What is the Top Social Network to Drive Visits to Corporate Websites?


The answer might surprise you…

LinkedIn, with 64%. Compare this to Facebook, coming in at 17% and Twitter at 14%.

More details here on surprising LinkedIn stats, but this is one that I think merits the question, “Should we be active on LinkedIn as part of our social strategy?”

What are your thoughts?


8 Tips for Influencer Marketing


twitterforcashMany brands have implemented Influencer Marketing campaigns – equipping key demographic users with products/services that they will use/review/share on their own social networks.

It’s a program that I also endorse and recommend. Here’s a few few quick tips:

  1. Aim for a mix of your Influencer backgrounds. Focus on your core demo, but also be diverse.
  2. Invest in new Influencers. They will grow with you and maintain loyalty.
  3. Watch out for “PR Friendly” Influencers. They will share your message/brand, but their content may be light/empty.
  4. Treat them well. Give them more than enough to work with and make them happy.
  5. Share their content on your own platforms. Even if it’s not all 100% positive, this is what you asked for.
  6. Build on their efforts. See who interacts with their posts – now engage those users.
  7. Maintain them as a segment. Don’t just view them as 1-and-done, this can be a potent group.
  8. Add new Influencers. Bring new people into the fold, keep it fresh.

Got any tips to add? Leave them in a comment…

3 Tips to Consider Life Without Facebook


skynet_FBFor the past several months, I’ve watched Facebook’s changes to paid post reach, content throttling, Mark Cuban’s comments, and the most recent, Facebook “Emotion Experiment”.

There are so many ways to go with this… but one has to wonder just how far Facebook will go and possibly completely caving in on itself. It was never going to be G+ that would “dethrone” Facebook, but it seems that Facebook itself may create its own demise. Either that, or it pulls “a SkyNet”, becomes self aware and launches a full scale nuclear attack against us humans.

I’ll save my personal opinions on the emotional experiment for a chance to discuss them with you over a drink . But here’s my professional opinion on what to do about Facebook as a social marketer:

  1. Start to Branch Out: Maybe you have been focusing on core platforms for a while. It’s time to start to determine what other social media spaces may fit your brand.
  2. Review your Facebook Ad Budget: What could you do with this money if you no longer spent it on Facebook? Consider all or even just a part of that ad spend. What else is possible? Increase head count? Different ads? New directions?
  3. Consider What You Will Lose: Similarly, what would you lose if Facebook went away? Whether or not you decide to limit your Facebook marketing or it implodes on itself, where else can you get what Facebook is giving you now?

In closing, I’m not suggesting that you close out your Facebook Brand Page. But I am definitely suggesting that we all take a moment to consider what life without Facebook might be like.

The NFL is Making Millions in “Extra” Sponsorships with Twitter Amplify


The NFL is Making Millions in “Extra” Sponsorships with Twitter Amplify

Via @adweek. The term “extra” sponsorship is present here, but doesn’t this demonstrate a shift in what a sponsorship destination Twitter has already become?

At this point, there is no other app or platform that can compete with Twitter for a second screen strategy.

The Business Case for Snapchat: Disappearing Content in a Content Marketing World


Snapchat-LogoLove it or hate it, Snapchat is a bit of a big deal.

Having turned down acquisitions for a reported $3 billion (from Facebook) and yes, even $4 billion (Google), Snapchat is the ephemeral juggernaut of the social world. While the total number of users isn’t officially disclosed, they were reported at 30 million in Fall, 2013, with over 400 million snaps per day. That’s an active bunch.

Considering the average user age is 13-23, this is exactly where marketers want to be, in connecting with users while they are young. A few brands have already jumped in, Taco Bell (a frequent innovator) and sports teams such as the New Orleans Saints and (very recently) Pittsburgh Penguins come to mind.

Like Instagram, Snapchat is a mobile only platform (though there are Instagram web profiles). The kicker with Snapchat is, of course, that the content has a limited life span. It’s gone either after you view it, or with Snapchat Stories, lasts for 24 hours. It’s very plain to see that Snapchat works as it solves a very real problem of life in the “share everything” age we are in – the content disappears. What happens on Snapchat, stays on Snapchat. It’s the Las Vegas of social networks. It’s the exact opposite of a Facebook Timeline.

If you’re a marketer – why then, would you want to be using Snapchat? What’s the value in sharing content that disappears in a Content Marketing. Why wouldn’t you use something you can “keep” like a Vine or Instagram video? Why would we make content that we’re going to allow to disappear?

The answer is because you may find new users there. They may follow you, and then they may follow you on your other platforms as well.

The other factor here is something that I think we should use a reminder as marketers. Embrace it. Change is constant. Remember that social marketing can be fun. Ephemeral content still has value and is an interesting concept. Things don’t always work out as planned (remember when you couldn’t wait to build your G+ Brand Page?). The ephemeral reality of Snapchat is that it may lead you to new followers. And in turn, new customers. Or maybe not. But you’ll probably learn something about your marketing and your market at the very least.

Influencer Marketing and Community Management


Many brands are actively working with Influencers online. Since the early days of social media as a marketing channel, brands began to invest in influencers and communities to build and spread trust through social networks.

Early brand advocacy was relevant and immediate. As early adopters of social marketing, we all embraced this practice as a solid method of community building. Empower individuals with the means to learn about and experience your brand or product and encourage them to tell people about it. Makes great sense, and the past 5-7 years have seen countless influencer programs and initiatives.

As influencers began to understand their role in social brand marketing, things began to shift. It created a entirely new consumer role, that a sponsored life. Some influencers took this opportunity to various degrees. There are now some individuals who label themselves as PR friendly, and are ready to work with any brand that may come along with a compelling offer. This is the influencer as ad channel, with a following and bandwidth to be bought, quite literally. In fact, the ask that comes from some influncers can range from “excited to be working with you” to completely jaded. This kind of “PR friendly” influencer completely flies in the face of brand advocacy,  though. There is still the dissemination of brand or product content; but, how authentic is this? How meaningful are the connections to the influencer’s network? How much of an opportunity to an emotional connection is there in a PR friendly dynamic? I’d say, very little.

So, why would you use this kind of Influencer? It depends on what you want, of course. Do you need to get the word out? Do you need to grow or ramp up quickly? This is your target with this group. These people should be a part of your strategy; a segment of your social activity.

True brand advocacy comes from a Community Management perspective. And this takes time. Building advocacy has inherently more power, is more sticky and has an emotional component to it. This can’t be bought, but it can be rented. And there are good reasons to do both, depending on your goals.

Get these influencers into your strategy, but understand what they are to you – a channel. They might help you to access advocates, get the information out, help you reach new demographics. The key element in a Community Management strategy is to carry forward these relationships, build upon the viral impact they these influencers can help produce – that’s where you get your traction and that takes specific, 1-1 level engagement with those who encounter your influencer effect.

Don’t just position an influencer project on it’s own. Integrate it into your Community Management strategy and turn over every stone in the process. Make the most of what your influencers can do for you.