Analytics, Listening, and Influencers in Social Media

influencers in social mediaI learned a lot of stuff last week at Social Media Week – 2013. And, I saw some cool tools demoed. Today, I’d like to talk about a tool to identify influencers in social media — Traackr.

Now, I know we’ve all heard of Trackur — which is a general listening tool that monitors your online reputation, tracks sentiment, and finds influencers in social media.

Traackr — ONLY identifies influencers across a range of social media.While Trackur scans social networks for conversations about your brand and identifies influencers who are behind these conversations, Traackr specifically identifies social network users mentioning keywords related to your product or brand. Once identified, Traackr, rates PEOPLE (not businesses or online news outlets like Huffington Post and Mashable) identified based on reach (size of audience), resonance (ability of the influencer to generate action in social media, such as a comment or share), relevance (relationship to your keywords), and recency.

Discover and engage with influencers in social media

So, Traackr goes beyond just listening in social media to truly identify influencers who are involved in conversations related to your brand. Each influencer is then given a score based on reach, resonance, relevance, and recency and rank ordered — the higher the infuencer scores, the higher they are on the list.

Traacker goes beyond just finding influencers in social media and ranking them, however. Traackr generates a user profile for each influencer and identifies your “share of voice” or the mentions of your brand relative to competitor brands.

While Traackr doesn’t allow Boolean logic in your keyword searches (and, or) it does allow you to exclude keywords and use geolocation to limit results to local or specific regions.

One thing we know about influencers in social media is they might not have the vast networks of celebrities like Beyonce and Justin Beiber, but they often exert MORE influence over followers. This is a phenomenon known as microfame and it comes from the respect they engender among their followers.

Once you’ve identified influencers in social media like Quora, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, the next task is to engage influencers.

Tactics to engage influencers in social media

1. Special offers

Influencers have a great ability to impact sales — or exert influence. So, you might want to give them some incentives to spread your message to their networks. Offer them a free product to make it easy for them to review on their blog or on Facebook. If you’re a restaurant, invite them to a free meal. In their own way, influencers are more powerful than celebrities and are gaining more influence than more traditional media.

2. Involve them with your brand

Allowing your social media influencers input in your brand increases their involvement with your brand. It also heightens their stake in your success.  Give influencers a voice and they’ll go to the wall to help make you successful.

3. Reward their efforts

It goes a long way to simply thank influencers for their support of your brand.

Analytics

influencers in social mediaTraackr doesn’t produce much in the way of analytics. It focuses on providing profiles of influencers and their activity based on your keywords. Even standard sentiment analysis is really a manual process. Of course, many social media strategies, including me, don’t put much stock in sentiment analysis, preferring more nuanced measures of reputation.

Benefits/ Drawbacks of Traackr

I’m just geeky enough that I really like the features and detailed information you get about influencers in social media. Of course, all these features come at a high cost — $1500/ month. Which is a lot more than most of my clients can afford. That’s why I prefer using Trackur. It helps identify influencers in social media+ supports some great graphical analysis that help you judge your social media at a glance.

 

 

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Back to Marketing Basics: Market Research in the Social Media Age

market researchMarket research is often undervalued in companies and is often one of the first things eliminated when times are tough.  But, that’s the wrong attitude. Market research is crucial for uncovering marketing opportunities.

Consider the humble minivan — only the MOST successful new car concept in many years.  This car concept generate billions of dollars for manufacturers who recognized the problems faced by consumers with existing cars.  And, the new foot activated rear lift on cars is a stroke of genius in recognizing that folks often have both hands full with stuff they need to load in the back.

Market research is important for your success

And, market research is much less expensive when you incorporate market research as part of your social media strategy.

Teaming market research with social media

As reflected in this infographic from PageModo, market research on social media is a winning combination — whether you’re doing problem oriented market research or gathering routine market intelligence.

That’s because your social network is a ready-made pool of engaged consumers who are likely already part of your target audience — likely they’re already customers.

Here are some of the ways you can use your social networks for market research:

  1. Understand the lived experience of your customers.  This is academic speak for developing a deep understanding of your target audience and how they live their lives.  What are their problems? What brings them joy? What do they value most? Who are they influenced by? How do they express themselves?  You get the idea.
  2. Ask them. I particularly love the question feature in Facebook that allows you to build engagement with and extend your social network by asking questions. These answers also help you understand what’s important to your target audience or discover unmet needs which affords you great marketing opportunities.
  3. Test market. Social networks are great for test marketing new ideas before you spend the money to create a new product or service.  Float your ideas on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, etc and see what folks have to say about the idea.  Do they Like it? Share it? This can save you millions!
  4. Sentiment analysis. Knowing what folks are saying about you and your brand is important.  Quick response to service/ product failures, advertising mistakes, or even social media gaffs can reduce the impact of this negative sentiment on your brand image.  Fixing problems in the public forum of social media can even provide lift for your brand.  Sentiment analysis should include not only monitoring on social networks, but more in-depth monitoring using Google Alerts (FREE) or paid solutions, such as Radian6.
  5. Determine what works and what doesn’t. By tracking how consumers respond to your content — Liking, Sharing, Commenting — you can determine what content “works” for your target audience and what doesn’t.  This allows you to create more of the content that works and improves the success of your social media marketing strategy.
  6. Use social media to promote your traditional market research. Traditional market research surveys still have a place in improving your understanding of your market and their needs. Using social media as a means for soliciting respondents is a cost-effective way to get the responses you need, while increasing responses from your target audience.

Hausman and Associates

Hausman and Associates publishes Hausman Marketing Letter and the monthly email newsletter of the same name.  We also provide cost-effective marketing and social media through our innovative virtual agency concept.  We welcome new clients and would happily provide a proposal to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE.

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Hierarchy of Effects: Monitoring and Maximizing Your Marketing Efforts

The hierarchy of effects is:

Marketing term for the sequence of five steps a consumer passes through from the initial exposure to a product or advertisement to the purchasedecision: (1) awareness, (2) interest, (3) evaluation, (4) conviction, and (5) purchase.

 

Why we should care about the hierarchy of effects

Recently, I wrote a post suggesting that measuring ROI is stupid given the hierarchy of effects necessary to drive purchase behavior (among other reasons).  As you look at the model to the left, you can see that assessments of ROI only capture the last in a chain of events leading to sales.  Assessing marketing efforts based solely on ROI assumes the other stages in the hierarchy of effects are unimportant in achieving future sales and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Ignoring the impact of your marketing efforts on each stage of the hierarchy of effects is lazy, short-sighted, and will likely lead to inaccurate decisions.

In fact, you can find inaccurate advice given all over the internet and in books simply because sales can’t be tracked to specific marketing actions. A study by Foresee, for instance, shows only 1% of website visits are motivated by social media.  This data is used to argue that firms are wasting their time and money on social media.  What isn’t measured in this study is the enormous impact of social media on creating brand awareness — not only that, but social media creates positive affect.

Social media drives consumers far down the hierarchy of effects by creating liking, preference, and conviction that the brand is “for them” based on the engagement of their friends with the brand.  To ignore the impact of marketing on the hierarchy of effects is senseless.

How to take advantage of the hierarchy of effects

Monitor

Monitoring the effect of your marketing actions on phases in the hierarchy of effects will help you make informed decisions.  For instance, you can monitor mentions of the brand across social media and record these as favorable or unfavorable mentions — favorable mentions create brand awareness and may create liking, preference, and conviction (which can be assessed using traditional market research to measure changes in attitudes).

Maximizing Decisions

Tracking how marketing actions change the level of awareness, liking, preference, and conviction also helps improve your decision-making.  Marketing actions creating large changes in the level of these cognitive or affective stages should be used frequently, marketing actions creating little or no change in the level of these stages should not be used again.

Generating Sales

Despite my feelings about assessing ROI alone, its still valuable to map the increase in sales as part of the hierarchy of effects.  An important consideration in this assessment is tracking how earlier elements in the hierarchy of effects translate into increased sales.  That’s because consumers can back up in the funnel and fail to move all the way down to the purchase stage. That’s not good. Consumers can also flow out of the funnel (as if it were porous).  Hence, while all stages of the hierarchy of effects are important, consumers must be drawn from stage to stage all the way to the purchase stage.

If too many consumers are either getting stuck at one point in the funnel or flowing out of the funnel altogether, there’s a problem.  Maybe there’s a communication problem, maybe a product problem, or maybe there’s an influencer out there complaining loudly about the brand.  While the hierarchy of effects model won’t help you figure out what the problem is, it will tell you there IS a problem and tell you at what phase the problem arises — which makes identifying the problem easier.  If consumers are aware of the brand, but fail to migrate to the liking stage– maybe the communication they’re getting isn’t doing a good job of pointing out the benefits of the brand to them, for instance.

Extending the hierarchy of effects

While I’ve shown the traditional version of the hierarchy of effects model, that’s not the end of it.  Based on modern interpretations of the role of marketing, the hierarchy of effects needs to be extended to include:

  1. Repeat purchase
  2. Loyalty
  3. Advocacy
  4. Evangelism

I’ll save this topic for a subsequent post.

 

Questions???? Comments??? You’re always welcome and encouraged to share you’re perspectives.

 

 

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