Finding Your Influencers

Through an article via AllTop, is a Network Solutions article titled “How You Can Use The Internet To Find The Influencers Series – Seek & Ye Shall Find”, which is a topic I’ve had a few customers ask me recently: How do I find my influential customers? 

It does a good job explaining what to do and the tools to use, which really comes down to knowing your customer that can influence others. A great way to do this is to find out who is writing about your industry:


Reasons to create great content first

eMarketer shares some interesting data about consumers being concerned about having social media used by dodgy marketers trying to sell something. This helps prove that you need to earn the right to be part of the conversation and one way to do that is to create great content, such as this one:

Great social media guide

SOP_Cover-200x300Eloqua has put together a great guide for getting into social media or refining your current efforts. You can review the slides or download the PDF. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with social media: 


Social Media Management Systems (SMMS)

Jeremiah Owyang has a good article about why you should manage your social media and the tools to help you do that. I’m sure we will see consolidation in this space as well as bigger players come out with their own solutions, but Jeremiah’s list is pretty good

List of Social Media Management Systems (SMMS)

  • Awareness Networks, Social Marketing Hub an enterprise class community platform has launched their own tool that has Facebook, youtube, flickr, Twitter, and of course connect with their own community features. In particular, this is an existing enterprise class vendor (previously I’ve published thorough research report on them) which bodes well to their level of potential levels of service, support, and market viability. (they’ve briefed me)
  • Buddy Media: Has a set of management tools that help brands with Facebook, Twitter, and monitoring and reporting.  You’ll find iterations for both brands and agencies.  They have case studies from large brands and media on their site.
  • Constant Contact: Purchased Nutshell Mail which has keyword monitoring systems that can empower small business owners to receive alerts about their social networking accounts.
  • Context Optional offers management tools for moderating Facebook pages
  • CoTweet was recently acquired by ExactTarget.  They provide Twitter integration tools, scheduling, workflow, listening tools, multiple author management, and management dashboard tools
  • Distributed Engagement Channel by DEC   Their system offers the ability to publish content, moderate UGC submissions, and track and optimize channel performance.  They also have features such as ID integration, media handling, and reporting.
  • Hootsuite Integrates Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Whereas before you could update Facebook and LinkedIn through functionality, things are different now. Facebook and LinkedIn accounts are treated similarly to Twitter accounts: you can create columns from these social networks, read your friends’ status updates, and update multiple Facebook accounts. Facebook integration offers in-line commenting.
  • KeenKong offers a dashboard like management tool that not only aggregates the conversation from Twitter and Facebook, but tries to make sense of it from Natural Language Processing.
  • MediaFunnel offers integration with Facebook and Twitter. They have several permission based workflows that include a variety of roles such as a contributor, administrators, publishers.  This is not unlike traditional editorial processes used in CMS systems.
  • Mutual Mind offers brand monitoring, permission based workflow as well as reporting tools.
  • Objective Marketer provides managers ability to structure their messages by campaigns, features include User Management with roles and permissions and workflows, scheduled content, integration,  analytics and reporting.  The tell me their current client makeup  is 60% Enterprises, 30% Agencies and 10% Bloggers / Independent Consultants.
  • Postling allows for individual clients or brand to manage assets like blog, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account, and Flickr accounts from a single management system. There is also comment aggregation as well as workflow between teams.
  • SocialTalk provides integration with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and MoveableType, this management tool provides governance, workflow, scheduling and other features.
  • SpredFast is an up and comer who recently briefed me, this Austin based company offers the core features and claims to have a 40% enterprise customer base. They have partners with Convio, Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, Sysomos, Trackkr, IBM, Porter Novelli, Sierra Club, HomeAway. They position their product as collaborative campaign management and offer features such as scheduling content, features that integrate with events and social stream like features similar to Friendfeed. (they’ve briefed me)
  • Sprinklr offers social media management tools, it’s interesting their website has a strong focus on listening first, before the publication.
  • Strongmail, a traditional email marketing platform offers platform that tracks the multi-stage sharing activity of the campaign all the way to conversion, analysis on reach, sharing activity, CT’s, feedback on Facebook fan page wall posts.
  • Vitrue: Offers social media management systems, that has integration with Facebook and Twitter, they offer scheduling features, and the ability to link multiple Facebook pages together.
  • Wildfire: Offers features for social sweepstakes that promote word of mouth as well as ability to manage and publish from their platform to multiple social networks, with analytics.
  • Plus from the comments that aren’t included above:

E-mail Marketing Still Works

E-mail is one of your owned media assets and adweek just ran an interesting article, “Consumers Responsive to E-mail Marketing” that reminds us that e-mail is still a very useful form of marketing.

Twitter Tips

Tom Funk has shared “Twelve Tips for Successful Tweeting” that are very good to remember, specifically

3) Establish your specialty. Your Twitter feed should ride the coattails of a bigger, more passionate lifestyle and social mission, represented by the market you serve. Imagine you’re writing little items for a fascinating lifestyle magazine in your niche. @organic_valley, a Wisconsin cooperative of 1,300 organic family farms, is not just hawking the products made by its farmers; it’s also sounding off on a wide range of topics related to world hunger, nutrition, deforestation, the impact of pesticides, bioengineering, and more.
4) Post frequently. Twitter is voracious. It demands at least daily postings to amount to anything. Keep it brief, don’t overthink it, but feed it. Get into the habit. If you establish a seven-posts a week schedule for Facebook, say, plan to come up with 15 or 20 posts a week for Twitter. If you’ve done a good job of establishing your specialty above, you can simply set up news alerts to be informed of new developments in your market. Summarize them in less than 140 characters and point a link to the article. You should also echo on Twitter every promotional e-mail you send out and every company blog post you make.

Check out the rest of the article for the other 10 tips.

Thanks to Smart Brief on Social Media for the link.

Travel the world, have fun, and get a job

Whenever I go for my next job, this is the sort of job interview I’d like to be part of: adidas uses creativity to find social media chief.

Your blog is one of you owned media channels

Jeff Korhan has a good explanation of using your blog as your social media hub, which aligns with my thoughts on “owned media”:

Gaining Fans on Facebook has an interesting article: “How We Got To 40,310 Facebook Fans In 4 Days“. I don’t agree with the idea of only driving traffic from Facebook ads to your Facebook page, but it looks like they’ve had good success with it.

Electronic Royalty Cards

There is an interesting article in the NY Times about using cell phones for loyalty cards, but I don’t want to have to publicize my purchases to my friends. I suppose the opt-in-per-purchase model would work for me though.