View from riders cafe

Building social content into everything

Social content is quite literally everywhere. I went for a walk in the park and took photos of a dozen different things, I posted a couple on Instagram and shared a few directly with friends. I wasn’t the only one though. Almost everyone there was busy taking photos. How often do you find people taking photos of their food or a quirky looking drink when they’re at a restaurant? Sometimes you’ll actually need to wait before drinking because people are too busy or queued up to take photos of something on the table!

Everything has become a social media content opportunity. Which is why it surprises me when I visit a restaurant that doesn’t make it’s social media presence visible. Right now, I’m sitting at Riders Café and it’s beautiful. Everything from the view, the sound of the horses in the background to the smell is just fabulous. I’ve taken a few pictures (of course), but looking around the table, I have no idea if the café is even on Instagram or Twitter.

 

Table at Riders Cafe

 

Prompting your customers to share (if they’re happy) can go a long way. It’s no different to all the YouTube videos which have a “subscribe now” call out at the end. It doesn’t need to be as loud and bright as an online CTA. Something subtle that doesn’t detract from the rest of the ambiance, such as a well placed social media handle (@riderscafe) on a coaster would make it much easier for me to share my pics (and mention the café).

How are you incorporating social content opportunities into your business?

Everyone has phones

How do you drive social shares?

I spent last weekend on the Royal Caribbean ‘Mariner of the Seas’ cruise, and it was simply incredible. If you haven’t been on a cruise before, I’d certainly recommend this one as a good starting point. I really enjoyed the theatrical performances. It seemed as if there was constantly something going on, and that they had artists from every corner of the world.

Being so far away from land there was no mobile signal. They did have a chargeable WiFi service, but who really wants to be online when you’re enjoying a good holiday? Right? It’s a much better (customer) experience when you’re offline, distraction free and completely involved in what’s going on.

Only… what about all those mobile phones? All those great photo & video opportunities. All that social media potential? Most people were moving around with mobile phones. A few well placed hashtags & free access to just a few social media sites would mean an incredible amount of additional publicity.

A quick search on Instagram for marineroftheseas doesn’t reveal much, but I assure you people were busy taking photos & videos of everything from the food, to the rooms & performances. If you want your clients to share their experiences you’re going to need a few things:

  1. A clearly visible and relevant hashtag or name for them to mention
  2. Internet access
  3. An incentive, whilst optional *really* helps to drive more shares (think free massage for most interesting photo or discounted drinks if you post whilst at the bar)

So where do you try to drive social shares? Observe your customers, whatever they’re taking photos or videos of, that’s where you need find a way to drive shares. Don’t over complicate things, sharing should be simple and easy. Just presenting your hashtag or handle on coasters can be enough to get things moving in the right direction.

Female incluencers with megahorn

Forging authentic influencer relationships that drive measurable results

Influencer marketing is a medium built on trust and authenticity. The deeper an influencers relationship with their audience, the more weight their voice carries. Like all mediums consumers have already started to become inert to paid advertising delivered through influencers. So how do you get your message out with influencers?

These 7 steps provide practical advice for selecting influencers, as well as creating and maintaining win-win relationships that drives measurable (yes, measurable) results.

  1. Shortlisting your influencers
    Selecting the right influencers to work with is critical to successful influencer marketing, it’s worth putting the extra time and effort at the tart to make sure you’ve found the right person. These four elements will help you make the right choice:
  2. The right audience 
    You know your customers, and your customers are already busy listening to, and interacting with influencers. Start by choosing influencers that have the same audience that you’re interested in. That ensures that any message they communicate has the maximum possible impact.
  3. Size of audience 
    Whilst it’s important that you get the largest reach possible, working with influencers that have millions of followers is considerably more difficult than working with those that have several hundred thousand. Don’t get too small though, the smallest of magazines will have a readership of 10,000 which is probably the smallest audience size you’ll want to accept.  Any smaller and the effort likely won’t justify the returns. Conversely it’s been shown that influencers that have considerably more than 100,000 followers have much lower engagement rates – and therefore lower impact.
  4. Engaged & conversational 
    Engagement isn’t just about their posts attracting likes and shares. For an influencer to be effective they need to be constantly interacting with their audience. Check to ensure that they’re not just broadcasting, and they’re having actual conversations. You may also want to check how quickly they respond to messages (if at all), as speed of response can have a considerable impact on the value of a message.
  5. Involved
    Influencers that are already engaged with your brand are the most likely to become brand evangelists – with careful nurturing. These should be at the top of your priority list, and should be treated with special care. They’re already talking about your brand, and you need to deepen that relationship. Without at least an occasional pat-on-the-back, you risk your organic (the best type) influencers getting disillusioned or moving on to a competitive brand.
  6. Solicitation, Payment & Rewards
    Not all your influencers will appear organically, nor will they all approach you, you’ll need to go out and find some on your own steam.  Where ever they come from, it’s important to set some ground rules for your engagement with influencers. Will you pay them for their efforts? Will you provide product samples? How many will you fund/sponsor? How will you differentiate? There’s no hard and fast rule about how much to pay influencers, when I asked Christopher Dugal, Head of Social for Zalora, he recommends avoiding paying influencers and sticking to product sponsorship.
  7. Measurement
    Like all good marketing campaigns, your influencer campaign can be measured. To quote Jay Baer “True influence drives action, not just awareness”, so instead of tracking the classic measurements such as volume of tweets, posts, sentiment and likes, try tracking referral links tracking mechanisms. By providing each influencer with an individual referral tracking URL, you can quantify how much traffic and how many conversions each of your influencers are generating. Even if they’re not commissioned or paid, there are lots of incentives you can provide them for using the links – from additional kudos & recognition in your formal campaigns, through to early access to your new products.

Run through these steps when you’re building you influencer campaign. It’s a good idea to go through them every couple of months just to make sure you’re still on track – and sticking to the principles you originally laid out.