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Who Are the Social Media Influencers?

Social Media

Is bigger always better?

 

Does a larger Social Media following or footprint automatically represent an easily persuaded audience? I would like to play with the assumption that those with a larger Social Media following are the most influential.

Are those with a large following the most influential? Alternatively, has the digital space created the opportunity for brands and messaging to dig deep and find the smaller, more niche markets who will and can move their products or message far more efficiently?

Underestimating niche, highly engaged influencers is, in my opinion, a mistake. Is it harder to find them – meaning the ones who are making smaller waves in a big ocean? Absolutely. Is it impossible to find them? Not at all but it takes time and the right people who know how to find them.

These smaller more highly influential individuals who do not have the largest following have a more saturated following, and by saturated I mean engaged. These relationships are deep and have transcended the simple post and hashtag; the relationship has sometimes matured over a very short period. Resulting in a higher conversion rate and a more long-term relationship with the customer.

Go Big or Go Home – Social Media

I think about the saying ‘Go Big or Go Home’. Big, as we know, isn’t always better. People are becoming increasingly less enamoured with ‘go big or go home’ whether it is house size, bank balance or Instagram following. We watch the Minimalists on Netflix, and we marvel at what they have created and dream that we can do the same and we spend weekends emptying ourselves and homes of precious belongings that are cluttering our space, our minds and our hearts. We are less interested in who has the highest bank balance or, on a lesser and more superficial and hollow level, who has the most Instagram followers or Facebook likes.

It is true, however, to say that with larger numbers a greater standard of awareness is accomplished and a wider spread of prospective clients/followers/customers. Within that awareness, we have to ask, what is the ‘stick-ability’ of the conversation or messaging? Is the loyalty there? Have the so-called ‘influencers’ with the larger audiences saturated themselves and sold out in such a way that we no longer pay attention to what they are telling us? Alternatively, could it be only feeding a space that is increasingly more and more narcissistic by the day?

With niche audiences and smaller consumer communities comes a deeper relationship that has a higher propensity to become a relationship that is transactional. Meaning that the trust is greater, it goes beyond an ‘influencer awareness’ campaign and directly into the hearts and minds of potential consumers.

The key to a great campaign is to let awareness be like the veil that covers a bride but as we look deeper, to the intricate details on her dress, the tapestry in the design, the interlace within her bouquet. That is where the depth is found. That is where the beauty is. Much like online relationships, it is the small detail that is buried between posts. It is the relationship that is built and allows for ‘reading between the lines’. Through this messages are received, and products are sold.

We must return to the old to understand the new. It is about daring to walk across the room and look another in the eye and connect in a real way. It is not found in the scattering of the multitudes.

It is vital for businesses and organisations to search for their unique internal heartbeat. The heartbeat that separates their products and messages from others in the competing marketplace. The language and message that allows them to rise above the white noise. It is from there; we find the influencers who make sense to the brand. The niche ones who are deeply connected with their pure motivation being to build lasting, meaningful relationships. Where time is spent adding value to the lives of those whom they are engaging with them. Not the narcissistic ‘look at me, look at me, I am so great’ answering questions no one is asking, but rather adding value to them because he or she have come to know them. It is through this level of engagement that the dial is moved simply because it is authentic and real.

SomoSociety Digital Marketing

welcome 2

 

 

 

praise_ap

 

I write as Director of the Beyond Festival, a Justice and Music Festival based in Canberra, Australia.

Held for the first time in 2015, Beyond was an attempt to bring diverse groups together under the shared values of compassion, justice, peace, welcome and celebration. It was an outstanding success.

Crucial to this success was the skill of Susan Sohn. Her capacity to quickly grasp the heart of the event and then communicate this to disconnected groups without established networks enabled us to get our message and brand in front of a very large number of interested people.

Susan was excellent to work with. She is personable, inquisitive, focused and kept me in the loop of decision-making and strategy at all times.

Susan has an excellent understanding of how social networking works and she was able to harness this in order to focus our communication.

Further, Susan expresses natural warmth that makes communication easy. She displays genuine interest and personal engagement in the process and I am convinced this is the secret to her effectiveness: she looked at Beyond from the point of view of a prospective attendee and asked herself what was necessary to communicate the event effectively. From here she developed her strategy and then delivered. I could not have been happier with her work.

Susan displays great personal integrity in all her dealings. For me, this element is a deal breaker: competence without character leads to corruption. I am delighted that Susan has such high personal standards.

I warmly commend her to any company looking to grow their brand in the public sphere.

Andrew Palmer – Director, Beyond Festival

Digital Marketing

You are invited to this One-Day Digital Marketing Intensive (Tuesday, December 6). With limited spots available we hope you’ll make every effort you can to join us. These days have proved to be highly sought after and beneficial for everyone involved.

There will be hands-on practical guidance. We will look at the importance of Blogs, Facebook Posts, Twitter, Instagram, Automation, the value of your Database – why it is your goldmine and how something like SnapChat can be incorporated into your digital plan for your business. This One-Day Intensive is a mix of lecture, group work and relevant exercises. This is a real ‘HOW TO’ when it comes to understanding your Social Spaces, how to use them effectively in your marketing campaigns and how all platforms can work for you whilst sharing different messages.

What to do now? Book your spot (secure it early as there are limited spaces available), watch for your emails and fill out our pre-event questionnaire. Bring your own laptop and get ready to dive into all the spaces you currently occupy.

And, last but certainly NOT LEAST we will look at how you measure and monitor your activity because

‘YOU CAN’T GROW WHAT YOU DON’T MEASURE’

Finally, we will help you create compelling content and develop meaningful engagement because

‘IF CONTENT IS KING, THEN ENGAGEMENT IS QUEEN’

Next Step

Why Your Path to Purchase is Important

Mount Batur (2)I was recently on a trip to Bali with my 18-year-old-daughter, my friend, her daughter and my niece. We had an extraordinary trip. I won’t go into all the details nor will I bore you with our Instagram photos (although feel free to check them out)  but I do want to share something I observed when booking a Trek and it involves some integral marketing thoughts.

Before arriving in Bali we decided to go on the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek. We were excited, especially after checking out the well designed and up-to-date website that boasted extraordinary views and great add-ons to the experience. The correspondence prior to the trek was prompt and very informative. The service from the initial connection was pleasurable, very informative and supportive. The path to purchase was paved well.

You’re wondering where this fell over? It all began at 3:15am the morning of the walk. We were picked up by a very friendly driver at 2:15am and set out on our 1.5-hour drive to the mountain base. At approx 3:15am – after an hour of careening through the roads of Ubud, our driver slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. He turned the engine off and there we sat, in the still of the night, nervously wondering what was happening. Needless to say, 5 overtired girls in the car coupled with the still of the night and our  relentless questions digging for answers as to why we were on the side of the road in Ubud served as a great time filler. Our driver explained to us that we were waiting for our guide to meet us. Still curious we sat, patiently waiting, talking, laughing yet remaining unsure of our current situation.

Finally, out of the still of the night, our guide appeared on a motorbike none-the-less. Our driver turned the engine on and we were off again following our guide along a dark not so well travelled road. We made our way into a tiny village and were greeted by a pack of wild dogs and a pyjama clad local gentleman who had obviously heard our approach and decided to appoint himself village greeter, pyjamas and all. From here we were shuttled to a concrete landing outside what we were told was ‘grandma’s house’ and indeed it was grandma’s house because upon our arrival out of the door came a shuffling 80+-year-old woman. We were asked to go to her house and sit down. Needless to say, at this point we were starting to get quite nervous as we sat on grandma’s burgundy pleather lounge whilst she sat perched on her bed rubbing her tired eyes. She too must have wondered what we were doing in her house but yet there seemed to be this knowing about her like maybe this happens on a regular basis so why would she get dressed or engage with us.

By this time we were all very suspicious and through nervous laughter and my self-diagnosed stress or situational Tourettes I began asking questions. Questions like: How many people do you usually take on this tour? How often do you run tour? The responses were all very vague. Stress and nervousness were crowding all of our thoughts and adding to this were the fact that we could see a mountain on one side of the lake that was well lit and appeared to have people trekking as we looked on. The mountain that we were at the base of was pitch black and there was no indication of anyone trekking or even attempting their way up.

After a few minutes in grandma’s house, we were instructed to come out and have some coffee and fried bananas (breakfast) before we headed off. We sat, drinking our coffee and talking. Our conversation led back to the company website and we began asking each other about the reviews anyone had read about this particular trek. A conversation we probably should have had before our breakfast outside grandma’s house. There are so many other things I could share with you about the lead up to our Trek that would leave you in hysterics but for the sake of this blog I’ll leave the rest for (perhaps) another time.

We made it to the top as you can see from the picture above. It was incredible and definitely a view and experience we will all remember for a lifetime. It was breathtaking and hair-raising all at the same time.

How does the ‘Path To Purchase’ and marketing come into this story? In regard to this Trek let me say that we are unanimous when we say we would all do it again in a heartbeat. However, in saying that, would we recommend the company to others? Probably not. Why? Because the communication breakdown between our side of the road experience and our trek up the mountain left a lot to be desired. There were moments when my friend, Jane, and I questioned our parenting wisdom bringing our daughters and my niece on this trek. Although the experience was one we will remember forever, the marketing and communication don’t tell a story that I would choose to share with family or friends.

My question today – Do your marketing and communication speak the same language? Is your marketing great and the experience you provide exceptional but somewhere in the middle people/customers/viewers/ get lost in translation? Are people trying to piece together the why behind the what of your offer, your product or your story? Is their experience like ours? One whereby they would definitely experience again yet they wouldn’t refer anyone to the company because the concern of the missing pieces that wouldn’t necessarily resonate with others the way it did with us.

Is the path to purchase, referrals and repeat business paved with speed bumps and confusion? Or, is there a path that is easy to follow?

With your marketing and communication from the moment a client or potential client/customer engages with you make sure you have the 2 C’s which are Clear and Concise throughout everything. Make your path to purchase easy.

Susan