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I think you have a point about culture. That's one of the factor that makes a brand unique and has a huge influence on how it's perceived outside. It's in every bit of communication from the brand to its market. It can't be outsourced. You have to be born into it (as an employee) and a consultant will fall short on that.
I think if the brand has a 'they come to me attitude' (i.e: they have sm channels but don't actively go out there and mingle with likeminded people in social media), then the agency will do a better job probably. The challenge is mostly about content and communication in a traditional sense.
If they have the "go to them attitude' (i.e: they have 200-300 bloggers who are supposed to engage/network with relevant folks out there), then it can't be done by an agency.The agency can provide as you said the framework, the tools, the guidance to do it.
In my mind, the later is really social media is all about.
2 years, 1 month ago on Should agencies manage companies social media channels?
Always start or at least include the customer. It's obvious but often, brands can't answer the question "what do they like/dislike, want/not want". Because those aren't easy answer to get. There's a big thick wall between the inside and the outside. I think most employees spend their time thinking about the inside and thus the big ideas come first. Often survey's, the main tool used today to get those kind of answers, dont even make the cut.
But that's where the rubber hits the road. and getting those answers is 99% sweat. nowadays, i would advice a brand to plug their employees in social media and listen/interact with their communities. if they do and spent a significant amount on this customer centric activity, the first think they'll say is "our customer like this want that..".
In my experience, every time someone comes with a simple data-point/story from a customer (not a survey), they influence the discussion significantly.
2 years, 2 months ago on Barriers
We think alike!
I love this debate on quality vs quantity. For social media, the answer is probably in between. If you outreach to a lot of people without doing the proper due diligence, they'll kick your ass ;-).
Where I work, we measure influence by "enough of the right people that trust you". i.e: enough for quality and 'right people that trust you' for quantity. For example we'll breakdown the social web in network of tribes which are networks of influencers and we'll evaluate the influence on a tribe per tribe basis; i.e: the people who are experts in personal finance decide who are influencers in personal finance.
As for sentiment analysis, too many parameters are loose for it to be automated.
Indeed the whole social media stuff can't be automated. Someone needs to be on top of it so that the output make sense and can lead to some actions.
2 years, 2 months ago on Why most social media monitoring tools are inaccurate
Agree. I was more putting my finger on what I think is missing that you didn't mention. In this digital/social word, understanding tech/data and having the ability to research thru it is key. The vast amount of content put by customers in the course of their social interaction will brings insights if harvested properly and it's not a push-button kind of things. Techy/data research skills are needed and I don't see them out there.
2 years, 2 months ago on 10 signs you might be hurting the PR industry
Obviously, PR has become hugely complex due to the explosion and chaotic nature of people-powered media who, by the way, can fire-back at any missteps.
Complexity makes ignorance harder and harder to hide. Only experts survive the onslaught of problems and opportunities that comes with it.
Skills will need to be sharpened, including a fair amount of tech savviness. Mindset will need to evolve, as an example from campaign to relationship/network.
In this era of automated system processing vast amount of data, practitioners will need to interpret the data, then recommend and guide strategy and tactics with their practical, hyper-informed mind.
HeatherLot's of good points. Blogger outreach is much better when it doesn't 'come out of the blue'. The worst is the non targeted/non personalized pitch you described, the better is targeted/personalized, the ideal is when there're already an pre-existing relationship between the pitcher and the blogger (it can be implicit). Here, we advocate that marketers should hand around with the influencers/bloggers in their community (i.e: if you're a marketer for a beauty brand on organic stuff, find the beauty bloggers that talk a lot about organic - we have a list of 2000 beauty bloggers here so easy to find 200 talking about organic)...then you pitch can be relevant/targeted and have some context because influencers will recognize you through your ongoing presence in the community.We do that here at eCairn and it yields a very high response rate when we do an outreach (75% min).
2 years, 9 months ago on 7 Tips to Improve Pitches to Bloggers
JGoldsborough Shonali I meant to say that a brand accumulating 100k followers or fans and tweeting about themselves (the brand) is close to spam...it's no different than email spam. I think social media is about network/community/a few to a few.I agree with Shonali's comment btw.
2 years, 10 months ago on What does a guaranteed impression actually guarantee?
I interpret what you wrote to be one more example of the struggle between quantity and quality. Still, too many business/brand marketers are going after the larger number of fans/followers because they think they will read whatever they push there. And they count "our tweet have been seen/read by xyz people, a function of whatever # of followers they have". Of course this is spam and it's worthless ;-).A quote I like says: "success is a lot about having enough of the right people to like you". In the world of FB/web1.0 marketers, it's altered into "success is a lot about having enough people to like you" ;-). Just missing one word leads to a critical misunderstanding!
Hi Justin,Left a comment on Heather's blog. I think what helps in that field is to see social media as a network of niche "virtual communities". Scores that mix everyone from every field of interest don't do justice to what it really is. Nowadays, we live in a world of specialists and you can be an expert in 1, may be 2 domain, but thats about it. When gauging influence, relevance is tha way to start. We need to evaluate individuals based on the signals given by their piers. For example, evaluating the influence of someone blogging about beauty in the context of the beauty bloggers community (we found ~2000 of them here) leads far better results than accross the board. That's what we do here. If a brand want to id the best influencer for their marketing activity, start with the community(ies) relevant for them, then pinpoint those whose content is related to the brands message. We're only relevant to someone about something.ThanksLaurent
2 years, 10 months ago on PR 2.0 Chat TV, episode 3: Chuck Hemann on influencer relations
HeatherI really like what Chuck said and the emphasis he puts on relevance. Influence exists in context. Context is not a keyword ( I think that's what some of those tools that measure influence on twitter use)...it's more an eco-system. Where I work, we see social media as a network of niche communities (tribes to quote Seth). So finding influencers has to take that into account. Some communities are huge. For example here, we mapped 2000 influencers, through their blogs, on beauty; we rank them in this context. But we also mapped tiny communities of 50 for some customer that had a very narrow, b2b centric, type of business.Laurent
2 years, 10 months ago on Online Influencers: Who are they and what do you do with them?
Shonali geoffliving I read it but I probably misused the word community. It has many meaning. I should have used 'tribes' ;-). I think it's important, as part of any social media optimization effort to 'know and engage' with tribes relevant to one's brand. I see too many random pitches, too many races for as many random followers and friends baited through special offers...social is about knowing, understanding, caring not just a name/account pulled by some kind of magic piece of software..which at this point can only do so much anyway!.
2 years, 11 months ago on On Influence In Public Relations And Social Media
Shona,Interesting article, and I can't agree more with the points you make. Having read so many bloggers (i.e influencers) complaining about 'bad pitch' from 'lazy PR specialist', the challenge still exists. Technology can help but can't provide an automated answer to the problem. It should be only used in the context of proper due diligence. Where I work, we see social media as a network of niche communities. Within those communities, some people have become those influential voices and it's possible to identify them but the key is to do it, as you sais in context. Here, we've mapped communities with 1000+ influencers on niche topics such as beauty, decoration, fashion, cloud computing....and have developed an algo to rank them alltogether. But having a ranked list of influencers corresponding to a relevant niche for one's business is just one part of the problem. The other part is to find within this pool which one are the most relevant to the story you have. You've got to do that by mining their content. i.e: who is the most relevant on the topic of 'organic skincare" in the beauty community. Last, a final check is required (i.e: read the content to make sure it really matches).Of course marketers want to id the influencers to do something (outreach). An outreach will be much more likely to succeeed if, also, a previous relationship has been established through mechansims like blog commenting or others available.Laurent