Tag: Twitter

Since its adoption by brands and business, social media has evolved beyond a broadcast platform to a tool that enables you to gather insights about your customers, industry, products and competitors. With the right tools, a social listening strategy can help you earn valuable business intelligence by tracking, analyzing and responding to targeted conversations and keywords.

If you think of the information you can gain from market research, you can implement the same approach to learn from people on social who are already engaging with your brand and your industry. If you approach social media as a giant focus group, ask yourself as a brand, “what problems are you trying to solve, and what data do you need to solve it?”

We can define social listening as the act of monitoring social media platforms for conversation around your brand, clients, competitors, keywords and any other ideas or themes that are relevant to your business. The next step is where we find the real value of social listening: analyzing the information for actionable insights. Those actions can enable you to engage customers, determine consumer behaviour models or shift your overall product or brand positioning strategy.

Social listening is different from social media monitoring by looking beyond social metrics like engagement rate, mentions and followers to learning what the feelings are behind the posts—how people actually feel about you, your competitors and the industry overall.

Make it part of your business strategy

Social media listening should automatically be part of your business strategy—even if you’re already engaging in market research studies, social listening will provide you with scores of actionable data from real people who are actively discussing the subjects you’re monitoring. Last month, Mansfield attended a seminar in Toronto from NetBase, a leading social listening platform. Guest speaker Ravi Imam from 113 Industries spoke about “finding David in your data.” Michelangelo’s David was sculpted from a single block of discarded marble, and just as Michelangelo saw something beautiful in an unwanted piece of marble, there could be a masterpiece waiting in your data—it’s just a question of listening to what it’s telling you and taking action.

 

There's a 'David' in your data somewhere

There’s a ‘David’ in your data somewhere

On their blog, Hootsuite has a useful list of what to track when starting your social listening monitors:

  • Your brand name and handles
  • Your product names
  • Industry buzzwords
  • Campaign names or keywords
  • Your competitors’ brand names, product names, and handles

Because your social listening monitors will pick up what people are you saying about you and your competitors, you’ll be able to determine how your brand fits within the industry, relative to customer perspectives. You’ll see the types of content your audiences are most engaged with and higher level insights around customer behaviour.

With a properly implemented social listening strategy, you will gain a deeper understanding of your brand and industry with insights on how to improve in all areas of your business. Sales teams will learn more about how customers really feel about products and services, marketing personnel will see what content is most valuable to audiences and R&D teams will have direct access to real-time customer perspectives on your products those of your competitors.

With the right tools and keywords, you’ll have the infrastructure in place to mold a David of your own. Read through Mansfield’s entire digital offering here and let us know when you’re ready to put social listening to work for your band. 

 

Welcome to another entry in our Tips & Tricks series. In this post we will be cover tips to help with your digital services.

Every year during the weekend prior to Labour Day, Canada’s largest, and North America’s third largest, pop culture event takes over downtown Toronto. If you are unexpectedly caught in the horde, sometimes literal horde depending on the cosplay, you might think that Toronto has been taken over.

At its heart, FanExpo, which covers nearly every square foot of the north and south buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, combines comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming (video and otherwise).

The event attracts more than 120,000 people. They come to shop for artisan jewelry, original pieces of art for all the genres, collectibles of every form. They come to meet the comic book artists that inspired them. Most of all they come for the celebrities. Autographs of Hollywood celebrity or the sci-fi elites are extremely popular. Between $40 and $100 means about a minute of time while talent pen their names. Want a photo? That will be another $100, more for group shoots. The thousands of dollars an hour celebrities earn is nothing compared to the earned media that brands generate.

This year, Cards Against Humanity who are famous for their Black Friday “deals” had people lined up and taking photos of their booth titled “Apologies from Americans” while other attendees snapped shots of those in the line-up. The upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok featured actor costumes in front of a movie poster wall, which drew the attention of fans who captured the image and shared it. The upcoming TV show of Star Trek: Discovery gave fans the chance to play “phaser Tag” while other shared photos of a wall well-branded with the show’s logo.

Competing for each and every dollar are the independent artists as they hustle to position themselves as the next hot property, but these new talents lack the big budgets of the established players.

Here are four tips for low-budget hustle tactics used by the independents.

1. Know your audience, and know what they like. Artists recognized how popular the video game Overwatch is and recognized how loyal their fans are. When the lone voice actor, Charlet Chung from the game with 30 million players came to sign autographs, artists created prints for her to sign. A majority of artists promoting their own original art also featured many renditions of the popular Overwatch character D.Va. The booths that had prints had line ups of fans eager to buy which drew in potential fans for their original material.

2. Be everywhere. Most brands social media extends to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Independents need to be everywhere and their business cards prove it. The majority had at least five to to 10 social network icons highlighted: Google+, YouTube, Twitch, Tumblr, Behance, Pinterest, Dribble, DeviantArt and Patreon on top of the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

3. Employ a three step approach to acquisition: interest, entice, engage. The real hustle of the art occurs when artists start selling themselves. They have a few square feet to claim as their own, and they lay it all bare to the world, that is step one, gain interest. Once they have a moment of attention they entice. They know they are surrounded by passionate fans, they quickly identify their realm of fandom and sell directly to it and they do it hundreds of times per hour. Thirdly they engage with the soft sell, offering package deals or simply handing out their business card. These artists sell on all platforms and realize that physical sales are not the only source of income.

4. Be the source. Artists don’t only sell art, they sell knowledge and experience. Patreon has made it easier for artists to receive a monthly income from people that appreciate their art as well as share how they make it. YouTube and Twitch partners share revenue with the content creators that populate their networks.

Keep these tips in mind if you’re an artist or even an established brand. If you would like any help with your digital presence, ask us how we can help you.

If your business doesn’t have a Twitter account yet, it should. Twitter is the best tool to get information to your audience quickly and efficiently. Not to mention it’s also one of the best social media networks to create an engaged and loyal audience. By limiting your tweets to 140 characters, Twitter has created an atmosphere of quick news, few words and an effective way to self-promote. However, even if you do have Twitter, are you using it properly? This doesn’t just mean you have a high following, it means you have a high engagement rate.

There are tons of tips and tricks to improve your Twitter account. The worst way is to buy your followers, which would merely result in a high follower count with a low engagement rate. Instead of the quick fix of buying followers, you should implement Twitter tips into your social media strategy to attract genuine followers that will continue to engage with your account.

These are the five tips you should implement into your strategy to organically increase your Twitter engagement:

 1. Know your audience 

Before you begin tweeting whatever comes to mind, do some research. Find out who your target audience is, discover their interests and know what content is popular in your industry. The first step to answer some of these questions is to check out your competitors and the big names within your industry. Look through these accounts and find out who their followers are and which type of tweets have the highest engagement rates. This is just a starting point, as your audience begins to grow so will your familiarity of them.

 2. Know how to use hashtags 

Hashtags are a good way to join a big conversation and engage with new accounts. That being said, this is not Instagram so using 10 hashtags isn’t going to raise your engagement, but rather make your account look like spam. The general rule on Twitter is one to three hashtags per tweet. Use only relevant hashtags that will join your tweet to a larger conversation. Most importantly, if something related to your industry is trending, use the hashtag and join the conversation right away.

 3. Know how to effectively engage

Engaging on Twitter goes beyond liking and retweeting. There are more effective ways to engage to create meaningful Twitter relationships. Twitter chats are arguably the most effective way to boost your visibility. Whether you’re hosting one or joining in, this is a prime opportunity to get your account noticed and to interact with new accounts that you know are actively engaged in your industry. To engage with new accounts, you can also try out the following tips.

  • Respond to big accounts. Your tweet will show up underneath theirs when others click to see more, which will give you good exposure.
  • Create Twitter polls about relevant industry news or about your own brand. This gives your audience an easy way to give you their thoughts and opinions.
  • Follow accounts that consistently engage in your tweets and reciprocate the engagement.
  • Don’t just retweet; retweet with your own opinion written above the original tweet to start a conversation.
  • Share links to relevant industry news and information and ask your followers questions related to the tweet.
  • Live tweet any relevant industry events you attend with the event hashtag.

 4. Know when to tweet

In the world of social media, it’s better to be overseen than rarely seen, especially with Twitter. The average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes, which means that the chances of your tweet being seen by your entire audience is slim. This is why most successful Twitter accounts tweet anywhere from five to 20 times per day. The easiest way to stay active on twitter is to use a scheduling program, like Hootsuite, to ensure you’re always publishing content. Another way to ensure your content is being seen is to send out at least three different tweets about the same topic at different times throughout the day.

 5. Know the different between brand-centric marketing and customer-centric marketing 

Look at twitter accounts like Wendy’s for example. Wendy’s twitter has successfully shifted from the traditional brand-centric marketing to customer-centric marketing. You can easily recognize this through their banter with customers, their funny tweets that don’t read like ads and their latest viral sensation of giving a teenager free nuggets for a year once he reached 18 million retweets.

A good rule of thumb is to use the 80/20 rule. This means that 80 per cent of your posts are about your community and only 20 per cent are about the product. To gain interested followers who will willingly engage, the 80/20 rule and human-centric marketing tactics should be implemented into your twitter strategy.

Learn more about how Mansfield can help improve your Twitter here.

Whether you are looking to engage an influencer on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or smaller niche sites, influencer marketing is on the rise in 2017. To stay on top of this trend brands must actively change their strategies to capitalize on this seismic marketing shift.

Influencers are paid to sponsor a product or campaign through their blog, social media posts, other video/written content. The benefit is simply that many of their followers will often take the trusted source, in this case the influencer, as being a good motivation to check out a brand, participate in a sale offering and possibly initiate a purchase.

There are five market measurements of Influencers:

  • Micro (<10,000 followers),
  • Mid (10,000- 100,000)
  • Macro (>100,000)
  • Super Macro (100,000+ and some level of celebrity status)
  • Niche (follower counts can vary from 500-1,000,000s depending on category and expertise).

Most campaigns will take on a blend of influencers with each campaign directly involved in achieving a defined goal: Either brand amplification, general awareness, lead generation or a defined sales campaign.

Influencers are keenly aware of their power, and this is likely to increase as more brands continue to invest in them this year and beyond. Some of the things you may want to consider when negotiating with an influencer:

1) Do I possess the skill set to negotiate an influencer contract or should I be outsourcing this to an agency?

If you have no prior experience in negotiating with influencers you should consider the cost benefit of using a company that has knowledge, is process driven and can display results from past campaigns. Don’t get lured into influencer software platforms that will spit out millions of recommendations without a defined strategy. No two tracking software programs are alike and, at the end of the day, a human analysis will be required to legitimize whom you may be pursuing for your campaign. Most companies that have this area of expertise will have the required information and market knowledge to create a strategy that will get you the results you are seeking.

2) Do the influencer’s profile and audience fit with my brand? If not is there a parallel association that might make sense?

Experienced influencers will be very particular about your brand and their core audience. They will need to understand your campaign and how they might fit into their communications schedule without being accused of product pushing. Remember, they got to where they are by carefully curating their personal brand. Not all campaigns will have a direct relationship to your brand. As you build out your campaign look for audiences that may have similar character attributes that would be transferrable to your brand. For instance, could an influencer who has a large following in travel also have an impact in food? Also, look for niche experts in geographic locations. You may be pleasantly surprised by both finite expertise and local loyalty. You will also like the associated cost benefits.

3) How do I determine the Influencer’s track record?

Most influencers will have a media kit with past performances and results. Be sure and ask for it. If not ask for screen shots of Google Analytics or past campaign performances. A quality influencer will want to share this information as most campaigns today can be easily tagged and tracked.

4) Who controls the content?

Content control will largely depend on the influencer you are working with. Most influencers will want to know the campaign direction you are contemplating and make their partnership decision based upon this information. For the most part, they will want to incorporate your product info into their own vernacular that best suits their community. Try and look for longer-term relationships. One-offs don’t create any value at the lower three levels of influencers. Having said that, manage your expectations on what might be the outcome when you first begin the relationship. For this reason, incorporate a few influencers into your campaign and see which ones are the highest performers.

5) What is fair compensation?

Most influencers will be willing to negotiate their compensation. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $100 – $1,000 per post/campaign depending on their past performance and size of their base. Most influencers will prefer to be paid in cash, but some (few) will take product in whole or as part of their compensation. There will be other variables that will influence the cost such as schedule (theirs and yours), the length of campaign and level of endorsement you are seeking.  The greater the track record, the more money you will likely be paying. If you are prepared to engage celebrity or athlete endorsements, your cost multiples will increase substantially. Some influencers may to try and negotiate some value-add for their community. Be prepared to serve up some free product, brand swag or discount to those who ask.

6) Is there a contract?

Yes. Please make sure you have a signed Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before you begin negotiations. This way you are protected from the opportunity being publicly disclosed. From that point on, if you decide to proceed you need to have the terms defined in a written binding contract. A contract is the only way you will be protecting your rights and the content.

7) Should I be concerned about “sponsored” or “paid” labels on the content posted?

Most Influencers’ communities will not be swayed by the tag sponsored or paid. They will consider the merits of the brand and fully understand that the influencer to whom they are following will have made a commitment themselves to your brand.  They must be convinced of your product to take on an endorsement role for it is their community you are trying to penetrate.

8) How do I measure the success of the program?

See point # 1. If you are inexperienced in running these campaigns and seeking help there are a few base ingredients you should be considering such as:

  • What are the business objectives?
  • What portion of the customer journey am I trying to penetrate?
  • Is there a CPA or sales ratio for dollars spent?
  • Are there regional successes that may be transferrable to other geographic areas?
  • Do I have the right mix of influencers in my campaign?
  • Is the audience size right for my brand (Micro, Mid /Niche)?
  • Am I securing the brand affiliations I have identified in my plan?
  • What metrics am I tracking for success?

According to Altimeter’s Traacker report, 71% of marketers rate influencer marketing as a strategic area of their marketing campaign this year. The report also noted that while budgets are currently small, 55% plan to spend more on influencers in 2017.

A survey by IAB in 2016 indicated widespread rise in ad blockers, especially amongst younger demographics. A full 47% of people are using them, and this number will undoubtedly continue to rise, making influencers even a more valuable component of your marketing strategy.

Influencer marketing is big business and bound to increase even more in 2017 and beyond. Be careful with your negotiations and if you are just starting out, manage your program and expectations accordingly.

Personal branding is something that everyone does, whether they realize it or not.

Building a personal brand means optimizing and managing the way that your identity is received online. In this blog post specifically, we will give 12 tips on how to clean up and improve your personal branding using social media. Social media is probably the biggest key to building your brand, since it can be so personalized. more

A Review of Canada’s Digital Future in Focus.

Last week, comScore released their 2015 Canada Digital Future in Focus. The annual report covers usage patterns from the previous year, as well as the future of digital in Canada.

Here are a few highlights that caught my attention. more

Will Trevor Noah’s image crisis impact viewership?

In early February, long time host Jon Stewart announced that he would be leaving The Daily Show.

At the end of March, Stewart introduced his new replacement, 31-year old South African comedian Trevor Noah. A unique choice, choosing a young international up-and-coming comedy star to take over the seat that Stewart has held for so long.

Then, shortly after the announcement, all hell broke loosemore

Snapchat is Not Just a Social Media Company.

Two weeks ago, Adweek reported that Snapchat was asking major retail brands for $750,000 a day for its new ads. While Snapchat only began to run ads late last year, they have support from major brands, including the likes of McDonald’s, Samsung, Macy’s, and Electronic Arts.

On the surface, three quarters of a million dollars may seem like a lot money for a single day of advertising, but when you’re first-to-market and have a direct line to teenagers, there’s definitely an argument to be made. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel certainly believes so, as he’s raising funds at a $10 billion valuation.

Funding aside, it’s fascinating to watch as Snapchat continues to monetize their app, and compete with established social media players for user’s precious screen minutes.

But it doesn’t stop at social media. more

When it comes to Twitter, everyone seems to have their own philosophies on how to appropriately use the social networking site. There’s the type that sensors everything they tweet, never sharing their opinion, sending out generic tweets about seeing old friends and eating at favourite restaurants. There’s the tweeter that censors nothing, sending out plenty of unedited tweets filled with emotion and, quite often, foul language and opinions.There are those who put locks on their accounts, believing that this will prevent current and potential employers from seeing what they’re writing (hint: it won’t). And we can’t forget the tweet and delete type, who think that if they delete their tweet a few minutes after posting it that no one will ever be the wiser (another hint: nothing is ever really deleted on the internet). But I have my own system regarding my Twitter account, and it’s glaringly simple: If you don’t want someone to see it, don’t tweet it.No, I’m not saying I only tweet emotionless, super safe tweets about how good my meal was. What I’m saying is don’t tweet something you wouldn’t say directly to your employers or clients you work with.

I’m a die hard sports fan, and like any die hard fan, I’m a little (a lot) biased about the teams I like. I have my opinions on what’s happening in a game, about how a player is performing, etc. If I come into work the morning after a big game, I spend time chatting with my supervisors about it, expressing how I feel about the game and the players. We’ll have a back and forth, sharing our views.

So if I can express my opinion this in conversation with my boss, why can’t I have it online?

That may be a specific example, but it shares the point well enough.

This has always been the way I run my Twitter account. If someone types my name into Google, it’s usually the first thing to pop up. I’m not trying to hide it from anyone.  I know that when I’m working with new clients, or if I have a job interview coming up that my social networks are going to be inspected. That is why every time I write a new tweet, I think “would I want a client to see this?” before I hit send.

I have had supervisors follow me on social media, and I have found that most of them tend be more interactive with my style of tweeting, responding to my tweets and giving a counter-opinion.

It is important to remember that Twitter is designed to give users an online voice. No one should be scared to share an opinion on twitter they wouldn’t share in a room full of coworkers, provided, of course, that it is a concise, educated opinion.

Twitter is designed to be conversational, and that’s how it should be used. How you conduct yourself in these conversations is entirely up to you. Would you really feel safe posting a thought on the internet that you wouldn’t be willing to share in person with coworkers?

 more