Earshot Blog

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

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