROI: 1. Drive offline behaviors like sampling or sign-ups Connecting the digital to physical world is the ultimate conversion metric. Leverage social media as a new brand channel during these live events to drive conversions on site and win new customers. 2. Identify new brand advocates and influencers Using logo detection and other influencer discovery tools, social media can reveal new advocates at live events who are sharing brand specific content and where brand affinity and brand recall are at their highest. 3. Activate surprise & delight campaigns and capture earned media Use the event as an opportunity to provide a VIP experience for... read more

Introducing Earshot Analytics

Today we are excited to announce the release of a new version of Earshot Analytics to help marketers measure their true social ROI during campaigns and events.  In contrast to traditional social listening tools that construct word clouds or do macro-analysis of consumer sentiment across all of social, Earshot Analytics takes a deeper dive into what is driving engagement rates, conversions, and earned media through social and the ripple effect of 1:1 conversations.  The key to optimizing engagements is to continuously refine how posts are prioritized and to identify and apply the consistent themes that yield the best results.  Through our Decibel Level scoring system, we are able to capture the data and insights from successful engagements and apply them in real-time so that our Decibel algorithm gets smarter after every post and is unique for every brand or campaign.  Using Earshot Analytics, marketers are now empowered to quickly identify the impact of response times, the ‘amplification’ of shared conversations on social, and the tools to take social filtering to an entirely new level.  We look forward to sharing more details in the weeks to come and hope to hear from many of you... read more

Why I Joined Earshot – and Why You Should Care About Micro-Social for Your Brand

The love of big data didn’t start with social media but the two are a perfect match for each other. Billions of interactions with individual people and brands in closed environments were occurring just as “big data” became a huge buzzword, and technology companies jumped in to take advantage. Most of those companies have only been interested in the world of “macro-social”: what happened overall, what share of voice do I have, how many fans did I get, etc. I just moved into the world of “micro-social”, where big data is important but small data may be even more valuable. Before we dive into that, some background on how we got here. First, organic reach for brands on social (especially on Facebook) dropped, and a brand’s potential to actually reach their consumers became virtually impossible without a truckload of money. When brands were reaching that group, there was all take—“CLICK ON THIS”, “PLEASE BUY MY PRODUCT”—and no give. Brands had no interest in having a two-way conversation with their audience or show a humanizing, friendly face (or, as Burr says to Hamilton, “talk less, smile more”). And there was zero idea of actually trying to acquire that customer—the goal was impressions without actually knowing if they were impressed enough to buy the product. Next came the reemergence of social influencers. I started hearing about it with the people you would expect: content producers or trend-setting brands trying to connect with a growing millennial consumer. Then that evolved, too, as insurance companies, hotel chains, and pet brands were also getting in the game. But the cost of this started to... read more

5 Ways for Marketers to Find New Influencers Through Social Media

As marketers continue to look for new ways to leverage influencer marketing as part of their overall strategy, finding the right influencers is one the first steps towards executing a successful program. For obvious reasons, social media is one of the best places to find people who have both a meaningful number of followers and a highly engaged audience. That said, it’s no longer enough to rely on someone’s follower count or Klout score to find the most qualified people to amplify a brand’s message. As consumers become smarter about the authenticity of an influencer, marketers must now find true brand advocates who have intrinsic motivations and can influence through other channels like blogs, television, radio, books, etc. Here are five other key data points now accessible through social media and how they can help marketers go deeper in finding the right influencers at the right time for their brands. 1. Follow Graph By analyzing the specific brands a person follows on social media, marketers can quickly discover brand affinity and the potential to be a brand advocate. In addition to those people following your own brand, those following complimentary or competitive brands can reveal clues about people that make them more qualified to be potential influencers with the right motivations. 2. Share Rate Follower count is obviously the quick indicator of potential reach, but the propensity for one to share content of others can matter even more. Using tools that can measure the likelihood of someone sharing content can help marketers better predict the total reach and earned media they will capture through these influencers. Efforts to engage... read more

Timing is Everything To Win Big With Influencer Marketing

As Influencer Marketing continues to gain more steam, engaging the right influencers on social media within seconds or minutes of a relevant post they make can have a big impact on how marketers can unleash the power of social sharing.  At Earshot, we have seen share rates on social media increase by more than 2.5x when micro-influencers are engaged by a brand within 10 minutes of a post.  The impact of a thoughtful reply or a well-timed ‘like’ for brand awareness can make a big difference on how consumers perceive whether a brand is really listening to them and the likelihood of them sharing content with their friends and followers on social media. And as most marketers know, the most effective type of influencer marketing is when it’s authentic sharing from the person and not driven by incentives or other artificial motivations. On social media, there is a unique opportunity to deepen the trust with influencers and increase the chances of capturing the right kind of earned media by engaging at the right place, right time.  This doesn’t always have to be when an influencer is talking about the brand or sharing positive sentiment.  Providing instruction in a time of need (e.g. an insurance company providing helpful advice to people in a town ravaged by a tornado) or adding to the conversation when it’s complimentary to the brand and fit for commentary (e.g. a beer brand providing grilling tips to people talking about outdoor barbeques) can be an incredibly effective way to build and deepen that trust with influencers.  It’s sometimes tougher to measure, but ultimately, it’s trust that... read more

5 Takeaways from the 2016 Corporate Social Media Summit

This week, Earshot had the pleasure of attending the Corporate Social Media Summit in Brooklyn, NY. With more than 350 attendees from Fortune 500 brands, agencies, and technology companies, the conference featured engaging content on the state of the social media landscape, and how the industry will evolve in the future. From Coca-Cola’s Social Media Director Tim Goudie to Twitter’s Head of Social Customer Service Jeff Lesser, top thought leaders shared some great pieces of advice with attendees. Here are five major takeaways from this year’s conference. 1. “Stop selling, start telling” In his presentation, Coca-Cola Social Media Director Tim Goudie explained how the brand utilizes video to communicate with target audiences on social media. As part of its sustainability initiative in 2015, Coca-Cola released two different videos to target specific audiences. The first video, “Introducing Plant Bottle”, which runs for four minutes, was targeted to brands and focused on product innovation. The second video, “Plant Bottle Pendulum Wave” runs for one minute and was targeted toward consumers, featuring unmarked soda bottles swinging in mesmerizing patterns, encouraging viewers to “see bottles differently.” By sharing these videos with the right audiences through various social channels, Coca-Cola generated significant engagement with the brand, ultimately leading to higher brand perception and sentiment. 2. Use social to understand your customers More than 80% of companies still believe that are not fully leveraging the power of social, largely due to lack of organizational support. Wilson Sporting Goods CMO Amy Weisenbach described how she received buy-in from her organization by using social media to discover key insights about younger athletes. Last year, in an effort to... read more

Client Control of Decibel Level Scoring is Live!

Today, we’re excited to announce a new feature that puts the power of Earshot’s real-time relevancy score, Decibel Level™, directly into the hands of our customers.  Now within the Earshot platform, customers are able to adjust the importance level of Decibel Level variables in real-time, helping them more quickly discover and prioritize the social media posts that are relevant to their campaign objectives. Earshot’s Decibel Level is a dynamic algorithm that computes a real-time relevancy score, from 0.1 to 9.9, for every social media post captured in the Earshot platform. Backed by the power of IBM Watson and taking into account variables such as location, logo detection, time of day, weather, and sentiment, Decibel Level helps brands achieve their real-time marketing goals by using social media as the source for real-time insight. Decibel Level takes typical social media scoring to a new level by looking beyond just social influence and taking into account real-time conditions, what is important to a specific brand or campaign at any given moment, and the probabilities of engagement or conversion for a given consumer. The Decibel Level score is then reapplied to trigger real-time communications in the “moment” when consumers are most likely to engage.  These can include real-time paid campaigns on social, real-time emails, or true 1:1 conversations with the most relevant consumers through social media. Customize Your Scoring on Every Variable With Post Scoring, customers are able to customize the keywords, hashtags, and phrases that are found and scored for a given campaign and adjust the relative importance as conditions change.  For example, “breakfast” might be more important from 6AM – 10AM, but... read more