Study: Top 50 of the most influential cycling blogs + Facebook and Twitter friends…

28 04 2010

——> 2011 Updated list –> here ——

—— Contact us for in-depth studies and programs —–

Influence is a complex subject. It may come from many different angles and platforms and changes constantly. As you probably know, one of my big passions is mountain biking (Photos, 4:50 Club). The Frenchness in me has little to do with it since I was only playing golf back when I was living in France… I know, living in Colorado has turned things upside down and probably for the better 🙂

Anyhow, we are always and increasingly measuring influence for our clients and I thought I’d give a run down of what the cycling industry looks like from an influence point of view. I extracted 50 of the most influential sources of information from a larger pool. Ranking method: in-links between each other in the pool only. While they have influence, I removed pro-mags (e.g. VeloNews or CycloCross Mag) and stores like (CompetitiveCyclist or UltraRob). I also looked at Facebook and Twitter for corresponding influence there. To my point earlier, influence is not a one way street but a complex system of resonance which may lead readers and consumers to think and act accordingly. Influencers not only influence the masses but also influence each other throughout the social media sphere. Have I missed any of the top 50 you think should be on this list? Please let me know in the comment section below.

You know, 5 years ago, just looking at a blog list may have been enough. It’s not anymore. I could have spent many more hours on other networks such as YouTube, Flickr…. but looking at Facebook and Twitter gives an additional spin on the original ranking.

Here are a few observations:

  • Obviously some very influential bloggers are still ignoring the 400 million Facebook user pool. Only 20 out of 50 have a Facebook Page. It makes somewhat sense as many for those blogs are run by individuals and it poses some personal vs business brand questions.
  • Twitter is a lot more commonly used (37 out of 50) by bloggers as a method of discussion or republishing of their news rather than Facebook.
  • Clearly most big bloggers don’t follow back much e.g Bike Snob NYC’s ratio of 5k followers for 35 following. I can only assume that they find their news through other methods.
  • As much as there is a vast quantity of cycling blogs, these are clearly of a professional grade (I removed pro mags).
  • ~10% of ladies in the top 50. But that 10 percent clearly have a lot more esthetically pleasing sites 🙂

I also want to thank Andreas from London Cyclist Blog which I discovered through this research. Even though I seem to have come up with different results it was most helpful to learn from him and discover twitter handles.

And now for the drum-roll…the list moving from most influential to least (inlinks only)

Blog(inlinks in the pool) Facebook Fans / “Likes” Twitter Followers & links TwitterFollowing
1 Bike Snob NYC 60 5,819 35
2 Fat Cyclist ? 9,238 33
3 Urban Velo 1991 1,152 75
4 Cyclelicious 207 2,786 1,633
5 BikePortland.org 402 (friends) 4,603 331
6 League of American Bicyclists 1,398 2,872 1,694
7 EcoVelo 709 689 115
8 Copenhagenize.com 84 (mbers) 1,332 22
9 Cycle Chic™ 84 (mbers) 582 399
10 Bike Hugger 1,219 5,041 2,090
11 Up in Alaska ? ? ?
12 Belgium Knee Warmers 347 441 377
13 Bike Commuters 236 (group) ? ?
14 Commute by Bike ? 2,009 2,012
15 Kent’s Bike Blog ? 297 209
16 London Cyclist Blog ? 1,747 250
17 Bike Blog NYC ? 1,276 1,044
18 Bicycle Design 1,215 1,484 523
19 RidingPretty 123 22 7
20 Bikerumor ………………………….2,700 2,670 121
21 Bikes and The City 340 31 1
22 Drunkcyclist.com ? 339 201
23 All Hail the Black Market ? 959 918
24 Chic Cyclists ? ? ?
25 Streetsblog New York City 498 3,820 513
26 Amsterdamize 33 731 347
27 Prolly Is Not Probably ? 2,083 384
28 A view from the cycle path ? ? ?
29 Let’s Go Ride a Bike ? 620 356
30 Cycling Tips 1,074 (FB app, nice!) 2,179 438
31 Epic Riding 2 513 378
32 Vélo Vogue 91 234 151
33 RocBike.com ? ? ?
34 Red Kite Prayer 211 472 189
35 Bike Commute Tips Blog 902 298 140
36 Bad Idea Racing ? ? ?
37 Cozy Beehive 214 426 252
38 Lovely Bicycle! ? ? ?
39 Jeff Kerkove 1251 friends 781 161
40 Gwadzilla 666 ? ?
41 Trackosaurus rex ? ? ?
42 Guitar Ted Productions ? ? ?
43 MnBicycleCommuter ? ? ?
44 VeloDramatic – A Pedal Turner ? 345 28
45 Embrocation Cycling Journal 857 1,234 202
46 Dave Moulton’s Blog ? 2,257 1,548
47 Quickrelease.tv ? 3,133 788
48 Girls and Bicycles ? 278 44
49 Cycling Inquisition ? ? ?
50 Fixed Gear Blog 26 2,790 2,079

Now as we can see, if we look through the Facebook “Like” lenses, Bikerumor would have been ahead of the, Urban Velo, League of American Bicyclist (an org, not a individual) and Bike Hugger when it comes to influence on this network. In a similar fashion, on Twitter, Fat Cyclist would have been ahead of Bike Snob NYC and BikeHugger if we only looked at the number of followers (debatable again).

What doesn’t this study talk about? It’s a ranking and therefore it fails to understand the 3 dimensions of influence: Trust per topic, Real-Time vs Long Tail, Resonance across mediums.
But it’s a start. I’ll certainly study more of this amazing world of influence in cycling over the upcoming season and would love your feedback and thoughts.

Cheers,

READ the follow up blog: Influence & Industry, the many axes about building a community

Follow the cycling list on twitter: http://twitter.com/list/yannr/cycling

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@YannR

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Socializing Media, can you stand the heat?

14 04 2010

If you’ve started your own social media program, you’re ahead of millions of other companies. Kudos to you. But it’s a reflective path. The most recurrent question we get is  “what are the tools you recommend?” Give them a hammer … everything looks like a nail. Tell them ‘blogging’ and they mostly melt. Whether you hire an ‘expert’ to give you all the keys to social media or you believe that your marketing department can actually integrate these activities into your existing public relationship framework, it mostly becomes another thing to do in the day.

Over the last few years developing and managing social media programs, we have had, of course, some customers who have said: “that’s it, we understand what you’re doing, we’ll integrate this back in house” … guess what? They mostly fail. Social Media tools and ‘copy paste’ behaviors will not solve the ultimate reason why social media is ripping through business and friendly communication. A social media strategy is integrated with every bridge you build between people and vice-versa. The ‘heat‘ is what I believe is a deep cultural change within a company and its constituency.  Social media champions are the humanizers of a company and its constituents.  Take every chance to make a warm connection. It’s easier than it looks. You know who actually has value in your community eco-system.

So what are social media agencies (most :)) good at?

Augmenting your social media intelligence and bring best practices to ramp up quicker and avoid pitfalls or an all too common waste of energy.
Bringing the constituent voice out: It’s not about you or your brand (rant…). Too often, I read a post starting like “here at ‘brand name’ we blah blah blah….bam! you just lost 50% of your readers right there. If they come to your blog or your facebook fan page, teach them something. Make it worth their while. Your discount coupons maybe creating some instant buzz, but they suck at creating a meaningful relationship with your constituents.
Perfectly geared to be an outsourced journalist for your brand: Marketing departments are good at creating ‘case studies’; they do less well at bringing conversation. The most enlightened companies actually learn to let the message go…because it’s not about the message. It’s about curating and creating great content which empowers the user or customer. It’s a lot easier to craft these stories from outside of the company.
Helping identify and build relationships with who matters: Inside the community (the best fans or just finding the right followers) and outside (influencers, bloggers, journalists, independent writers)…
Looking outside the marketing department: All too often, marketing is in plain control and it’s becoming one of their channels. Social media is NOT another advertising channel and an agency can help foster conversation with the constituency, including other departments or locations inside the company.

Navigating the new media landscape: We used to have paid media, now we more like five ways to make use of media according to Brian Solis: Earned media, owned media, paid media, participatory media & sponsored media.
Providing the Social Media Glue: Most of all, a social media agency is here to glue all the pieces together. It starts with a coherent publishing strategy, taking into account the constituents and moving into fostering community engagement inside and outside (PR 2.0).

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Then let’s make it the top 100 list of best companies to use social media!

@YannR





10 Social Media benchmarks, what are your plans for 2010?

1 12 2009

“Am I doing the right thing?” most agents involved in social media ask. This blog intends to offer a reflection on where and how to ground benchmarks for an organization or brand. It’s not a one size fits all approach. A few weeks ago, Sergio Balegno from MarketingSherpa was engaged in an interesting conversation about benchmarks and things on LinkedIn that I would like to expand on here. As inevitable as social media is, decision makers still have to justify their new and growing investments in social media.

I preface this post by saying that some brands have entered social media with “cool equity” giving them an advantage but not necessarily maximizing their community potential. It’s easy to under-serve the community and having a high number of fans does not a supportive community make.

I would love to hear your thoughts or if I should add other ones (I’ll update my post):

Mashing up Social media goals: Entering the social media house can be done via many doors. Of course we all want to generate leads but ‘marketing in your customers’ face’ (or prospects’) is sustainable for only so long. The receiver chooses, not the sender. Are you here to sell stuff or build brand equity and mind share? Are you brand building? Promotion? Customer service? Do you want to demonstrate thought leadership? If your ‘Brand stream’ is varied, it’ll be more trusted and more referred to.

Content quality, engagement and effectiveness: I tend to say that blogging is the mothership of social media. Some people may argue that it’s too hard or difficult to maintain a blog or that blogging is going down ‘cos tweeting is replacing it all. Brian Solis thinks it’s largely exaggerated. I am convinced that when a prospect shows up, a good blog will make the difference, especially if you are in a competitive environment. Social media brochures are an assured fail. People want brands that inform, according to eMarketer.com. Content & conversation might be king and queen, the underlying fact is that internet users are a hungry mob on the hunt for relevant information and Google is working for them (the user). Viewers are moving away from traditional media for a simple reason– they can’t find enough relevant information. Study how to be relevant.

Influence & dissemination:  Influence is tribal; communities are led by subsets of people who are more tribal. They tend to know each other, refer to each others’ work. Go to conferences to meet with each other. Having a Twitter account, or a Facebook page will soon be like having a nose on your face. It’s time to move on. Dissemination is what we are looking for: why should your customers carry &  share your voice and engage? Are you working on identifying who is your tribe on the networks (customers that is)?

Activation: Brand activation or community activation is better if social media is community supported. Brands aren’t all born equal (not every brand has the cool factor) but if a brand is in business, they already add value and activating a community should take different angles. If your brand is boring or your subjects are IP protected, make a lateral move and focus and look for common themes in your client’s interest. Activation is grounded in what I call the CUTE factor.

Authenticity: Say no to clogging (the art of blogging for keywords, fishing or pushing inward focused content). Blogging may move to more real time and condensed versions but blogging is like your face. Looking like a robot may appeal to the least majority. Auto DM or auto anything suck. I often observe that the “About Us” page of a website is a very well trafficked area…yep, people are checking you out. The “About Us” page is the precursor to the ‘social’ part of media.

Social media market share / mind share: It’s easy to fall asleep on your brand’s current success like some well developed brands. I would invite you to play with an excel spreadsheet and simply add your competitors’ brand names followed by another column with how many fans each of them have. You could also start tracking respective brand mentions and interaction. This way you find out the level of SM Mindshare out there.

Metrics: I was giving a presentation a couple of weeks ago here in Colorado and 50% of the audience didn’t know or didn’t have Google Analytics installed on their website (small- med size businesses). You can improve what you can measure. Great tools like Bit.ly, Topsy.com, Tweetmeme work great. Our practice tracks everything…we can.

Top revenue line and reduction in marketing / sales costs: Revenue can be noticeable even though it’ll depend on your business model. If you sell direct and online, it’s easier. Business size matters as well. As of June, Dell was generating above $2 million via Twitter. There are some great examples of cost reductions like those mentioned in the latest Groundswell awards. Comcast Care and Cisco are prime examples but they are huge so of course, things are magnified.

Lurking and reach: The groundswell yearly study shows us that the number one activity on the internet is to spectate. Lurking and reading still counts when measuring success. If I tweet something, 30-60 people may click on it, but for example the 5 Big Fat Social Media Trends blog a couple of weeks ago was Tweeted 650 times…. people are watching. They may not act or say something immediately, but quality stays in their minds.

Sentiment analysis: If you have the means, Radian6, Collective Intellect or Network Insights maybe the right way to go. You also can use other less expensive tools like OneRiot, Filtrbox… to understand if your brand should pay attention to the sentiment of influencers on Twitter or blogs. Lot’s of people say lot’s of things…. If Chris Brogan says something about dining, he probably will have less influence than David Lebovitz for obvious reasons. Be where the discussion occurs.

Have I covered your bases? Do you feel that Social Media is going to have hard benchmarks only or there is a balance between soft and hard benchmarks?

@YannR





Will you just keep funding the marketing bridge to no-where?

28 07 2009
Will you just keep funding the marketing bridge to no-where? (reviewed kb)
A common objection that arises in dealing with marketing executives is the ‘social media’ budget allocation. Social Media is still in the ‘mis-understood zone’ even though we’re making progress at light speed (thank you and not so thank you twitter). Euh, what? “we’re going to spend 20-30% of our marketing budget for social media, are you kidding?”. Obviously, they think it’s too much, they can’t see the value or they decide to throw a youngster at it…hmm. Let’s also remember that it costs at least 5x as much time to find a new customer than nurturing current ones (according to the American Marketing Assoc.). What part of the picture are they missing here? Let’s try to break it down:
Reduce waste, try the long tail: If you invest $200,000 in marketing or 10x this, proportions given to marketing activities will usually stay pretty much the same. A good 50-60% will be allocated to create stuff that won’t last. The impact of traditional marketing has a short life cycle. Worse, people aren’t fools; “infomercial” type articles just reduce their trust. Unless you are in the instant gratification purchasing cycle, relationships matter. There is now a direct bridge to your customers called social media which is relevant in both B2B or B2C environments. Use it. We know that referrals from a friend or someone in your circle of influence (professional or personal) has a stronger influence on consumer choice. It’s important to realize that any work in social media brings double benefits: First, content coming from an organization or person can be shared limitlessly (e.g. youtube video); once it sits there, it will not go away. The Internet has a bridge to the garbage, you can’t delete it anymore. More importantly, someone, somewhere, is crawling the internet to find content related to your industry (like this blog for instance) so be sure that this continue. It’s called the “long tail”. Someone will find it in 10 years. Time is an important factor in calculating a marketing ROI.
Invest in your customers:
Zappos was just sold to Amazon.com for doing just that: Personalization and customer service have been rooted within the company since 1999, no wonder why they are an acclaimed social media power house. It fits them like a glove. Your customers are still your biggest asset. I know you’ve closed them already but they have way more value than they used to have. Your customers are certainly the strongest link of your long-tail strategy. I feel it should part of any social media plan to find engaged customers and work with them. Word-Of-Mouth has finally been given adequate tools and this works both ways 🙂 Positive Mentions: good for you, find your brand ambassadors, generate more buzz about it. Negative Mentions: Learn from it, engage with them, turn it to your advantage. No mention on social networks: Your biggest nightmare, you’re fading away.
Relevancy VS Propaganda:
As a consumer or a business customer, we accept to be marketed when the time is right. Agreed? Let’s face it. How much of an average marketing budget is spent creating lead-generation ‘floods’ with lots of propaganda in it e.g static websites? As Jeremiah Owyang puts it: “The corporate website is an unbelievable collection of hyperbole, artificial branding, and pro-corporate content. As a result, trusted decisions are being made on other locations on the internet” ? Most traditional marketing is usually ineffective after it’s been used or because it missed its target. A brand should be relevant to the more-of-the-same customers, THINK COMMUNITY. The long tail strategy relies on the 80/20 rule, 20% of your customers will generate 80% of your revenue. Focusing on being relevant to those 20% will gain you more of the clients you need.
Build relationships: I found this analysis interesting this week as it mentioned that “60% of the companies were using search to generate leads, not all were satisfied with the results.” (search here mean Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Optimization. Yes, if you apply old thinking to a new problem, it won’t get any better. Why would someone refer your business if they feel you’re short term driven? People will refer you if you treat them like human beings throughout the total experience: before, during and after sales, keep empowering your users.
Marketers prefer black magic.
If they can claim high traffic or lead generation, they won’t get fired. Conversion to customers is someone else’s problem: “We’ve brought you the customers to the door step, why can’t you close?” Same goes for SEM (“60% of the companies were using search to generate leads, not all were satisfied with the results.” http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007177#)
Now, does spending 20-30% of your marketing budget on Social Media & Community Building look like a lot? Let’s do this 🙂

A common objection that arises in dealing with marketing executives is the ‘social media’ budget allocation. Social Media is still in the ‘mis-understood zone’ even though we’re making progress at light speed (thank you and not so thank you twitter). Euh, what? “we’re going to spend 20-30% of our marketing budget for social media, are you kidding?”. Obviously, they think it’s too much, they can’t see the value or they decide to throw a youngster at it…hmm. Let’s also remember that it costs at least 5x as much time to find a new customer than nurturing current ones (according to the American Marketing Assoc.). What part of the picture are they missing here? Let’s try to break it down:

Reduce waste, try the long tail: If you invest $200,000 in marketing or 10x this, proportions given to marketing activities will usually stay pretty much the same. A good 50-60% will be allocated to create stuff that won’t last. The impact of traditional marketing has a short life cycle. Worse, people aren’t fools; “infomercial” type articles just reduce their trust. Unless you are in the instant gratification purchasing cycle, relationships matter. There is now a direct bridge to your customers called social media which is relevant in both B2B or B2C environments. Use it. We know that referrals from a friend or someone in your circle of influence (professional or personal) has a stronger influence on consumer choice. It’s important to realize that any work in social media brings double benefits: First, content coming from an organization or person can be shared limitlessly (e.g. youtube video); once it sits there, it will not go away. The Internet has a bridge to the garbage, you can’t delete it anymore. More importantly, someone, somewhere, is crawling the internet to find content related to your industry (like this blog for instance) so be sure that this continue. It’s called the “long tail”. Someone will find it in 10 years. Time is an important factor in calculating a marketing ROI.

Invest in your customers: Zappos was just sold to Amazon.com for doing just that: Personalization and customer service have been rooted within the company since 1999, no wonder why they are an acclaimed social media power house. It fits them like a glove. Your customers are still your biggest asset. I know you’ve closed them already but they have way more value than they used to have. Your customers are certainly the strongest link of your long-tail strategy. I feel it should part of any social media plan to find engaged customers and work with them. Word-Of-Mouth has finally been given adequate tools and this works both ways 🙂 Positive Mentions: good for you, find your brand ambassadors, generate more buzz about it. Negative Mentions: Learn from it, engage with them, turn it to your advantage. No mention on social networks: Your biggest nightmare, you’re fading away.

Relevancy VS Propaganda: As a consumer or a business customer, we accept to be marketed when the time is right. Agreed? Let’s face it. How much of an average marketing budget is spent creating lead-generation ‘floods’ with lots of propaganda in it e.g static websites? As Jeremiah Owyang puts it: “The corporate website is an unbelievable collection of hyperbole, artificial branding, and pro-corporate content. As a result, trusted decisions are being made on other locations on the internet” ? Most traditional marketing is usually ineffective after it’s been used or because it missed its target. A brand should be relevant to the more-of-the-same customers, THINK COMMUNITY. The long tail strategy relies on the 80/20 rule, 20% of your customers will generate 80% of your revenue. Focusing on being relevant to those 20% will gain you more of the clients you need.

Build relationships: I found this analysis interesting this week as it mentioned that “60% of the companies were using search to generate leads, not all were satisfied with the results.” (search here mean Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Optimization). Yes, if you apply old thinking to a new problem, it won’t get any better. Marketers prefer black magic.Why would someone refer your business if they feel you’re short term driven? People will refer you if you treat them like human beings throughout the total experience: before, during and after sales, keep empowering your users.

Like in the Matrix movie, “there is no bridge” but the interconnectedness of your community and customers. Now, does spending 20-30% of your marketing budget on Social Media & Community Building look like a lot? Let’s do this 🙂

Off you go,

@YannR





CPA, CPC vs. Social Media Engagement – It’s like going to another country.

23 07 2008

Have you ever been to France? They speak French over there, they argue a lot and are extremely social around food – I know this because I actually lived there 25 years :). Well, engaging in Social Media is like visiting France’s back country where CPC (cost per click) and CPA (cost per action) are like visiting Paris. Which one is the authentic ‘France’?…We’re talking quality vs quantity when it comes down to social interaction. Am I being too abstract here? It’s like in hi-density marketing — you’re just trying to hit as many potential clients as you can (a bit like the ‘Metro’ / Underground in Paris) — you end up with a low return and you damage your reputation with everybody through spamming. Your message is not intended for them anyway. BUT WAIT! If their friend or acquaintance had sent the message to them, the return would be much greater! It’s common sense really. So are you ready for quality or are you satisfied with a 1% return on your banner ad campaign or your direct mail? That’s 99% wasted time and energy!

A couple of years ago, everyone was buzzing about social networks even though they were skeptical about how to use them. Now everyone is still buzzing about them but it’s a bit like a burning stove.

Here are 5 handy hints for engaging with social media:

– Set Your Objective: Design your TAG cloud before you start [or just redesign, it]. The TAG cloud is your objective – you can’t blog about everything and be relevant to everyone. Do your research, analyze the competition and most importantly, see how much the tag cloud (keywords) is being talked about in the blogosphere – Do you want to look like this?

– Generate Ideas: Medium size businesses rarely have the time or money to spend on lengthy articles that may (like never) be published in a magazine…nor do they have at least need an $8000 to $15,000 per month PR budget. Not to mention the fact that traditional media gives you a difficult to measure return. BUT HEY! YOU have customers – get them to engage with stories around your product, podcast using Pamela and Skype, get a passionate employee to create video interviews…This is social media, not ABCnews – Then put them on Youtube and start linking it your blogs 🙂

– Be Personable and Personal: What matters to you and them may often be more about you – people care about you online if you let them get closer andengage them on social media platforms from Facebook to Twitter and and so on.

– Do It the Real Way: Social media engagement is about real people – not cold banners and cold push marketing. It takes time, yes; Social Media is not a quick fix. It takes time like any good relationship, but then the rewards are long lasting and repeat business is the name of the game. It’s like going to France again – be real, try to engage – step out of Paris where everyone lives like a rabbit 🙂 Okay, Paris is beautiful, but you get my point.

– The Mirror Again – Bring your 500 customers onto current social networks – many are probably there already – Have you thought of creating your own network? Ning.com maybe what you need then!

– Blog, Blog, Blog: RSS Marketing is efficient only if it is regular, and you connect your media tools (Flickr.com, Youtube.com, Slideshare.com …), your networks (Linkedin, Facebook…), Microblog (twitter, pownce)…etc well.

Here’s to an engaging life together!
Yann





Facebook page VS Social Media :)

15 07 2008

The tree, the forest… you follow me. When asked about their social media programs, I often get this response from organizations “Facebook…..yeah….. um, we just hired this student to build a Facebook page for us, yeah….it’s really going to make a BIG difference…” Right. Pull the other one.

So I say: “Are you tracking it? Do you already collect stats?”

They say: “stats? what stats? why do I need stats? I have Facebook now”.

I change tack. I say: “So are you blogging as well? Do you actually blog everyday and feed your facebook page with your blog?”

They say: “Blogs? What have they got to do with Facebook?”. Answer: CONNECTIONS BABY….

I say: ” And so are you using YouTube, Slideshare and Flickr as your RSS backend media platforms?”

Now they look confused. Maybe it is the jargon. Maybe they are becoming worried about good old FB. I try something else….

I say: “Have you looked at creating an alumni on Linkedin?, “A group on Facebook?”… “It has a purpose, people will care and engage.”

They say: “Huh?”

Yep, you get the picture…. does one Facebook page mean you are up to speed with social media?
I could keep going but I realize it may be pointless. There’s social media and then there’s the surface of social media….Social media has been likened to an iceberg….it’s deep and much of what it can do is completely hidden from you. A good social media program takes time to implement and reap rewards from but it is worth taking a deep breath and considering….Can we get past the basics? Think about why you are using particular tools. What are your goals? Are they measurable? They should be. Do you have a customer list? A member list maybe? Have you thought of actually engaging your current customers? You should have. Because that’s where it all starts.

Social Media Marketing is still marketing. The old adage is true “the cost of acquiring new customers is still higher.” People won’t care more for you because you’re on Facebook but people who are already your customers can become FANS on facebook… or a fan on YouTube… This is what drives traffic. Communicate relevant information to people who care. Put your precious dime to work for those most important to you and the others will come. Social Media Marketing is a Mirror. It is certainly more than a tree….and much more like a forest.

Yann





Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

7 07 2008

How do you think Snow White’s Queen could have used Social Media to gauge her popularity?

Snow White’s Queen may certainly have tried to suppress her competition – fair enough – sounds like a good tactic to me. Common practice, you could say, with the Microsoft-Yahoo deal just another modern example.

But there are other, nonviolent ways to measure your brand popularity these days. Google News Alert is probably the easiest way, but if you want something more elaborate, there is FiltrBox. For those with healthier economic means, Collective Intellect or Networked Insights can really help too. So the big question becomes – how to positively influence all those participants in the social media democracy??

The Social Media Sphere is like the Queen’s mirror. Really. It tells the truth. If someone doesn’t like what you are doing, social media will reflect that back to you. The opposite also holds true – if they love you, the upward wave will carry you along itself.

Social Media Mirror - Bring marketing activities above water will benefit you

Social Media marketing is really about looking at all your offline, traditional media activities as “underwater activities”. You need to look at which ones are the most likely to float to the top and into the larger Social Media Sphere (above the water). It’s a lot more fluid and random there in terms of message and audience. Are you sponsoring a football game? Donating to charity? Launching via the college crowd? And how best to reach your audience for all these events?

Things to take away:

– Every activity in your value chain may have potential in the Social Media Sphere. People want to know more about you and your brand than ever before. Be ready to shoot videos of your manufacturing process, how you build your homes and why doing business with you is a good thing. People care, give’m what they want!

– The conversation is happening anyway, monitor it, engage and create social media marketing programs that will tackle head-on the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s beautiful to be able to engage… before a brand was blind to upwards and downward trends.

– Engage beyond yourself. Your marketing department or PR agency can do only so much. Your customers can do a lot more.

– Ask the question…..Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Yann