Corporate blogs are the most important social media service, according to a Hubspot study. Yet, there are still many ways companies can improve the impact of their blogs, beside writing top notch content.
1- Invite guest bloggers:
One of the risks for Corporate blogs is “isolation”. We see many companies investing in building great blogs but their content is never reused/linked to by other bloggers in their vertical.
Inviting prominent guest bloggers is a great win/win. The blogger gains authority from the brand and the brand gains authenticity from the blogger and visibility from their network.
Pick bloggers carefully: ones that are both influential, independent and not “professional guest bloggers”. Below is the graph of Top Social Media Influencers who wrote about… Corporate blogging recently:
2- Make citations:
While writing your content, always refer to influencers in the field of interest who have expressed opinions on the same topic. Make citations, send “link love” and let them know about it (a tweet or a message in Facebook/Linkedin should do it).
Influencers who are mentioned in your article will retweet, drive their audience to your content and… make you closer to “the family”, the tribe.
3- Select your topics by listening to bloggers in your domain:
This increases your chances to get read and also makes it easier to do #2.
Other recent articles you may want to read:
- On authenticity: How to Maintain Your Brand’s Authentic Voice (Convince & Convert)
- On guest blogging: The Small Wins From Social Media (Mitch Joel)
- On scaling, leveraging employees as authors: Transform Your Team into Epic Content Creators: 6 Steps (Steven Shattuck)
Try these techniques, and come back with comments !
Did you know that May is National Skin Cancer Awareness month in the US? I didn’t. Interestingly enough, neither do the country’s most vocal ambassadors of skin care and cosmetics: the 1200 American bloggers in eCairn’s Beauty/Cosmetics tribe.
How much talk is devoted to sunscreen, sun damage and sun protection in the US beauty tribe? Who are the bloggers who talk the most about it? Since a lot of cosmetics contain some level of sunscreen, the topic we created requires more than just an SPF index.
The share of voice graph over the past six months shows that less than 1% of all 100,000+ conversations in the beauty tribe match our sunscreen topic, with an increase from about 0.75% to 1.25% starting in the spring.
Do the share of mind numbers make up for the low share of voice? Not really. Only 24% of all influencers in our US Beauty/Cosmetics tribe mentioned sunscreen and sun protection over the last six months. What’s more, the influence level of these bloggers is not likely to help the message spread too far in the network of US beauty bloggers. As shown in the table below, the people with the most conversations matching the sunscreen topic (highest relevance scores, 10% to 30%) have very low influence in the tribe. Conversely, the most influential bloggers in the tribe have very low relevance scores to the sunscreen topic.
|# bloggers||average influence level||average relevance to topic|
|14||high (100)||low/none (0.6%)|
|13||low/none (1.2)||medium (15%)|
Our quick study of the US Beauty/Cosmetics community of bloggers shows that awareness about sun protection and indeed skin cancer has a great potential for growth in the tribe and in the general public. As with any other social media marketing campaign, one secret is to identify and engage the people with the most influence among their peers, i.e. the ones who are the most likely to help spread the message and raise awareness in their circles and beyond.
The month is still young, and things could change rapidly with the right strategy. In the meantime, let me share some Australian wisdom: “Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat!”
There are at least three ways for PR specialists to minimize the impact of negative buzz:
- shut off the source of the buzz
- correct misrepresentations and alter the spin associated to the content of the buzz
- control the reach of the buzz, i.e. the number of people/share of the people who are aware of the buzz
Two months ago, Christian Harbulot was telling us about reputation attacks, i.e. how negative spin can affect a company’s reputation, even when the legitimacy of the source of the spin cannot be established. Sometimes, companies (or people, in the present case) are their own reputation slashers, and they can end up taking down much more than just themselves in the process. If you haven’t been following political news in France, we’re talking dishonesty, deception and utter lack of clairvoyance at the highest levels of command: after months of denial, former Budget Minister Jérôme Cahuzac just admitted to tax evasion. How did the scandal get relayed in the French political blogosphere?
Among the 800+ French political bloggers in our database, Jérôme Cahuzac has received a lot of attention in the past six months: 100% of the top influencers, 71% of the bloggers with medium influence and 36% of the less influential ones have blogged about the former minister. The past six months can be divided into three periods: before the allegations of tax evasion (Oct 2012 – Dec 3, 2012), before the confession (Dec 4, 2012 – April 1, 2013), and after the confession (April 2, 2013 – now). How much of the talk is devoted to Cahuzac, and what is the general tone in each of the three periods whenever he is mentioned?
The volume of conversations mentioning Cahuzac in the three periods is very different, going from an average of less than 0.5% of all conversations before December to 30% in the past couple of days:
This massive increase in share of voice is accompanied by a drastic change in tone. The following expression clouds let us to get a sense of how talk surrounding the former Budget Minister evolved over the past six months. No need to perform sophisticated sentiment analysis to gauge what the French political blogosphere thinks about Cahuzac after Tueday’s confession of tax evasion.
In the first period, the most common expressions used in conversations mentioning Cahuzac pertain to his activity as budget minister (finance bill: projet de loi de finance, budget: budget, public finance: finances publiques, fiscal: fiscale, funding of social security: financement de la sécurité sociale, income tax: impôt sur le revenu) and to the French president and fellow ministers (President François Hollande, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, economy Minister Pierre Moscovici).
The next period sees negative expression take precedence, with mentions of laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud (blanchiment de fraude fiscale”), of a bank account in Switzerland (compte en suisse), of a preliminary investigation (ouverture d’une information judiciaire, enquête préliminaire), and of the minister’s resignation (démission de Jérôme Cahuzac). Mediapart, the investigative news site which is the source of the allegations, is also widely mentioned. At this point, indictment (mise en examen) does not apply to Cahuzac himself, but to former president Nicolas Sarkozy. Despite an audiotape released by Médiapart incriminating the minister, the principle that you are innocent until proven guilty (présomption d’innocence) is palpable in the political blogosphere, fueled by the minister’s denial and efforts to discredit the source.
In the last period, however, talk is focused on Cahuzac’s indictment and his confession (aveux de Jérôme Cahuzac), which turned him into the source of the buzz. On the one hand are his own words (devasted by remorse, dévasté par le remords, spiral of lies, spirale du mensonge), on the other are President François Hollande’s, who had been assured face-to-face (les yeux dans les yeux) by Cahuzac, the leader in the fight against tax evasion (lutte contre la fraude fiscale), that he was innocent: Cahuzac has committed an unforgivable moral fault (commis une impardonable faute morale). The picture is further darkened by mentions of far-right Marine Le Pen’s entourage (proche de Marine Le Pen, for being instrumental in opening the Swiss bank account), and of a possible dissolution of the French national assembly (dissolution de l’assemblée nationale).
In this case, failure to control the source, spin and reach of the negative buzz helped uncover the truth about the former minister’s ethically questionable actions. There are things that PR just cannot fix, fortunately, and that are best left to justice. The question is, now: how far will the ripples of the scandal go?
- reach (# of followers, fans, views ….)
- relevance (%of conversations/pots/tweets that are on topic)
- influence in the target tribe/community (which we define as use of relevant content by peer influencers in the same domain)
- targeting “mavens” (the ones who produce content) or “connectors” (the ones who spread it).
And the truth is, it really depends on the objective of the marketing campaign.
However, whatever you end up doing (engaging with 50 or 5000 influencers), there are 3 very good reasons why you need to monitor and profile the thousands to tens of thousands of voices in your target market i.e your entire target tribe.
1- Measuring the results:
You need to measure whether your campaign is picked up by the other influencers in the target tribe.
The graph below shows a map of “Moms of Baby” influencers in France. In green are the influencers who were part of the campaign, in yellow the influencers having mentioned the campaign.
In this example, we see that the spread is limited (although the combined reach of the yellow influencers is of the order of 100,000 followers).
Using a similar approach/technique, you can also measure the performance of your campaign against any campaign carried out by competitors.
2- Broadening your options:
Influencer landscape is getting more complex by the day. Even if you end up engaging with an handful of influencers, you still need to research and understand
- how active and engaged they are on different platforms
- where they fit in the eco-system
- where they are located (if your business is local).
In today’s world, the question is often: How to find 50 fashion influencers, in the NYC area, who have a significant audience on Pinterest and talk positively about… let’s say Nieman-Marcus?
3- Understanding your competitors’ moves:
For some of your campaigns, you may not want to work with Ambassadors who also work with your competitors. But what if you did want to work with them?
Here below are showed, in gray, the influencers considered for a campaign and in red the ones who have also recently participated in a competitor’s campaign.
“Measuring your campaigns, Broadening your options, Understanding your competitor’s influencer plans”, three good reasons you should monitor your networked market!