What Might A Social Media Planner Want From A Brand Ambassador | social.ogilvy.com


 

This post first appeared on Leo Ryan’s blog “Burning Head.” 

In the previous post I looked at what sorts of things a social planner might want to ask for when negotiating an event sponsorship. In this post I’ll explore what we might want to agree with a Brand Ambassador. Thanks to @Amymabin and @Vic_newlands for their significant input into to this.

As with the last post, this is not an exhaustive list of what can be done with an ambassador, but rather a check list of the kinds of permissions, rights and access that you might want to request when negotiating the partnership so that we can make the most of the relationship in social media.

Leaving aside all of the difficulties that sponsoring individuals can involve let’s just assume the ambassador is a great brand fit and is largely drugs free. Given this positive connection we’ll probably be trying to create social media occasions to amplify that and broadly this amplification will fall into categories of either paid social media, owned or earned media (although as I wrote this post those categories continued to undermine each other, merge and generally not be as helpful as I’d have liked).

Earned Social Media and what we might want from a brand ambassador
Often it is the case that a brand has developed a relationship with an ambassador not just for their image, but also for their own personal social media audience and reputation. If that’s the case we need to make sure that everyone; the brand, the ambassador, the brand’s followers and importantly the ambassador’s followers are all going to be comfortable with the association and see the benefits of it. Especially the followers.

If we are appointing an ambassador for the size of their audience we also need to be realistic about what that is. On twitter, not all followers are equal. In fact lots might just be porn-bots. There are some incredible audience figures out there; Lady Gaga has more than 33 million followers, Wayne Rooney more than five and a half million and David Cameron’s official Prime Minster’s handle has 2.2 million. Howeveran analysis of their top 100,000 followers by a UK company reveals that only a small percentage of their followers are ‘real’ people: Lady Gaga has only 29% “good” followers, Wayne Rooney 30% and David Cameron 37%. So you might want to do some authentication before paying an ambassador for their audience.

And while we’re on the subject of Wayne Rooney…this time last year Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshire both tweeted #makeitcount and a link to the Nike campaign website which resulted in their sponsor Nike being censured by the ASA and the footballers being required to delete the tweets. Subsequently the ASA posted this article with the advice that the footballers should have used the hostage #ad or #spon in their tweets.

So with those two caveats in place we might want an ambassador to tweet hashtags related to campaigns and links to campaign sites. Similarly we might want them to share brand assets with their audience in other media specific channels; images up on Picassa, videos on YouTube and so on. Assuming a good fit bewteen the brand’s target audience and the ambassador’s followers, this can be really useful; if these assets are going to be of real value or interest to the ambassador’s audience they may then then re-share them with their networks with all of the added value and credibility that come from a friend’s recommendation. But make sure they are of real value. No quicker way to turn off a social audience than to spam them with unwanted commercial messages, and your ambassador certainly won’t thank you for pissing off their hard earned followers.

To leverage the ambassador’s existing social profile on the brand’s properties you’ll want permission to link to all of their public social profiles, permission to tag them in posts and permission to share their posts when appropriate.

Owned / Paid Social Media and what we might want from a brand ambassador
Recent media options like promoted posts and promoted tweets have made the whole owned / paid distinction a little murky. We can post to our owned Facebook Page audience (which will reach approx 16% of them) and then pay to have that post promoted to reach a larger audience. Of our own existing facebook audience. Which feels a bit like owned media…Promoted tweets are similar except that we can pay for our tweets to go to a new audience who don’t currently follow us, which feels a lot more like paid media, except that it’s also going to our owned audience…sigh. Oh for the days of a 30 second TVC.

Regardless, as a brand we may want to include the ambassador in our owned and paid social media. This could include using their image or quotes in adverts on Facebook or YouTube, but it might also include some of the newer paid media formats; promoted posts posts and promoted tweets. Which begs the question of whose tweets and posts are being promoted; the brand’s or the ambassador’s? If it’s the Brand’s it’s a little more straight forward; clearly there’s a commercial relationship. But if the brand is paying to promote the tweets or posts of the ambassador, we need to be completely transparent and make sure that we clearly signal this as per the Nike example above. Leer más “What Might A Social Media Planner Want From A Brand Ambassador | social.ogilvy.com”

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Passing the Red-Face Test for Social Pros



Thinking Social
 / Value

While studying strategic issues management in grad school, one of my professors encouraged my fellow classmates and I to ask ourselves one question each time we suggested a response: “Does this pass the Red-Face Test?”

What he meant was, if someone were to dissect your answer and press you for more information, do you have a sufficient holistic grasp of the subject to at least speak to any possible inquiry without embarrassment … without your face turning red.

Working in social media, passing the Red-Face Test (or remembering to take it) can be a challenge. To be sure, we’re tasked with being expert in a disparate variety of areas. Many social media professionals, for example, jockey as statisticians, sociologists, authors, lawyers, marketers, PR practitioners, media buyers, IT specialists, teachers and more. Juxtapose those professions with an intimate knowledge — internally and externally — of the brand(s) they represent. To get inside the mind of a community manager, in particular, Get Satisfaction shares this brain diagram.


[Image courtesy of GetSatisfaction.com] Leer más “Passing the Red-Face Test for Social Pros”

Yes, Social Does Impact Sales | social.ogilvy.com


 

Recent research from Forrester suggests that social media has an insignificant impact on sales. While this may be true within the specific context of the study, the study’s methodology makes it impossible to draw broad conclusions around the impact of social on sales across all of the “buyer journey.”

Here are three key reasons why:

  1. More comprehensive tracking of content engagement paints a very different portrait. The Forrester study tracked social as a driver of sales only if someone clicked a link on a social property and made an online purchase within 30 days. In fact, brand social strategy is about engaging people with the brand with the intent to increase sales in the future —  both online and offline. In a quick service restaurant study we did with partner ChatThreads last year, exposure to social media was a significant drive of sales increases. And, when combined with other media (for example, editorial and billboards) social exposure resulted in a 1.5-2x higher likelihood of purchase across all 5 restaurants in the category. Further, two more studies support a social-sales link: Edison Research’s study last year showed that 28% of social media users cited social networks as influencers of their purchase decision. And in a 2011 ROI Research study, just over 50% of respondents reported they would likely purchase a product after following the brand on Facebook or Twitter. Leer más “Yes, Social Does Impact Sales | social.ogilvy.com”

Closing the Empathy Gap


 

Anyone who tried to avoid hearing the Olympic results until the events aired hours later here in the United States knows how easily information flows across our social networks and into our consciousness. It didn’t matter if you preferred to wait to hear the results of the Men’s 400 meter relay.  If it mattered to your social network, the results of the race were going to find a way to get to you. 

The degree to which social media has become part of our every-day lives allow for greater opportunities for brands to understand and even empathize with consumers. Most brands have established listening posts, using either paid tools or at least a rudimentary Google alert-style monitoring program. These are designed to spot and quickly address detractors, and to uncover pockets of advocates and amplify those positive experiences.

But now, many brands are evolving those listening posts into new sources of empathy. New ways of understanding consumers and turning those insights into a competitive advantage.  This effort requires the social data and conversation-mapping experience, as well as the active participation of the Planning department.

The New York Times recently covered the “social focus group” phenomena describing the ways many brands use social media for product development/testing.  This is an especially important development for marketers, and actually brings us back to the time of Mad Men, when advertising agencies were so tied to product development that they had test kitchens in the office.  All of this is designed to break down some of the bureaucratic fortresses built up over the last 25 years, and get brand managers in closer proximity to, you know, real people.

As brands and agencies work to close this empathy gap, we’ll begin to discover there are many roles social media can augment, or even lead, in traditional planning research.   This is because great ideas are built on a cultural tension — some bigger issue that is, in some way, tangled up with the brand values*.

Social media, specifically real people engaging in continuous non-branded conversations, can help us chart this terrain.  This is based on the simple premise that most people do not talk much about brands in their daily lives,about 10 brand references per day on average —almost all in passing.**

So, how do we move from elementary listening and responding to a more sophisticated source of insight for planning creative, effective programs? Here’s an imperfect list of sources of empathy, and how brands are using the insights to drive business results.

Five Sources of Empathy Leer más “Closing the Empathy Gap”

What About Face-to-Facebook?


The recent frenzy of acquisition and consolidation in the social media space is reminiscent of many other boom periods in specific industries. With a wave of social media acquisitions that really came into prominence with the recent acquisitions of CMS vendors Vitrue and Buddy Media, there certainly are those out there that are riding that wave to glory.

Yet this is also a time that marketing consultants Ed Keller and Brad Fay liken to the Gold Rush in 1848. They point out that while this period brought fame and riches to some, for many others it was a farce, a period in which great promise bought little return due to the abandonment of reason by those attracted by its riches.

Keller and Fay carry out a survey that measures offline word-of-mouth, a service called TalkTrack, which dives into what gets consumers really talking. Their research shows that 90 percent of conversations about products, services and brands that take place every day happen offline, maintains that the conversations that we have online are wildly different to those we have offline and warns against what I label Bright Shiny Object Syndrome (this is the desire to blindly follow the latest trend without looking at a true goal or purpose, often leading to botched programs and unsuccessful activations).

Keller and Fay make many valid points in the book, all around what drives word of mouth and how marketers should take the time to understand how their end target will share information. It also maintains that social media are ultimately about people.

On reading it, this ultimately made me connect back to the principles of good social media and how their theories relate to the work we are doing. I have always strongly supported the importance of IRL – in real life – in all we do. I also support the “people theory.” Put otherwise, human beings are at our core fundamentally social. We are, and always have been, guided by the drivers of influence. All good social media practitioners will base their work on social behaviors rather than the latest trend.

At Ogilvy, we combine different theories of human behavior to drive impactful social that scales. One of the most effective theorists in the space is Robert Cialdini, seen by many in the industry as the Godfather of Influence.

His “six drivers” is a very useful list, and one that can be held up to any program to check off and ensure its effectiveness. (…) Leer más “What About Face-to-Facebook?”