Forging a Destiny of Social Media Influence

forging a destiny of social media influence
If you want to succeed in selling your products or services, you need to succeed in selling yourself first. You need to have social media influence.

What does success really, truly look like in the world of social media marketing? Simply put; influence. Successful brand pages quite openly exploit the influence that they have on their audience for their own gain. Trouble is, building social media influence is easier said than done. You can’t buy it. It won’t come as the result of some innovative new web tool focused on maximising engagement and minimising fuss.

Truly, far fewer marketers are competently cultivating it than would care to admit.

So how do you do that?

Becoming a social media influence for your industry is about more than writing great content that benefits your audience. That can only work in part after you have an identity. You must first identify some vital attributes for your brand and consistently display these in any and all marketing channels that you invest in.

Social networking is about connections. To use a technical analogy, and bearing in mind I have little to no knowledge of this sort of thing, the stronger a connection is, the more current that can pass through it without it breaking. (Is that right? It sounds right anyway.) If you want to have a significant social media influence on your connections you must first have created bonds that are unbreakable. That takes time and persistence; no amount of careful soldering is going to help. (Is that right? I think it’s time I let this one rest and moved onto something I’m more comfortable with.)

One for the Gamers: building a character, forging a destiny

If you’ve ever played a Role Playing Game, you’ll understand the process of building a character. And even if you haven’t, this is a great simile so I’m going to use it all the same and you should definitely read it.

When you build a character you are given a finite amount of character points. You spend them to govern which attributes and aspects of your character are most and least prominent. For example, you might have a natural inclination for high intelligence levels but not be as strong as others. Or you might, like me, cram all of your character points into charisma and be unable to even walk up a flight of stairs without fatigue setting in; but your silver-tongued nature means you can talk peasants into giving you a piggy-back. (Generally not recommended.)

How your brand is represented online, and even more so on social media, needs to be human. It needs to have a face and a voice that users will find instantly recognisable. As you launch (or in most cases now, re-launch) your pages for social media influence, you are essentially creating a character. The attributes that you invest in at the beginning will determine how far you can go towards influencing your audience.

In short, building influence can only occur with consistency of voice and persistence of post. Regardless of industry, these are the characteristics that you should be investing in to get there:

Intelligence – value beyond measure

At the bedrock of influence is value. Quite honestly, if you want people to care what you have to say about your industry then you have to have something good to say about it first. Ask yourself, honestly; is your brand sufficiently showing (not saying) that they hold an expert knowledge of their field? Content marketing is about showing, not telling. You can bet that there will be tens of thousands of brands and professionals in your industry who are happily boasting about being an expert – but how many of those are actually living the responsibility that comes with being an expert and sharing their opinion?

Endurance – consistency of voice

If you want people to care about what you have to say, they have to value you. Value is a reciprocal resource; you have to offer value to be value. Sounds simple, but by golly does it takes time. Only when coupled with dogged persistence will you start to see the expert opinion that you offer on your industry noticed and advocated by those in your online community. Social media marketing is most certainly a long game – just keep at it.

Charisma – unique individuality

Charisma isn’t just for peasant-riding stairwell-dwellers. A little individuality goes a long way. In fact, it’s the only tool in your arsenal that will allows you to stand out from all those competitors of yours who also want to unleash their ultimate influencing power. Be bold in creating a voice that isn’t just valuable to your audience in content, but also in style. Humour is not to be shunned. Salesy waffle-talk is.

Perception – cultivating trust

A perceptive social media marketing strategy isn’t just preoccupied with growth. It focuses on retaining an audience by building, setting and maintaining high standards of trust. The biggest of no-nos is constantly plugging your audience with promotions and salesy waffle-talk. If it was your expert voice that lured them in the first place, those are the expectations that they have. Under-deliver and expect a damaging loss of trust.

Strength – community orientated

What is it they say, there is strength in numbers? Well, forging an influence is about building a community of advocates; a tribe of individuals all united around the knowledge that you offer. So how are you supposed to cash in on that? Be community orientated. Or rather, within the confines of my fabulous gaming simile, guild orientated. Create a community culture, one of inside jokes, catchphrases and camaraderie.

Now, to battle worthy hero. Influence awaits you in the wilderness of… Das I’nTernet.

The post Forging a Destiny of Social Media Influence appeared first on Giraffe Social Media.

Packaging Deals Bring Internet of Things to Crackers, Hairspray and Tomato Paste


Headlines about connected products often hype the latest consumer electronics, seemingly out-of-reach home appliances, and the occasional internet-enabled bottle of whisky. In the past year, however, the near future of connected products became decidedly more mundane. Recent partnerships have begun the process of turning everyday items from hairspray to tomato paste into digitized, identifiable, data-generators that can be tracked from the factory to the pallet to the store to the consumer.

This month international packaging firm WestRock Company announced a deal with digital barcode provider Digimarc and internet-of-things data platform Evrythng that will help WestRock integrate digital signals across boxes of crackers, labels for sliced deli cheeses and all sorts of paper-based packaging. It was the third such recent deal between some of the world’s largest packaging firms and Evrythng, whose system produces and tracks digitized identifiers for products.

In November, the “IoT” platform inked a pact with metal packaging giant Crown Holdings, whose clients have included brands such as TreSemm hairspray, Nescaf coffee and Barbasol shaving cream. That followed an April deal with global apparel labeler Avery Dennison, which is expected to result in a minimum of 10 billion digitized and identifiable clothing and footwear products over three years.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Squarespace Returns to Super Bowl With John Malkovich


Website development company Squarespace is tapping John Malkovich for its fourth consecutive Super Bowl commercial.

While Mr. Malkovich is well-known as an actor, his true passion is actually fashion design. The actor, who began his career as a costume designer, has released several collections over the years, but they haven’t garnered much buzz.

Squarespace recently debuted the short film, “Journey,” which explores the challenges Mr. Malkovich faces as he attempts to establish his reputation as a serious designer. In conjunction with the film, Squarespace launched JohnMalkovich.com, which showcases his newest fashion line and allows people to buy items.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

E SPORTS REPORT W/C 23RD

 

Our in-house Guinness world record holding gamer, Liam Thompson, has started a weekly round up of the big news in the eSports world:

 

We’re just 3 weeks into the year and already there is plenty of movement happening in the eSports space. Last week saw huge brand investment, league creations, technology partnerships and more. Take a quick look at the big news from the week along with a little extra something from me at the end…

Dutch football league starts new eSports competition

Eredivisie, the Dutch Premier League, is launching a new FIFA league: the E-Divisie. All 18 clubs within the Eredivisie league will be represented virtually as their official eSports player will compete for them on FIFA 17 Ultimate Team. At the start of the season, all 18 clubs recruited their own player and now its time for them to prove themselves. The partnership between Eredivisie, EA Sports & Endemol Shine Nederland will drive fan engagement, build better relationships with a younger audience and see exciting content being created. It’s all kicking off on Monday 6th February.

VR partnership created for viewers

Traditional sports broadcasters are always looking for ways to update and improve how we watch; this is no different for eSports. SLIVER.tv is one of the industries leading virtual reality eSports broadcasting platforms and last week they signed a new partnership with gaming league ESL. Fans will be able to tune in and watch Dota2, League of Legends and CS:GO in immersive 360° VR across multiple events planned for this year. Using Google cardboard, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and more, you can experience the action at home in VR, but the partnership also extends SILVER.tv access to the events to showcase their technology with the live audience.

FNATIC return to Call of Duty

Over the weekend one of the world’s biggest eSports organisations, FNATIC, announced they are returning to the Call of Duty scene with a new roster ready to get going for the 2017 season. FNATIC left the Call of Duty pro scene 5 years ago, but has grown to become one of the most recognisable eSports brands across other major game titles including League of Legends and Counter Strike. It’s a good move for FNATIC, while the prize pools aren’t as big as other eSports events, it’s a chance to widen their brand appeal and reach a new audience of Call of Duty fans who maybe weren’t aware FNATIC once had a pro COD team (I didn’t!)

Audi drives up eSports investment

One of the world’s largest car manufacturers, Audi, has just signed a new sponsorship deal with eSports team Astralis. While you might not know the likes of their professional roster, dev1ce, gla1ve, & dupreeh to name just three, their current CS:GO team is currently one of the best in the world, lined up to win the next major event starting this Sunday. The details of the sponsorship haven’t been shared; however during a media shoot yesterday the team official jersey now displays the recognisable 4-ring logo of Audi. I’m sure we’ll see more than just a bit of t-shirt branding come out of this partnership in the long run, but it falls just in time for the ELeague CS:GO major in Atlanta this week as the team will play in-front of millions of viewers over the competition period. (Jan 22nd-29th)

Liam meets ELeague and Bet365

Speaking of the ELeague major… Just before Christmas I discovered that Bet365 had opened an eSports section! Covering events all around the world, you can now make bets on eSports matches, handicaps, scores etc just like your typical sports. I’m no gambling expert but decided to try my luck and mixing casual betting with intense eSports competition. So far across two event weekends I’ve somehow managed to return over 6x my own investment, and with the ELeague major coming up you can bet I’ll be giving it another go…

But how does one bet on something as unpredictable as eSports, here’s three simple tips I’ve used and can help you get to grips with this interesting mechanic.

1. Listen to the casters / analysts

Before a match begins the analyst desk go over statistics, previous match ups and also predictions after introducing both teams. Whilst I’ll know who’s likely to win the odd match-up, the analysts are the best to know for every team and I’ve even changed my bet based on their predications, and it sometimes pays off. Some teams are known to play better on certain maps; the analysts know this and can give you key information to help make the right choice.

2. Cash out!

The interesting thing with CS:GO betting is you can cash out quite frequently between rounds. Without jumping too deep on how CS:GO plays, a competitive match consists of a best of 30 rounds – Terrorist & Counter Terrorist sides, with most games usually considered to be “CT Sided” as you play on defence. During a game, if your team is winning say, 10-2 on a certain side, Bet365 will offer you a decent return to cash out early! Which is a good route to take as some games can go on crazy comebacks and you can end up losing (Thank you Team LDLC for making an unexpected 12 round comeback against me!)

3. Watch the match

I like eSports (if you couldn’t tell!), when it’s a game I understand and can relate to there is a thrill of watching the best teams perform just as you might with football, rugby or even tennis. Betting adds that little extra something, and for me it makes me pay more attention. I can appreciate a good play, understand why a team made a certain decision and get left hanging on the edge of my seat when it comes down to the finals rounds. I’m not addicted, my starting bet is actually quite low and really it’s all just a bit of fun while I enjoy something I’d be watching anyway.

If you want to watch the moment that saved me from losing £150 then you can here: Flipsid3 vs Vega Squadron. I had money on team Flipsid3 winning this match, and with the score being tied 14-14 in the best of 30 match, this round was crucial and luckily played in my favour – It even had my brother, who had no money on the line watching and gasping at every moment. 

Alexa, the Killer App


The superstar of Consumer Electronics Show 2017 was not a car, or a robot, or even a TV. It was Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the software that allows you to control compatible devices with your voice. Various reports estimated there were 700 to 1,100 Alexa-controllable products at the show. I can’t verify the number, but “and it works with Alexa” was the running gag at CES. The familiar Amazon/Alexa logo seemed to be everywhere.

Why Alexa Is “the” killer app

The 1960s vision of living in George and Jane Jetson’s house has not been realized at scale. While it is possible to build a smart home where everything from the window shades to the television to the HVAC are self-aware and work in a perfectly balanced, AI-controlled, automated way, in practice, it’s just too hard to accomplish. Devices really don’t talk to other devices — at least not in meaningful ways. This is especially true if you try to mix devices from different manufacturers. The internet-of-things industry has been waiting for a killer app, an app like Apple Homekit or Google Home, but neither of those has delivered on the promise of a “grand unified smart home universe.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Confronting the Cross-Device Fallacy


With so many digital devices in use by consumers and massive changes in media consumption patterns, it’s no surprise that “cross device” has emerged as one of our industry’s leading buzzwords. The average consumer now spreads their digital time across nearly four devices each day with even more consumer journeys started on one device and completed on another. The opportunities for brands to capitalize on consumers’ increased digital connectivity have been significantly tempered by this fragmentation as traditional methods used to identify consumers on desktop (mainly cookies) have proven insufficient in the mobile world.

In light of these trends, marketers and brands have rushed to implement various cross-device matching solutions. But in this collective haste, I feel like the end purpose behind cross device has been blurred.

Do we want to simply connect various devices to each other, or is cross device just a piece (however critical) of the larger “consumer-centric” puzzle? I firmly believe it is the latter, and when it comes to executing on your larger marketing strategies, talking about cross device in a vacuum is putting the proverbial (shopping) cart before the horse. Today’s dialogue isn’t about connecting devices together. It’s about understanding a consumer across all of their devices and being able to efficiently deliver truly personalized messaging at the most opportune moments based on that understanding. Here are three consumer-centric principles to consider:

Continue reading at AdAge.com

YouTube Announces New Ad Targeting Options, Improved Measurement Tools

maxresdefaultAs Facebook continues to advance its video ambitions, the current online video leader, YouTube, is also looking to add more functionality to boost its platform’s ad options.

Today, YouTube has announced a set of new changes, most of which are focused on the expanding role of mobile – YouTube notes that over 50% of YouTube views come via mobile device.

To help brands tap into this audience, they’ve adding some new targeting options, while they’re also looking to improve their insights and data.

Here’s what’s been announced.

Targeting by Google Activity

First up, YouTube’s looking to make their ads more focused by enabling advertisers to use information associated with people’s Google accounts for targeting.

“So, for example, if you’re a retailer, you could reach potential customers that have been searching for winter coat deals on Google and engage with them with your own winter clothing brand campaign at just the right moment.”

Google integrated the YouTube advertising platform into AdWords back in 2015, so the two networks have long been connected, but this is the first time Google has opened up Google search data for YouTube targeting purposes.

The option gives advertisers more ways to hone in their YouTube ads on relevant audiences

In addition, YouTube’s also boosting their Customer Match targeting, which enables advertisers to upload their own data – like e-mail addresses and phone numbers – to help focus their YouTube ads.

Improved Measurement

YouTube’s also announced that they’re developing a “new, cloud-based measurement solution” which will help provide more advanced, accurate insights – with a particular focus on cross-device measurement.

As noted, with 50% of YouTube’s traffic now coming via mobile, the platform says their existing measurement tools are not as effective as they once were.

“While technologies like pixels and cookies still have a role in the broader ecosystem, most were built for a single screen – neither pixels nor anonymous cookies were designed for the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room. This can lead to inconsistent measurement and less relevant ads across screens, making it harder for people to control the ads they see or the data used to show them.”

YouTube says they’ll be working with third-party analytics providers like comScore, DoubleVerify, IAS, MOAT, and Nielsen to create this new, “cutting edge”” measurement system – though there are no examples of how it might work as yet.

As part of this shift, YouTube says it will also be reducing its reliance on cookies and pixels and moving more towards tracking signed-in user IDs and mobile identifiers, similar to the tracking tools used by Facebook and Twitter.

User Controls

And the final element of YouTube’s announcement relates to user controls, adding a new way for users to maintain their ad preferences across devices.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll enable a user control that was built with cross-screen viewing in mind: if a user mutes an advertiser on Google Search, ads from that advertiser will also be muted when they watch on YouTube. For example, if you see a gym membership ad but have already signed up for a gym as part of your New Year’s resolution, you can mute that ad in Search, and you won’t see ads from that advertiser on YouTube.”

Interestingly, reports have also emerged today that YouTube has discovered an error in their ‘Lifetime views’ metric which inflated view counts on channels’ About page. YouTube has said that the issue doesn’t affect revenue or reports, and that they are working to resolve it.

YouTube’s also come under fire of late over perceived changes to their algorithm – high-profile YouTuber PewDiePie noted that older videos have been getting more exposure in YouTube’s recommended listings, while views for newer content from the same source are dropping off. The issue may have been the impetus for the announcement of a new ‘On the Rise’ tab in the YouTube app.

Changes are clearly afoot at the video giant – YouTube’s also recently announced a new payments system for live-stream creators and in-app messaging to boost engagement. With the competition for video audiences heating up, it’ll be interesting to see if YouTube can evolve fast enough to hold onto their audience.

How CW’s Television Superheroes Get Their Powers

Behind the fan-approved VFX of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow created on a TV schedule and budget.

Behind the fan-approved VFX of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow created on a TV schedule and budget.

There are two main ingredients for superhero magic: Spandex-ready bods and visual effects.

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Why Barbie’s New Campaign Talked To Dads During The NFL Playoffs

Head of Barbie brand Lisa McKnight on tapping the unique bond between fathers and daughters to illustrate the power of creative play.

Head of Barbie brand Lisa McKnight on tapping the unique bond between fathers and daughters to illustrate the power of creative play.

Hey you, 30- or -40-something dude. Remember when you used to play Barbies as a kid? Oh, the hours and hours of imagined IRL situations, conversations and adventures. Special times. What’s that? You didn’t play with Barbie? So then why was there a Barbie ad right in the middle of the NFL playoffs over the weekend? That pitch is aimed straight at you, man.

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10 Steps to Strategic Social Media Content Marketing for Business (Part 2 of 3)

Group of people looking at a laptop 

Guy Siverson, Guest Blogger

The following is part two of a three-part series. Consider reading the first post before continuing.

Now that you’ve laid a clear foundation for what you will be writing it’s time to dive into how to write it.

The Internet is no place to launch a Macbeth style diatribe nor is it advantageous to fill your work with keywords simply to crowd search engines.

Instead you need to clearly and succinctly:

Define Your Message

You’ve already decided what you are going to write and you know who the intended recipient will be, but when it comes to writing for the web, there’s more to consider. 

You need to be sure that the readability of your message is clearly defined. Think short two to three sentence paragraphs. I’ll even use one sentence to define a paragraph.

  1. It increases the ability for your recipient to scan your content.
  2. It makes the actual readability more fluid in flow.
  3. It shows the viewer that you really do have their best intention in mind.

Simply put, provide a high-quality experience for the user. This is required for creatives to continue to grab a reader’s attention. 

Other ways that I ensure clear definition of copy when it comes to the web is:

  1. By using bullets and numbering as opportunities present themselves.
  2. Creating headings and sub-headings as appropriate.
  3. By using bold and italics where appropriate.

Whatever can make the user’s experience a more pleasant journey should be the priority. In short, be clear. 

With that said, what do you do to enhance your viewer’s experience?  Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.

Evaluate Your Existing Content

Chances are you didn’t just launch your site, but you have been working on it for an extended period of time. Take a critical look at what is and isn’t working for you.

This process involves past, present, and future content. If you find pieces that do not clearly resonate with the mission or help to define your message, you may want to discard them.

The more you can establish the power of all your content to revolve around the common theme of your goals and mission, the deeper attention you will correspondingly receive from the search engines.

Create a Campaign

Once all your content is speaking the same language it’s time to create a campaign of influence. We will be delving deep into this in our next article.

For now, it’s important to note that your campaign will extend outward from your site while drawing people into your work.

This means:

Establishing social media channels

Working with social groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Tying in the power of other Web 2.0 platforms.

If you don’t tell people where to find your main message, they are not likely to arrive there on their own.
 

Guy Siverson is a guest blogger who has spent over 20 years helping people succeed online. His latest work empowers marketers to prosper financially. He is available for private consultations as well as live or virtual speaking engagements by calling 702-439-4766 during normal business hours.


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