Sunday, December 19, 2010

Understanding Influencers Pt II – Activating and Measuring

This is the second post of "Understanding Influencers". Read the previous post here.
The original post appeared on my company's blog here.

Hoopla in social media creates anxiety, pressure and lots of it.

The constant influx of social and new media conferences give me the impression that people are scrambling. They just want to gather as much knowledge about everything going on without taking a step back and assessing the lay of the land.

Think of it like this- when you go to the cinema and find out that all the tickets to the movie that you want to see are sold out, don’t panic. Instead of trying to scramble to think of one other movie you could see instead, just relax, keep your exorbitantly priced $18 worth of ticket in your wallet and come back when there are tickets to the movie you really wanted to see in the first place.

It’s the same in the new media space. Instead of scrambling to get a piece of the pie without really wanting to be involved, or thinking it through properly, relax. First think what’s right for your company, your audience and your voice. Then take action. Approach your influencers, understand their needs and how they match your clearly defined needs. Find a happy medium if necessary, but never jump in with your eyes closed.

Essentially that happy medium should be something where both parties get something out of the relationship including a mandatory of a return on investment for the company. That return doesn’t have to be financial. It can be number of interactions, positive feedback, or even just impressions. You need to know what your measure of success will be.

Which leads us to the measurement. Part and parcel of the activation. There are a lot of companies out there trying to find the ‘right way’ and just like everything else in social media, it’s different for everybody.

As we navigate through the space, I can share some tips that I’ve picked up:

  1. Relevancy

    Ensure you track and follow those mentions that are only relevant to you. Identify and create a list of the terms that apply to you, your brand and your message.

    My favourite line of this year for relevancy “Apple isn’t just a fruit. It’s a fruit, it’s a brand and it’s a celebrity’s baby”.

  2. Don’t be blinded by all mentions

    Just like in the real world, when some people share something it just doesn’t have the weight that other people may bring to their comments. When establishing influencers and watching comments within the space, make sure you really qualify the chatter as well:

    • Do the voices have an impact in your relevant market, no matter where they happen to be?

    • Are the listeners qualified? Is there a sizeable number who are actually real people?

    • Rate the comments on a scale of influence across the socialsphere.

  3. Benchmarking

    It’s very hard to benchmark in new media with previous comparable campaigns being few and far between. So use your competitors as a healthy benchmark. Measure them on the same scale that you measure your own brand on.

    • What are they doing?

    • How many people are mentioning them?

    • What’s their level of engagement and influence?

  4. Don’t’ let your measurement stay idle, use it to your advantage

    Use what you’re gathering, during your activation, to continually optimize and revise engagement. We don’t know how people will respond or what they will respond to. So run with the things that get positive response and make them bigger. Drop the ideas that don’t work. The beauty of social media is still the ability to change tack in a heartbeat. Use that to your advantage.

This world isn’t set in stone. It’s constantly moving and changing. Go with the change, keep experimenting and work with what works best for you and your campaigns. Think intelligently about objectives, success metrics and measurement. Use the tools already at your disposal to help you learn more about what works best for you.

Oh Kid Cudi, you're great. Please help bring back summer

1 comment:

professional web design melbourne said...

So informative and instructive read that I really liked. Influencers are the key to spreading news and ideas across their social networks of interest. Creating a list of the terms that would apply brand or message is a good job. Using competitors as a healthy benchmark is also good.