The best video marketing campaign of the week – Coke’s “Unlock the 007 in You” campaign, which featured commuters tackling a series of obstacles to win tickets to the latest Bond movie. No doubt they were actors, as getting people to take part without signing a legal waiver would be madness, but the campaign was still very entertaining.
Even after the many updates and improvements to the UI, many are still wondering how much clout Klout even has. That’s why two new start-ups are on the scene and promising to deliver the big data results that Klout can’t. We’ve already reported on one start-up to watch, Telagence, which promises to build a social graph of connections and communities, making it easier to see the links. We can also add Little Bird to the list, which promises to show you how to connect with the biggest influences on social media, and how to become one yourself. This article by Bloomsberg Business Week explains how the two could blow Klout out of the water.
We all anxiously waited for the iPad mini to be unveiled and see if Apple can still reign supreme in the tablet market as they compete directly with the low-priced Android Nexus 7. Already questions have been raised about the high pricing, and it has been revealed by Mashable that 45% of iPad owners are unhappy with the timing of this release, which is so close to the iPad 4. However, the iPad mini could also spark up some interesting advertising activity, as advertisers are forecasting a boom in mobile ads around the holiday season.
Facebook has started to show increases in mobile ad revenue, an area they were previously stumped by. But just as something good happens to them, they launched yet another unpopular feature. Personal users can now promote their posts, which will ensure their updates are seen by all of their friends…otherwise, around 80% of your friends list will miss out. Likewise for pages, you won’t see updates from all of the pages your like, unless you manually opt in by adding pages to your interest lists. If users can no longer use the network to reach their friends, this could spark the end of the growth of Facebook.
Is social media making us more whiney, or is it just giving us a better platform to voice our concerns? This article by the Financial Post suggests that social media is making companies handle complaints very differently. As customer grievances are very often played out in public view, companies are working harder than ever to ensure their customers are satisfied.
Like the secret ingredients in Coke Cola, or Colonel Sander’s fried Chicken recipe, Klout is one of those secretive and elusive entities that may go down in history as one of the things we’ll never fully understand. Is it follower count? Is is retweets? Does it measure the influence of those who retweet you? Or is it just voodoo? We may never know, but the recent strategic investment by Microsoft could help make Klout more accurate, and as important for SEO as Google’s Authorship.
Microsoft announced the investment last week on the Bing community blog, and stated that their aim is to strengthen social search and online influence. Both companies seem to be at a natural stage to join forces, after Bing launched “People Who Know” to their social search bar in May, and Klout recently launched “Moments” to help users better understand what makes them influential.
Klout scores are now integrated into the social search bar on Bing, allowing users to see the influence of an articles author before clicking through. This will not only help to strengthen the ties between social media and content publishing, but it will also help users to find the most authoritative authors in their target field.
This move will offer a somewhat similar service as Google’s Authorship integration with Google+, but it could prove to be more successful, as Klout is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr and many more. From a content publishers perspective, a Klout profile is easier to maintain than a Google+ profile, as Google+ adoption rates have been sluggish, and it can be hard to connect with people on the network. Klout offers an easier, and more rewarding experience, as the numerical rating acts as a gamifying mechanism for content publishing and sharing.
In their blog post, Bing announced:
“We hope that the partnership will ultimately lead to platform enhancements that enrich the discovery and recognition of influencers on both Bing and Klout.”
To compete, Google will have to make their Authorship function easier to implement, as adoption rates have been surprisingly low. Some complain that even after they’ve jumped through all of the hoops, Google still fails to link to their profile. Many have failed to link their content to Google+ correctly, with only 9% of tech blogs implementing the changes successfully.
Klout does have its disadvantages, with elitism being one of the worst. Unless the Klout system improves, the popular will only get more popular, while those who are potentially more influential on the topic in question will be ignored.
Facebook isn’t the only one feeling the pressure from advertisers after their stock price plummeted this week; Twitter has come under fire too. As the alternative to Facebook, they’re now feeling the squeeze to prove that they can deliver results and monetize the 340 millions Tweets sent per day.
Justin Bieber has set a new Twitter record for the most number of retweets. 200,000 users retweeted his heartbreaking tweet about 6-year-old Avalanna who died recently. The tweet trended, globally. That’s some serious Klout.
After switching to a subscription model back in 2009, all content from Times newspaper was off-limit to all but subscribers – even the Google bots were locked out. Gaining only 200,000 subscribers apparently made Murdoch see the error of his ways, and Google bots will now be allowed to crawl and index all of the content. However, Google will only be allowed to show 2 lines of the content in search results, which could prove more annoying that anything else for non-subscribers.
Klout has received investment from Microsoft, and now has serious Bing integration. Klout scores will now show up in search results on Bing’s People Who Know section. There will also be integration with Wikipedia, as Klout users with Wikipedia entries about them will now see their score soar when their page is found and selected in search.
Facebook is venturing into e-commerce as they begin testing gift sales. It’s actually quite clever, as it turns user data into gift recommendations. And it gets cleverer. The gifts can then be sent via desktop or mobile to the recipient, who will receive it as a digital card, or a physical shipment. Missing a friend and want to let me know? You can now buy them a Starbucks, just cuz.
Part of a four part series about how Journalists are using social media, beyond Facebook, ReadWriteWeb looks at how journalists are using SoundCloud in new and interesting ways. Some are using it as a platform to publish interviews, while some are using it for mobile audio editing. This makes an interesting read for anyone looking to use different platforms in new and interesting ways.
And finally, if you’re struggling to connect with your audience via social media or direct marketing, have you thought about making your communications more humorous? According to Social Media Explorer, this can work for B2B marketing too. One method of incorporating this is to separate work time from play time. By posting funny things at the weekends, you’re showing your playful side, without compromising your usual serious marketing communications.
Here’s a rather odd video to get you started, and my viral video prediction of the week…
Once small business owners know you work in social media, you suddenly become an unlimited gold mine of answers and insight, and a very popular person to talk to at parties. After answering the question “how do I get more followers on Twitter” for the umpteenth time this weekend, I thought it might be a nice idea to compile a quick fire list of answers to the most commonly asked questions about social media marketing for small businesses. Feel free to e-mail or comment with any that I’ve missed… Here we go!
The most common social media networks for marketing are Facebook and Twitter, with Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr as up and coming networks. But it’s really about what’s best for your company and how you plan to use the network.
What about Google+? Do I need to be on there?
Google+ is a tricky one, because it still has a rep for having a small user base. However, it does benefit from good integration with Google, and it also offers some interesting and flexible options, like hangouts. Again, it’s about what’s best for your company, so if you can find a great use for it, by all means be a pioneer.
Do I need to advertise on Facebook? I don’t really want to spend money.
While Facebook advertising is a great way to target your page at the right demographic, you can build an organic following without paying a penny. This method with obviously take more time, but with good cross platform integration and a little word of mouth advertising, you could build an excellent community of followers.
How can I get more followers on Twitter?
Think about what makes you follow people; it’s usually a combination of the right content, at the right frequency. Make sure you’re tweeting interesting and valuable content. Also, follow interesting people and interact with them by replying to their questions or retweeting them. And finally, make use of hashtags to make sure you’re visible.
How do I interact with people on Twitter?
Keep an eye on your feed and reply when people ask questions, comment when they post links, and retweet them when you think they’re saying something that might be valuable to your audience.
I’m following too many people, how do I find the right people to interact with?
By creating lists you can segment your followers and keep an eye on specific people. Remember that these lists are public, so don’t give them inappropriate names or group people in unusual ways. Other people may end up following your lists too, so make sure you maintain them.
What’s the best way to keep on top of all my profiles?
Set up a dedicated social media e-mail address so your notifications don’t flood your main inbox. And then try a social media management suite like Hootsuite, Convert Social or Postling. There are so many out there, some are free, some cost a little each month. Find one that works for you.
What’s the best way to find new people to follow on Twitter, Pinterest or other sites?
Hash tags are your friend. Carry out a little hashtag research and find ones that are relevant to your industry. Then set up alerts to track people who use them. Also, look at the people who follow your followers, and other influential sites.
Do I need a blog?
Blogs are a great way to set yourself apart as a content creator, rather than just a distributor. Figure out what your niche is, and then blog away! But only if you have the time; a out of date and poorly written blog is worse than no blog.
Does Klout matter?
Klout is simply a measure of what happens when you post things on social. It looks at who you interact with, and their level of “influence”. Obviously a higher Klout score means your message travels a little further when you’re online, but it’s not an actual measure of your influence, so don’t take it too personally!
Hiring new talent can be a headache. And if you aren’t a huge corporation with an HR department to take care of things, then the headache will soon escalate into a full blown migraine. Social media is one area that often causes problems; with so many different approaches, and so much conflicting advice it can be difficult to determine what exactly you’re looking for.
First off, you need to decide what role you’re hoping to fill…
Do you want someone to set up your profiles, and manage the general day to day usage?
Are you looking for someone who can contribute to and give direction to your marketing plan and help integrate social media into the bigger picture?
Or do you want someone to help you establish your presence and then teach you how to make the most of your platforms, and maybe establish a social media marketing plan.
These are just three examples of roles; a manager, a strategist, and a consultant. Decide what you want before advertising the job, as you could end up pitching the role to over or under qualified people. Along a similar theme; do you want someone full or part time? In-house, or freelance? Is it a short or long term role?
Today we’ll look at social media managers. It’s important that you look for the usual good qualities you look for in any employee; punctual, team-player,
More specifically, you should be looking for the following 5 qualities, and here’s why…
Organised. Social media is fast-paced and on multiple platforms, which is why your social media manager needs to be able to juggle a multitude of tasks at once. Missing a mention on Twitter, or taking too long to reply to a Facebook post will reflect badly on your company.
Social Media Savvy. This goes beyond looking for people who tweet on a regular basis, or have a lot of friends on Facebook. Personal and professional use of social media are entirely different things, so don’t fall into the trap of hiring the person with the highest personal Klout score. You should be looking for past experience to show you how successful their social media strategy has been. Do they get a high level of engagement, and does their tone strike a chord with their audience?
Communication Skills. Social media is about more than sharing content and chatting with fans, it’s a communication role, and so an aptitude for language is a must. Poor spelling and grammar skills will not be popular on social media sites.
Interest in Social Media developments. The best social media managers are forward-thinking. They’re early adopters and they’re fueled by curiosity. Look for a candidate who is always learning, and is open to new ideas.
An understanding of your company. This part is possibly the most important factor. If you trust your company name in the hands of a social media manager, they have to have a deep and thorough understanding of your company and the industry you operate within.
Attention social media mavens! Klout has altered its algorithm and thus thrown all Klout scores up in the air, prompting many (me) to wonder if this change came about after the role of selecting arbitrary numbers, I mean Klout Scores, was passed over to a new monkey.*
Many have seen their Klout scores rise by double figures, while others (Justin Bieber for example) have seen their scores fall. As always Klout are keeping their algorithms under wraps, as revealing how they calculate it would make the entire process null and void, if it isn’t already. Just head over to Twitter to see the negative, and often hilarious, reactions to these changes.
So does this change mean users are suddenly more (or less) influential?
In this video released on the Klout website, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez explains how this is the most comprehensive update yet and outlines some of the changes that they’ll be rolling out in the coming months.
The changes seem to be a move in the direction of creating a social hub through which users can interact, which wouldn’t be entirely unlike the social media sites that Klout is attempting to measure. The new site design seems to feature a push to encourage users to invite their Facebook friends to Klout – could they be hoping to create a social media network?
The only interesting factor I could gleam from the updates was the introduction of moments, which will offer comprehensive insight into which pieces of shared content are successful. This, in some ways, would shed some light onto the complex and heavily guarded secret of the algorithm. More importantly it would offer brands and businesses a new social media metric to measure success.
Content marketing is big business at the moment, and getting the balance between what to post and when is a huge challenge for marketers. Klout’s updates could help by shedding some light onto what is successful and give marketers the opportunity to figure out why.
Klout could become a useful tool to be used in addition to sites such as Crowdbooster and Post Rocket to help optimise content and increase engagement. Unfortunately, users will have to wait until these new changes are rolled out before they can road test the new features. Unless you can use your immense influence to drum up the support of 10 people and convince them to join Klout, in which case you’ll gain VIP access.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way saying the Klout team are monkeys, I just want to make that very clear. I was making a comment on the arbitrary nature of the number, and not the work of the engineers.
There’s a lot of speculation in the air about the accuracy, relevance and importance of Klout scores – people seem to be doubting the sites ability to measure influence. After all, what is influence? And can it be reduced to an algorithm. Many people are arguing that since Robert Scoble ranks higher than President Obama, the whole thing must be a sham.
What’s slightly more concerning is the suggestion that some brands are taking the importance of Klout a little too far. As Twitter becomes one of the key tools in providing a valuable link between brand and consumer, more and more brands are leaning on it to provide an extra layer of customer service. There is the concern that some customers will be ignored by brands, as their lack of perceptible influence will make them less of a priority, while more influential users will be given preferential treatment.
I like to think of this as a form of negative influence marketing, and I would argue that any brand seen doing this would see their image damaged as a result. If Klout is indeed just a ego-boost for the socially active, then basing your customer service strategy on this arbitrary number would be a huge no-no. Even if Klout is an accurate measure, there is no way of knowing if that user with an egg profile picture and 15 followers isn’t a highly influential person that doesn’t use Twitter all too often. Klout doesn’t offer any kind of insight into offline influence, meaning Robert Scoble probably isn’t more influential than President Obama.
If brands are going to use social media as a customer service tool then they have to treat each and every comment and complaint in the same way they would an anonymous e-mail. To take into consideration the social influence of a customer and then decide their priority level based on this would be a highly public way to show poor customer service.
What do you think of Klout? Useful indicator of performance? Or utter nonsense?
Everybody has Influence, and Klout aims to help you to understand yours. If you’re running a social media campaign it’s likely that you’re utterly obsessed with statistics, so it would be nice to be able to condense all those numbers into one figure, between 1 and one-hundred.
Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the service, Klout can offer so much more than reassurance that you efforts are paying off in (hopefully) two digits.
Here are some of the quirks of Klout that will allow you to make the most of the service.
1. Into influencer marketing at the moment? Of course you are – why spend time aiming your marketing message at everyone when you can start a two-way conversation with the most influential and then let them do the talking for you? Klout can help you identify who the most influential people in your target area are with a little help from tags and those +K’s.
Tip: Give out +K’s like they’re sweets, everyone loves to be told they doing a good job, and Social Media users are no exception.
2. It’s early days yet, but Klout is currently testing out ‘Brand Squads’, with Red Bull being the first guest squad. These are a great way for brands to recognise and reward the efforts of those who spread their message. And if you’re not quite ready to form a squad, then it’s another great way of identifying active and influential users.
When you’re running a social media marketing campaign, it’s likely that you’ll want to measure the result of all your hard work. If you’re dedicated to pinning, tweeting, posting and liking—which can be rather time consuming—you won’t want to be spending hours looking at the analytics for each individual profile and assessing which areas need improvement.
When you log in to Twitter, in the ‘connect’ area you can see your retweets, favourites and replies; which is great, but maybe you want some more succinct and easy to measure. Likewise, in the Facebook admin panel you’ll see a whole array of interesting data; but again, this doesn’t show you the whole picture.
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are used in such different ways that the data provided by each isn’t comparable; a Retweet by someone with 20 Twitter followers may be less valuable to you than a Like by someone with 350 Facebook friends, but if those 20 Twitter followers each have high social impact it could sway the other way.
So, what you need is a way to compile your social media performance for one quick glance per week to stop you from obsessing over your various stats. Here’s a round up of some of the top social media measuring tools to give your ego a boost.
Klout: combining your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, FourSquare, Instagram, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Last FM and FlickR analytics. You’ll get one score, out of a hundred, which reflects your online ‘klout’. It also gives you access to valuable information like: your reach, the most influential people in your network, who you influence, and your Style. Your style will help you to understand if you’re creating, sharing, observing, or getting involved.
Pinreach: Like Klout, but specifically for Pinterest (although, it probably won’t be long before Pinterest is included in Klout statistics.) This is great for assessing the monetary value of your pins, particularly if you’re trying to direct traffic to your online store. It will also tell you the reach of your pins, so you’ll know how far they’re going once they’ve been re-pinned outside of your circle of followers.
Friend or Follow: A great way of monitoring who is following you on Twitter, and who isn’t. If you’re overly concerned with your number of followers and the number you’re following staying relatively close, then this is a great way to find out who you’re following that isn’t returning the favour.
Crowdbooster: Similar to Klout, but with more in-depth analytics, and also, personalised recommendations for extending your reach. Although, be warned, this website is fairly new and there are still some kinks to work out. Your information may not be immediately available. When it is available, it will be worth the wait, as it can tell you anything from your most influential follower, to how many impressions your last tweet got. Great stuff!
So there you have it, a complete guide to getting obsessed with statistics. I should point out that there is a possibility that these sites will tweet or post updates on your behalf, if you don’t want your network to see you’re obsessed with stats, just read before you click, it’s usually in the small print.
What do you do to stay ahead of the curve with your social media analytics?
Breaking News this week—I got another dog! He’s a terrier mutt from the rescue centre; his name is Kiko, and he is awesome.
And on to the SMM and SEO news, which is probably what you expected to find here! SXSW was in full swing this week, and the internet was awash with news, product updates, hands on demos, and start-up buzz.
Reminiscent of the mobile patent wars, Yahoo is seeking legal action towards Facebook for alleged patent infringement. Facebook isn’t the only one in trouble, as the patents in question affect most social networking sites.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at Google, this 8 minute video gives you an insight into the kind of effort that goes into making Google search wonderful.