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Friday, October 12, 2012

Everyone tells you to find your online influencers, but what is an influencer?

These days most social media professionals will tell you to seek out influencers and focus social efforts on these key influencers. But what is an influencer? And how do you find these people on the social web?

An influencer is an individual (who may or may not be a consumer of a brand) that is able to sway the opinions of others because they are highly recognized and respected within their community. If you listen to some of the 'social media gurus' out there, you would be convinced these influencers are mythical creatures that only a lofty budget and an expert could procure for your brand. But that is simply not the case.

Now do not get me wrong, I cannot stress enough how important influencers are in social communities. I also cannot stress enough how invaluable these influencers can be for your brand. So how do you find them? Simple, join the community.

Before seeking out influencers or hoping to search and discover the influencers within an online community, join that community...and actually participate. Join the community and spend some time just listening. Listen to what the community is talking about and get a feel for their thoughts and opinions, then join them. Add your brands thoughts and opinions, reply to their thoughts, let the community know you are listening and you value their ideas. All the while, keep an eye out for the influencers.

These are not the loudest nor the most vocal members of the community, they are the members that respond thoughtfully and tactfully...they are the members that can post and get a wealth or responses or comment on another post and close a lively discussion. You will see the respect other members have for these influencers and you will watch others be swayed by their opinions. Once you notice this, you have found your influencer (and you can reach out to them offline to connect and turn them into greater brand ambassadors).

So how do you find your influencers? Join them...join their communities and participate as an active member. The influencers will surface as you interact.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Twitter Users Lash Out About #NBCFail at 2012 Olympics

It is 2012 and content providers should know by now the importance of second screens, live streams and real time alerts. It is also the London 2012 Olympics and the entire world is watching, not the mention most Americans turing in at some point to get in on the action. So why is NBC receiving a flood of criticism on social media? Because the network is not providing Americans with the level of coverage they expected.

From the onset of the #NBCFail hashtag on Twitter (that came about when a user discovered NBC's promise to provide a streaming app for Olympic coverage came with the caveat that the user be a cable subscriber), the Twitterverse has exploded with more the 20,000 tweets featuring the hashtag in the first three days of Olympic coverage. But why are so many upset with NBC's coverage?

Aside from Bob Costas (my personal gripe about the coverage),  Americans are upset because they are receiving text alerts from CNN and reading tweets from their social connections that are spoiling the events occurring in London. It is time for content providers to realize that it is 2012 and Americans are not receiving their content from broadcast television alone anymore. We have instant access to information from across the globe at any given time. Twitter itself can inform millions of an event within a matter of moments. To assume delayed coverage is acceptable to a general public in 2012 is a huge miss for NBC. To the network, I offer this bit of advice: get your act together before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, realize the importance of consumer choice in the modern business environment, and accept the responsibilities of broadcasting (rather than holding a monopoly over the content until 2020). Otherwise, you are going to continue to be inundated with #NBCFail posts across the social web and all of the negative publicity a viral movement can bring.

Keep it Classy Online: 4 Rules for Professional Social Media Engagement

Everyone that is anyone is on social media these days. Whether you are online for reputation building, networking, sharing or just for fun, there are a few rules to bear in mind. Remember, anything you post online can be seen by everyone. Social media is a fun and powerful medium, but just be mindful of what you share with the world. Follow these rules and you will be just fine:

1. Bear in mind that your boss is online too
Before you post that photo of you and your co-workers having one too many drinks on a work night, think about whether you would be comfortable with your boss seeing that image. You may have your profile locked, but one of your coworkers with access to your profile may chose to capture and share your post with the whole world. It is best practice to assume everything you post online can and will be viewed by your social and professional connections, so think twice before you share that photo of you in fairy wings from last night! And, if you absolutely have to share things of that nature, consider creating a personal account that remains private.

2. Be aware of the purpose of your social platform
Each social network has its own personality and assumed set of rules. LinkedIn is generally a business site for networking and maintaining connections with professional contacts. Facebook is typically used to connect with friends and family, with many personal, more intimate shares. Twitter, on the other hand, is more laid back and accepts shares of all sorts from an opinion on health care policy to links to cuddly cats pawing at a camera. Prior to sharing a post, consider the context of your social network and post accordingly.

3. Customize, customize, customize
This goes hand-in-hand with maintaining an awareness of the purpose of your platform: customize your content for your followership and your platform. Twitter requires brevity with the 140-character limit. Facebook and Google+ capture the title and a summary of the link you are sharing, but it is customary to provide thoughtful commentary or fodder in addition to the URL. In the same vein, while you may chose to share an article about an industry news story on LinkedIn, you may wish to reserve your political or social opinion for Twitter or Facebook (where you are less likely to offend or alienate your professional contacts). And in case it is not blatantly apparent, we can all tell when a post is copied and pasted, so customize it to make it your own. Put in names, a thought or even a 'lol check out this...'

4. Respond and always give thanks where thanks is due
The point of social media is to engage, right? Well, ENGAGE! Respond to comments, comment on posts, ask questions and answer questions. And, just like your mother always said, say thank you. Thank others for their engagement or shares. Without engagement, you are essentially shouting into an empty room, so always thank those that engage with your content.

I hope you find these tips useful in professional endeavors on social media. Just remember to always keep it classy online.

Oh and if you absolutely must share all of your personal, less-than-professional life via social media, be sure to create a separate personal profile that is locked down tighter than a hipster's skinny jeans.

Keep it classy Socializocity readers!
Monday, February 27, 2012

Socializocity. Welcome.

Socializocity is my little two cents worth of anything pertaining to the new, social web that is ever-changing and ever-interesting.

It is my hope that I can offer valuable insight into the new web and its impact on digital marketing. I am incredibly excited to offer my thoughts on emerging digital technologies and I hope you will return again and again to read and interact with myself and others interested in digital marketing, emerging technology, and the exciting times in which we all are living.
Socializocity © 2012 by Travis Hodges