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Identifying the ideal influencer for your brand

Everyone seems to be a social influencer these days, including bloggers with popular pages, micro-celebs doing brand pushing stuff, and even YouTube stars who have risen to fame by making videos about daily lift, their hobbies or their fields of interest and learning. And of course, businesses everywhere are looking at the best ways to engage.

So how best to leverage this reach without wasting cash on a lot of likes but very little ROI? How to connect to the best influencer for your particular offering?


The state of play right now

According to a study published by Collective Bias, “Around 70 percent of the Millennial generation have their buying decisions influenced by their peers, and that represents a huge proportion of people relying on others to recommend new products to them, often now through the interconnected social space online”.

The same study found that, “Facebook stands to be slightly ahead of YouTube in the battle for the most influential social platform, with 19 percent and 18 percent of consumer purchasing being influenced by posts on the platforms by influencers”.

It’s also worth noting that influencers don’t strictly have to be humans – wonderfully (or ridiculously, depending on your take of social and its good and bad), animals can be influencers too.


Useful Influencer A: The Authority

Let’s begin by starting with an oft overlooked group in terms of their potential importance versus their perceived importance. Persons in a position of authority (social media wise, we mean) in your area of expertise/business are naturally the ideal people to outreach to for influencer marketing. They are able to command audience attention and they will also have a following. It’s also worth noting that these types of committed, industry leading people likely to be highly and regularly active on their channels. A link from an authoritative source back to a brand can be incredibly important for ranking factors, especially with an .edu or a .gov source.


Useful Influencer B: The Advocate

Advocates are already influencers for other brands, so when reaching out, it’s important to recognize and potentially discuss any conflict of interest. There may also be non-disclosure documents involved which can protect both of you. These types of influencers are popular because they are always on the lookout for a brand they could represent, and hopefully will already have a feel and understanding on how to post to get the optimum results client side.


Useful Influencer C: The Celebrity

These are the most influential people with masses of followers and typically will have nothing to do with your actual brand (or products, often). It’s a simple pay-for-use-of-your-status deal, with all of the good and bad this implies.


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Addressing the challenges of live video in your marketing plan

You are the focal point and the one making the address

Live video streaming is very similar to making a public address – there is no room for error. It’s a tough gig, but if you are a thought leader and have valuable insights to share, then this is the best way to do it currently. If you’re going to be asked questions live, then prep the Q&A in anticipation.


There is no outsource option

It’s all on you. If you plan to distribute your valuable knowledge and experience, you will be the guy up there. The only way to get a personal following is to be the one that people follow.


It’s not easy to grow an audience

As with anything to do with marketing and reach, the hardest part is connecting to a valuable number of audience members (and subsequently followers). Do some ground work first on the types of segmentation you wish to target, try to understand how to reach them through your keyword planning and content distribution model, and plan your topics and content around that targeted PR plan.


Time zones are a global issue with delivery planning

If you’re trying to reach a global audience, trying to pin down a live stream time is challenging and there is no right answer to guide you. As with FB posts, timing in the day is important, but when you’re looking at international, think first on a regional basis, plan the content consumption time for your market and target that one region first and foremost. You can always make the file available to others at a later date or time.


Live video is born and dies quickly

Due to the nature of the medium, we are not talking evergreen content. However, as with the above point, you can make your download available – with the added advantage that you can make it available only to people who follow you.


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Tricks to creating a buzz with competitions


Online contests would seem like a great way to attract followers and brand loyalists, but it’s quite hard to make them a success. Here are some tips:


Be clear on your goals

Developing and isolating a clear communication is at the foundation of everything to do with PR. Contest are no different. Your key message is not that people can win something by doing something; it needs to in some way support your brand or product communication objectives, and hopefully also contribute to engagement marketing too.


The prizes need to rock

USB sticks and mouse pads are ok for trade fairs, but they don’t exactly get people fired up. You need this appetite to attract at least one entrant – and hopefully more. Look at prize selection through the lens of what your customers in your market really want, and let that drive the inspiration to deliver for them. Cash gifts are an age-old solution to this, but don’t dismiss something that can communicate your brand in a way that is perhaps more effective or relevant (hence the whole purpose of the communication idea).


Make the rules easy to understand

If entrants need to go through multiple stages of judging, make purchases in front of their social followings by hocking your many hashtags, or provide personal information, then you are creating barriers to entry. Not good. Tools for actually deploying the contest include WooboxRafflecopterWishpond or ShortStack 


Be strategic in following up

The whole purpose of a contest is to generate leads, so make sure your process flow is on point and CRM, CRM, CRM…. Make sure your marketers have absolutely everything they need to exploit the endeavor, or you’re wasting your time.


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This is the extent of data which Facebook & Google holds on you

Google knows where you go

Google records your location (assuming your tracking is on, and it most often is to provide location based functionality) at all times. There is a timeline of everywhere you have been, which in turn provides google with qualitative data it then sells to advertisers.

Here is the link to see your own data:…


Google knows everything you’ve ever searched – and deleted

As the old saying goes, you can’t hide your search history from God. Google stores search history across all your devices. Even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Click on this link to see your own data:


Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data:


Google knows all the apps you use

Google records information for each app and their ancillaries for which you use. They know how often you visit or make use of them, where, and crucially, who else you use them to interact with. This gives them by proxy the data on your friends and your colleagues, their movements, activities and so forth. Welcome to a more twisted version of 1984…

Click here to see……


The Google data vault is the most comprehensive on earth

Data on the typical Google user reaches up to 5.5GB normally. This is the equivalent of 3m Word documents.

This includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google …

Pause for thought. Now consider this potential for power, control, manipulation and abuse.


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Should I delete my Facebook account?

Cambridge Analytica scandal just an indicator of what big tech does in harvesting your personal info

Facebook is trusted with the ownership and management of data provided by 2 billion people. In April, the Observer revealed how Cambridge Analytica, a company funded by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer, acquired and exploited the data associated with 50m Facebook profiles. It appears that while Facebook had been aware of what the Observer described as “unprecedented data harvesting” for two years, it did not notify the affected users.


Instead of accepting responsibility, its top executives argued (on Twitter) that the network had done nothing wrong: “This was unequivocally not a data breach,” Facebook vice-president Andrew Bosworth tweeted on Saturday. “People chose to share their data with third party apps and if those apps did not follow the data agreements with us then it is a violation. No systems were infiltrated, no passwords or information were stolen or hacked.”


In a sense, Facebook’s defense to the Cambridge Analytica story was more damning than the story itself.


The Facebook business model is to collect, share and exploit as much user data as possible, and it does this without express consent from users. Yes, every user agrees to a service user agreement, but Facebook has no safeguards in place to stop these being abused or extrapolated by third parties and then abused.

Facebook shares dropped 7%, taking $36bn off of the company’s valuation.


Did you delete your account in protest?

It’s not easy to remove yourself from Facebook. Firstly, there is the large archive of valuable material you have stored on there (and there only); all those old photos of friends and parties from years gone by, with no other digital copy.


Then there is the fact that there are so many hoops Facebook makes you leap through in order to extricate yourself from Facebook.


However, it is not a futile exercise.

Facebook likes to deliver a very different narrative to marketers than they do the wider public. The Observer: “They downplay their significance when challenged by the media about, for example, their influence on the 2016 US election. They downplay their power to deal with online harassment or the spread of fake news. However, if you’ve got an advertising budget and want to know how Facebook can persuade your target consumer to buy your product, it’s a different story. Suddenly, Facebook is an all-knowing entity with unrivaled information; it can get almost anyone to do almost anything. While Facebook presents itself to the public as a social network, when addressing the advertising industry, it is very clear about the fact that it’s a surveillance system”.


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Survey discovers that Thai people spend 10% of their day on YouTube

YouTube Thailand recently revealed that Thai people spend an average of 2.4 hours watching YouTube each day. This represents a massive opportunity for brands and advertisers to leverage the platform and reach consumers directly.


YouTube Thailand, a sub-company and local management arm of the world’s leading video platform, said recently that up to 46 million Thais watch YouTube. People in urban areas (including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayudthaya and Pattaya) average 2.4 hours a day and spend around 70 minutes on visit; those in rural areas spend 2.1 hours a day and 60 minutes per visit.


YouTube can boost views by 350% for advertisers compared with other social media platforms, according to the company in Thailand. Latest research by YouTube and research agency TNS also claims that 62% of YouTube viewers in Thailand access the platform several times a day, and up to 75% of them access daily.


Of totally active YouTube users/account owners, up to 51% of viewers watch rerun TV content, 33% use the service to learn something new, 70% of viewers listen to music on the platform, and 24% search for information about consumer goods and services.


Also according to the study: “One billion YouTube users are active daily globally, and there are 1.5 billion logged-in YouTube users every month, with 400 hours of content uploaded every minute. YouTube has 80 localized languages in 90 countries”.


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Why Social Media should be top of mind for PRs

The changes within Public Relations

Prior to digital, PR mainly reached out to the public and/or market after a massive change that needed to be communicated. This could be a new product, service, operational announcement or something to do with reputation management. With the advent of social media, the PR role is now more constantly engaged and at the same time more nuanced. The PR professional is still tasked with reputation management activities, but the skill set now extends to counselling leadership, and to identify potential problems in a business’s relationship with the public. As social is so immediate, the roles of people working in PR, marketing and customer service have now become intertwined in this space.

How to properly use Social

Social media can be used to find influencers, the micro-celebs who give brands a voice they could never use by themselves. Influencers can have massive followings that brands can tap into to promote products. Social can also be used to find brand threats, a technique called “social listening”. This gives PRs the chance to understand the public opinion before it becomes a business threat. There are dozens of social listening tools available.

Social can also be used to have a bearing on journalism and the stories that journalists write. Both journalists and the public turn to social media such as Twitter to discover what others are saying on a specific topic, and to discover trends. This is where PRs are able to influence the process.

Social media can also be used to quickly issue reactions to negative press, Social being the number one go-to spot for people to gauge a brand’s reaction to negative news.


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PR & Social Media strategies in combination

Why does it work?

For social media, you are creating and enhancing relationships with a potential large audience. This audience is only limited by your following, reach and budget.


Starting with a story

Use storytelling to give audiences a strong idea of what your product or service is about. It creates value for your brand and consumer empathy too. It also typically results in strong content which you can use across your channels.


Established PR tools

The humble press release is still the PR go-to tool. But there are other ways to leverage your content and connect to relevant audiences. A pitch is a targeted story idea (or media angle) that you “pitch out” to certain types of media, and viewer relevance is obviously key. Speaking engagements are also another option you may consider, albeit with a local and somewhat limited reach. This is very relevant for B2B, and stand a chance of you being perceived as an expert in a given field.


Social media channels

Key channels of course are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, as well as Owned content on your own company blog site. Consider how each best serves your communication interest. Think carefully about audiences and messaging first and foremost, especially if there is a cost involved; ROI is essential for it to not be pointless or wasteful.


Leveraging PR socially

You should always use your social media channels to best leverage efforts in traditional media engagement. The boosting of social content obviously increases the number of people who see the story in the media and further showcases expertise in whichever area you have committed to.


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The digital detox and how to disconnect

1. Be serious in assessing, and in providing a Caveman solution

The average net user spends 118 minutes on social media channels per day; that’s nearly 14 hours a week. When you start to add up all those hours in a serious way, the results can be somewhat alarming. Although work requires us to be available and in constant check-in status for much of the day, that still leaves a lot of hours in which you could be outside and phoneless, or in the sauna and unobtainable.


2. “immersed vs. informed”

It’s our job as PR people to stay up to date with current events and within-industry movements. But that doesn’t mean staying connected all day, all of the time. This is clearly not particularly healthy. Take long breaks, and enjoy those hours away from screen time. Check back in for quick news headlines (if you have to), but read real books instead of Guardian musings on life, toil and misery.


3. Turn off notifications

Work can still send you emails even if you turn the notifications off. However, this means that you can check your inbox when you’re not busy with other stuff, rather than running to the phone every time the Gmail message alert pings. Make them wait.


4. Go full-on caveman

Plan a five or seven day trip each year, even a low-cost excursion to a town or hotel near your home, and allocate that as a digital-free week. It’s much easier to achieve if you block off an entire week. Anyway, you’ve booked holiday, so it should be impossible for people to reach you from time to time.


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Five essential personnel content marketing teams need to deliver for clients

  1. A journalist

Journalists are both newshounds and storytellers, and so are ideally placed to source, write, edit and by-line authored, written content.


  1. A community manager

Community managers do more than promote and distribute general content; they are responsible for engaging customers and helping to build a thriving community that keeps audience members coming back with regularity. They have a large role in monitoring newsworthy content, and responding to criticisms and suggestions from your followers. The community manager can also assist the staff overall by monitoring ‘hot’ topics and tracking industry trends.


  1. A graphic designer

Eye-catching, expressive or relevant visual content can make even simple or boring stories attractive online, pulling in viewers and giving posts more ‘pop’ magnetism on social media. It’s useful having access to at least a retained designer, someone who can step in on short notice and add the required visual flair to posts, opinion leader content or marketing material you put out.


  1. A video producer

Youtube is now the world’s Number Two search engine behind Google, and all social networks now apply more value and display listing power to video content. This is the way the industry has gone, even for static “photo” sites like Instagram. Having a video production specialist on stand-by, even for the occasional outsourced job, can be beneficial for exploiting this premium niche, both for your own content or for reselling to clients.


  1. A data analyst

Data, mining, analytics and more recently AI-based decision making models are the ‘here and now’, and the vast explosion in global bandwidth demand will only become more exponential. This is an area you must put some effort into understanding, even if its span of influence doesn’t quite reach to your organization. Agencies and consultants selling services to Hong Kong, Singapore or mainland China will already be receiving inquires in this field and its many IT-centric arms and evolutions.


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