Social Listening for Brand Advocates

One of the key benefits of social listening for any enterprise is uncovering the “brand advocate”. This is someone who thoroughly believes in the brand, and will not only advocate for it but also influence those around them.

Below is an infographic that illustrates the difference between an “advocate” and an “influencer”. You’ll often hear marketers talk about finding influencers to help promote a campaign or push the brand story. Unfortunately it usually involves bribing them with samples, subscriptions, or cash to spread the message to their audience. The reality is there is very little trust in this type of sponsorship, as the influencer audience is usually suspect of incentives based on promotion.

Advocates are about 3X more trusted and influential than ads and other forms of paid media. – Zuberance

A brand advocate, on the other hand, does not need to be convinced. The brand advocate is already enrolled in the brand story or the merits of the product or service. And when you look at the Nielsen research in the numbers below, you can see the level of influence a brand advocate has over an influencer.

social listening

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Twitter Commerce – Beating Amazon and Groupon Up

Twitter Commerce
Source: Re/

Re/code provided screenshots of mockups for the (proposed) new Twitter Commerce strategy last month, showing how the social media platform intends to disrupt the Amazons, Googles, eBays and Groupons of the world (ok there is only one of each, but you get the point).

The screenshots were obtained from’s website, and show the flow of the user journey for someone in Twitter who is interacting with the commerce component.

Twitter Commerce tweets will appear inside of Twitter user streams, show what the people you are following have purchased, photos of the product for sale, and related products and their descriptions. Users will be able to enter their name, address, and credit card information within Twitter to make the purchase.

It looks like Twitter will partner with and the payment services company Stripe to create a platform for “deals in real time”. The company has hired ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to run the company’s commerce efforts in the meantime. And Fancy provides same-day delivery for consumers who want those new shoes today.

Real-Time IT

As Bernard Lunn has noted in, the technology behind this strategy has a history. “Real-time IT”, a term to describe event-driven programming, has been in use by military systems in the 1980’s and Google in the last 5 years. It’s due to show up on consumer platforms, the next step in its evolution.






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Pinterest Travel Pins Generate 200 Million Place Boards

Pinterest has introduced Pinterest Place Pins that enable users to map out locations of photos on their Pinterest boards. As well, the Place Pins use Foursquare’s API to show where Place Pin locations are on a map. Users are using these boards to share their trips and highlight points of discovery such as restaurants, gift shops, museums, and attractions.

Craig Makepeace, a travel advisor, has built up 4 million followers on his board that focuses on his family’s travels around the globe. The Pinterest travel board brings in over 120,000 unique visitors per month to his blog, and is a major contribution to his business.

Users find the visual travel boards useful because they encourage discovery and sharing around favourite destinations and new discoveries. Over 750 million places have been pinned since Pinterest introduced the feature in November of 2013, and over 1.5 million new places are pinned each day.

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Snapchat for Brands

Marketo has created an infographic that shows how brands are using Snapchat. Given that the average age of a Snapchat user is between 13 and 25 years old, the social media platform is ripe for marketers that cater to that demographic. Interesting to note that 70% of Snapchat users are women, 400 million pictures are taken and sent through the app every day, and even brands like Acura are jumping in with a Snapchat promotional campaign for the new NSX prototype.

snapchat for brands

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Not The Same Old Klout

Klout is now a content sharing site as well as an indicator of social media status. It finds content you have indicated you have expertise/interest in, and allows you to share it across your social networks. It has a nice clean layout and a user-friendly interface that makes article curation easy to do, and it bundles in your status as a Klout member in the process.

The search technology uses Bing’s internet crawler to find relevant articles. Klout says that members of the site have embraced the change enthusiastically, taking advantage of the ability to share content easily, compared to more awkward article-sharing functions inside social media dashboards such as Hootsuite.


Lithium Technologies, which helps companies engage with their customers online, has “signed but not closed” a deal to acquire Klout, according to a report in Recode. The deal is supposedly a mix of cash and stock “in the low nine figures” (namely, a little more than $100 million). Anthony Ha, TechCrunch

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30% of Adults Get Their News on Facebook

Pew Research has determined that over 30% of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook, albeit incidentally. While on the site and sharing with friends, users find news that they would not encounter if they were outside washing the car or shoveling snow, for instance.

When a a user logs into Facebook, there are 1,600 possible news items available in the news feed, and Facebook tries to discern which of those are most appealing to each person according to their likes, friends, and what pages they follow.

On top of that, traditional news sites get 50% of their traffic from social media. This has caused some concern in the media industry, since Facebook has invested in beefing up its own news feeds, and providing users with more relevant news content, fanning fears the social media platform will start creating its own content and divert traffic from media sites (something the company has denied).

In the meantime news sites are trying to tailor their content to appeal to the Facebook algorithms, a mysterious formula that is hidden deep inside Facebook servers. The game is viewers and traffic, and social media is a major source of it.

Source: Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 21-Sept. 2, 2013

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How Important is Online Video to Marketers?

How Important is Online Video?

“Over the past four years, the percent of American adult internet users who upload or post videos online has doubled from 14% in 2009 to 31% today…The share of online adults who watch or download videos has also grown from 69% of internet users in 2009 to 78% today, and mobile phones have become a key part of the video viewing and creating experience.” – Pew Research

Brands need to recognize the importance of online video, viewed either on a laptop, tablet, or mobile. 78% of adult internet users watch or download online videos (69% change from 09). 72% of online adults use video-sharing sites, and the percentage of that same demographic posting their own videos is growing.

Kiss Metrics provides a guide for marketers and brands who want to get started with YouTube marketing. It gives you instruction on how to set up a branded channel, where to put trailers, using annotations within the video itself, and essential best practices with all of the metadata around the final product. From the introduction:

How does a company that sells blenders attract over 220 million views on YouTube? How does Zappos drive over 250,000 visits a year to its website from YouTube? With over 72 hours of footage being uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do you successfully market your business on the world’s largest video site and #2 search engine?

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