Klout kills Perks, influencer engagement 1.0

1 Comment 10.01.15

TechCrunch reports that Klout has killed its Perks program and will replace it with a more sophisticated platform called Klout perquisites. Just kidding about the perquisites part.

There was a time when influencer marketing was presumed to start and finish with nothing more than finding popular people, giving them free stuff and hoping they’ll say your brand’s name to a lot of people on the Internet.


Above: Two Days in Seattle seemed like the coolest Klout perk, I almost participated but decided against it.

Klout blazed a trail but now there’s a fork in the road. One path leads to paid endorsements and the other path leads to a world of other approaches to influencer marketing, like:

  1. Developing authentic relationships with relevant thought leaders and earning their public endorsement by keeping in touch and doing good work.
  2. Observing independent influencers for early detection of trends and opportunities. Then making strategic or editorial decisions based on what you learn from them.
  3. Analyzing communities of influencers, including how they are segmented, and advertising to them and their audiences in a way that combines relevance and scale.

Personally, I find all of those to be a lot more interesting.  All of those are things our customers are doing.

What’s most exciting to me is working to build a future where the social web is taken so seriously by businesses that they seek competitive advantage in finding and efficiently engaging with the very best minds in their market online.

Sometimes sending people stuff, but a lot of times not.

Rest in Peace Klout Perks, you were an important first step in making influencer data actionable.


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Yes, getting retweeted does drive revenue growth.

0 Comments 09.21.15

“Getting your 100,000th ‘Like’ on Facebook, or having your latest pearl of wisdom retweeted 200 times is all well and good, but are these activities driving revenue? ” so asks McKesson marketing leader Rohit Prabhakar in a post on his otherwise excellent looking blog.

Common question. The answer is YES.

Getting retweeted does drive revenue, if people want to buy what you’re selling on the website associated with your social profile.  More people see your work with your name attached to it, they click on your name, then they visit the website you’re affiliated with and then they buy your stuff.  You’ve got to be good at it and do it a lot or it won’t work.

Here’s a comment I posted that I wanted to turn into a blog post. Feel free to refer to this answer the next 100 times someone within earshot of you asks the same question.

I’d argue that having your pearl of wisdom retweeted hundreds of times is going to increase your visibility and credibility online, will drive visits to your website by qualified parties interested in learning more and thus will grow leads that it’s your job to close as sales. That’s how it works at our business. So yes, tweeting can drive revenue! 😉

 

Follow up: Mr.Prabhakar replied to my comment on his blog with this comment. “I agree with you as in your case you are backing this activity with lead generation and sales closing as you mentioned. These questions strongly apply to an organization that is doing lot of effort on web and social but not following it up with lead generation and closing with sales team.”

That seems like a real missed opportunity, for companies to relate to social that way.


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NTEN helps nonprofits learn to use the web effectively.

How to do influencer marketing so it drives tons of business opportunity

1 Comment 09.17.15

I read a pretty good post titled How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing: Ten Tips From the Experts and I thought I should write down my approach. This is a simple and enjoyable, if challenging, way for people and companies to drive tons of business their way using social networks.  This is how I built my career, how a bunch of the biggest companies in the world have come to our company’s website and how many of our customers do it. You can do it too.

4 steps! (And the 4th one is just “repeat”)

Step 1. Find well-known people who you find interesting and who are sharing things publicly online.

Step 2. Talk to them about the things. Try to be interesting when you do.

Step 3. Make sure when they notice and turn to look at who you are, you’ve got an dignified, credible, interesting web presence.

Step 4. Repeat.

Repeat until you find yourself in public and private conversations with the leading voices in your industry. They will engage back with you in time and they’ll share your work with their audiences, once they know you, if it’s good enough.

All this conversation will lead to you showing up in search results, you showing up in other people’s social timelines, and more traffic to the website where you offer things for sale. 

Those conversations will lead to you getting offered business opportunities and you hearing about other opportunities early. 

The social web is an abundant place for those who make consistent, good faith, high-value contributions to it.
Our company automates step 1 above and makes step 2 a lot easier.  These steps are good to do at all and great to do really well.  Step 3 you’re on your own for and step 4 is just “repeat.” (Easier said than done, though.)

I hope this has been useful. Please share your thoughts with me. Thanks.


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NTEN helps nonprofits learn to use the web effectively.

What will businesses do with data 2 years from now?

0 Comments 09.16.15

Trend-spotter-spotters and the next step of competitive data science in business

“What we think will take ten years will likely take two or less,” says Frank Diana, Principal in Business Evolution at the $80B IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services, in a recent blog post

I think the near term future will be characterized by…
* Overwhelming media & tons of choices   

* On-demand economy

* Automation, AI, and personalization 

* Post-scarcity (effectively, for some), price wars, and tiny profit margins
In these circumstances, the value of a source of future knowledge will grow. So the best data will be data that points toward a source of data in the future.
In fact, as the future gets ever-closer to the present because of accelerating change, foreknowledge of the future will be valued like fuel that’s necessary to get there.

Today, big data is largely focused on personalized targeting of future buyers of products. Based on correlations and past behavior, that’s a finite set of data and seems like it would have diminishing returns.

I think the focus of data science in the future will be less about slicing a prospective customer up a thousand ways and more about foresight into what emerging things more prospective customers will be interested in across months and years into the future.

Analogy: You know how all the fast food restaurants are now competing to be the healthiest, the most ecological and the most comfortable? In the future, they’ll compete to identify those forthcoming trends as early as possible and they’ll compete to find the best experts on identifying those trends as early as possible.
2 yrs from now, I think companies will seek the best independent minds for advice on fast-moving markets, like today they seek advocates to sing the praises of their brand on the social web.
Today’s equivalent influencers would be Chetan Sharma or Kirk Borne – master synthesizers.
As the accelerating pace of tech and cultural change collapses the future into the present, businesses will compete over knowing now what they will compete in directly later.  They’ll compete in searching for the best algorithms and the best thinkers with foresight.


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NTEN helps nonprofits learn to use the web effectively.

Hold on to your hat

1 Comment 09.14.15

We’re entering a time in which multiple forms of exponential change will combine and their combinations will have a huge impact, in addition to the technologies themselves. That’s from futurist Gerd Leonhard, who illustrates the point with this graphic by Frank Diana – from this KPMG talk. (KPMG Executive Symposium on Automation + Robotics)

I love this graphic.  And I love the idea, frightening as it may be.  In political science, there’s a term for when you’ve got so many crises going on all at once that their sheer quantity is itself a crisis as well: a crisis of crises.  The prospect of multiple exponential changes combining reminds me of that.

You know what part I want to play in this? The one described here: The unsung massive 10 year disruptor: Automation of knowledge work

 

Dropbox_-_KMPG_Chicago_robotic_innovations_forum_gerd_leonhard_presentation_public_low_res-web.pdf


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XOXO Day 2

1 Comment 09.14.15

Care more about other people, but care less about what they think of you. 

That seemed to be a key message from day 2 of Internet maker festival XOXO.  The details that made up the presentations were compelling. Good show! Far more in-depth write-up of Day 1 here

It’s great to see people who are making the social media we all use or consume gathered together and encouraging that kind of perspective, prioritizing empathy.


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What Got Said at XOXO Day 1

4 Comments 09.12.15

Here’s my account of the seven remarkably well-curated sessions at Day 1 of Internet culture-maker festival XOXO in Southeast Portland, Oregon. 

This is my first year at the event, for which I had to apply to be granted a submission to a drawing to get a 24 hour window to pay $500 for a ticket, or some such process several months ago. It’s been here in my town for several years and this year my darling wife said “put it on the credit card and go if you can!” (Free video of all the following will be on YouTube soon though! Plus, see sketch notes.)

I’ve been working full time on the Internet 10 years next month and I saw a lot of faces I recognized – as well as many I did not. It’s a little overwhelming so I’m hiding in a dark corner of a feminist-alligned bar down the street, writing this on my phone plugged into the wall. (I’ll add more links later.)

XOXO is about people struggling to make careers for themselves making the Internet, and thus the world, better for themselves and humanity. It’s about art, science and commerce, as far as I can tell. I’ll go watch some short cartoons and films, maybe play some video and tabletop games, after I finish this.  It’s kinda Portlandia, but not screwing around. 

Founding era blogmother Dooce kicked it all off, with the words “hairy vaginas” in 400 point font and the statement “I am the motherfucking queen of the mommybloggers.”  She talked about the price of multimillion dollar success (exploitation of her crying children who didn’t want to be photographed in yet another faux-happy staged situation), her decision to walk away from The current state of sponsored content and back to authentic gritty life-affirming blog posts and photography. 
Then the NPR Planet Money guy talked about how his fame as a media creator opened doors for him but did not lead to fast VC funding for his startup. (Yup!) He had a great quote that summed up the XOXO ethos well: “You’ll never be able to explain the thing as well as you can show the thing.”  -Alex Blumberg https://gimletmedia.com/show/startup/
Then comic trailblazer and successful publishing company founder Spike Trotman  http://spikedrewthis.tumblr.com took the stage. She’s a young, Black, smart, high energy, an early adopter of Kickstarter who said: “I’d say I’m grateful, but I worked hard for this! It’s a combination of ‘how on earth did I get here?’ And ‘yeah, I worked hard for this!'”  
I’d like to read multiple blog posts just about Trotman’s presentation. The things I heard people say about it over lunch were remarkable.
Then, a non-panel-panel of the founding team of early smart-gossip blog Suck.com on one stage for the first time ever talked about how the sausage was made. I was proud to hear about a young Owen Thomas’s role there; Owen wasn’t here today because he’s rebuilding the blog my team and I built, ReadWrite. (Made me proud.)
Then Anil Dash pretended to be an egomaniac while actually shining light like an Olympian on women and people of color who have made the culture we live in.  “We’ve always been here,” I think he said, though Spike may have said that first. Dash showed off Makerba.se.

Zoey Quinn spoke about her lessons learned going from teenage depressed malleable jerk-face to the 2nd or 3rd worst-attacked target of the assholes of #GamerGate. She spoke about it from a game developer’s perspective, said anonymity is really important to protect and urged everyone to just be nicer! She was great.
Finally, CSS granddaddy Eric Meyer closed out the first day’s sessions with a simple nerd-for-good message:
The systems we design impact the things we do.  What we do online will appear normal to our children. System design is always social design. What kind of society do we want to design for?
That pretty much sums it up. I look forward to the evening’s events and tomorrow. 

I can’t imagine what could go further than today. Literally. 


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NTEN helps nonprofits learn to use the web effectively.