Analyzing This...

Traackr – An Introduction

In PR Vendors on December 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

True or False: Influencers came into being as a by-product of social media.

False because we have had influencers in our lives since day one, that’s Mom and Dad. Influencers in the context of today’s communications framework have been around since philosophers were holding court. That evolved into authors which evolved into journalists. Traditional media’s major influencers were and are prominent journalists who provide a full picture of the topic at hand. Their viewpoint (often referred to as sentiment) is held in high regard by their readership and can influence their own viewpoint.

True because we now have a broader range of influencers who are not necessarily in the business of publishing news. Individuals have the means to reach large audiences once only possible through subscription to a traditional media outlet. Social channels enable all users (individuals, journalists and brands) to build their own niche for like-minded people.

If you are asking yourself what makes an influencer see my full post on defining influence.

Traackr is in the business of

building relationships with people

T_Logo_sm1Know Your Influencers * Build Impactful Relationships

The product offering is focused on achieving these two goals in mulitple business functions of the organization such as content marketing, digital public relations, social selling, event marketing, SEO and advertising. This allows professionals in Public Relations, Corporate Communicators and Marketing to identify influencers and help build relationships with them to benefit their brand.

The profiles are extremely detailed as you can see from the screenshot below. This enables users to determine if this influencer fits the campaign or effort at hand.

Enhanced Profile_1

The most powerful aspect of the product though demonstrates the connections of influencers discussing the topics the user is interested in. Take the below example of cloud computing:

Project_network

The user may have a relationship with someone who is networked with Max Buchler but not a direct relationship with him personally. Using this view and seeing how influencers are connected users can establish a strategic effort to reach out to Max or others in this ecosystem and have a basis on which to found their introduction.

This view also surfaces connections that may not be readily apparent just by looking at who is Tweeting, blogging or Liking specific items. Traackr simplifies the work that would go into making these connections by serving it up as an easy to interpret visual.

Traackr allows users to showcase the value of the relationship over time with their brand. It helps make influencers into advocates for brands by highlighting opportunities. It is a strategic tool that sits at the core of a social media monitoring and engagement program.

Is there an upside when Google News discontinues service?

In General Analysis on December 12, 2014 at 9:47 am

google-news

UPDATE December 15th: Several media outlets including Business Insider and TechCrunch  are reporting “The Spanish Newspaper Publishers’ Association (AEDE) issued a statement last night (December 14th) saying that Google News was “not just the closure of another service given its dominant market position”, recognising that Google’s decision: “will undoubtedly have a negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses”.” The AEDE is the primary backer for the new legislation.

The Business Insider reports: “A spokeswoman for AEDE, Irene Lanzaco, told the Spain Report that the group is not asking Google to take a step back and claims it has always been open to negotiations. Lanzaco argues that “Google has not taken a neutral stance” and also reveals Spain’s newspapers have been constantly talking to AEDE.”

It appears the industry was not expecting such a dramatic move on Google’s part. As I noted below this is not a revenue generating business for Google. It appears that had the AEDE performed more due diligence in this instance they may have counseled for a different agreement that served both the publisher and Google thereby avoiding a “negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses.”

On December 16th Google will discontinue it’s Google News service for Spain as a direct result of a new Spanish copyright law which goes into effect January 1st. This is the first time a local version of the news aggregation service is being removed from

any country.

The new copyright legislation requires aggregators to pay for re-publishing headlines or snippets of news to the publisher. This impacts readers around the globe who are seeking links to articles from any Spanish news publisher on Google News.

Copyright Law Restrictions

Spain is not the first country pushing back on news aggregators to pay licensing fees when they publish snippets of news articles. In Germany this has resulted in a law which went into effect in October that requires publishers who want their content to continue to show up on services like Google to provide their explicit permission to do so. Although initially resistant publishers provided that permission to Google when they observed significant drops in their web traffic.

France and Belgian publishers reached an agreement with Google which resulted in the creation of a $74M fund to help French publishers with their digital operations. (via the New York Times)

The new legislation in Spain does not offer this opt-out option. In fact aggregators can face hefty fines if they choose to display content without paying the publisher in the neighborhood of $744K per infraction.

News Organizations Leverage Readership to Generate Revenue

The news industry has seen declining numbers in both readership and revenue at ever advancing speeds ever since the Internet took hold. The competition for readership used to be how well the front page above the fold caught potential readers attention. A captivating headline would compel consumers to “pick up the paper.” Circulation numbers drove advertising rates which fueled growth and profits. The old model worked.

That was then and this is now and the digital age has broken the old model. A good headline might get the average reader to invest in reading the first two paragraphs, but not always the entire article let alone more of the paper. The paper is no longer a physical entity to be passed around – left on subways, buses or airplane seat backs for a second or third person to read. Reaching the reader  has become harder even in our connected world because there are more services clamoring for our attention.

There is no upside when Google News discontinues service.

  • The publishers lose out on web traffic and readership.
  • Professionals need to pay for an aggregator or subscribe to multiple news outlets.
  • Copyright protects the content but fewer people are aware of it so it has a smaller impact than intended.

5 Facts about Google News

  1. 70 International Editions
  2. 35 languages are covered
  3. Launched in September 2002 with 4,000 sources. Today over 50,000.
  4. Google News no longer licenses material from any news service. (Agence France Presse (2005) and the Associated Press (2006) brought copyright infringement suits which resulted in licensing agreements.)
  5. It’s FREE and generates no revenue

Defining Marketing & PR: Influence

In Definitions on December 5, 2014 at 9:00 am

Influence

(noun) the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

(verb) have an influence on.

 Everything you

See (Images, Infographics, Advertisments…)

Hear (Radio, Music, Conversations…)

Read (Tweets, Digital News, Texts, Email…)

                influences us in some manner.

What makes an Influencer?

Influencers can be anyone who has an above-average impact on a industry, product, or topic. Social media has extended the reach of the average person to stand alongside those who have traditionally filled the influencer role. In the past impactful influencers were limited to those who had a large reach through traditional media or celebrities (think endorsements). Now influencers include a mix of these and more:

  • Bloggers
  • Industry Analysts
  • Celebrities
  • Journalists
  • Your Competition
  • Non Profit Organizations
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Community Leaders
  • Brand Advocates

In some cases it is immediate (High Impact – celebrities, journalists) and obvious in others it can be repeated exposure of time (Long-Term Impact – brand advocates, family, friends).

Identifying who the influencers are in your space is essential when conducting outreach. Each campaign, product launch etc should be viewed and evaluated as a unique opportunity to identify the proper influencers. Focusing efforts helps the brand show it is interested in its consumers and potential consumers by putting its message in the optimum settings. Leveraging influencers helps build trusted relationships with existing and potential customers.

Influence is the Psychology of Persuasion

Understanding the difference between influence and the pitfall of popularity is were some brands get this muddied.

Many view influence only in terms of Followers (On Twitter this means is one subscribes to someone elses tweets) and Likes (On Facebook this means some one enjoyed what you posted without leaving a comment). Neither of these provides insight as to if this person has any influence related to the brand. All this tells you is that they have a level of popularity.

What really defines an influencer is how they impact a brand – this can be positive (increase in sales of widgets) or negative (people protesting your business practices).

  • A strong influencer has credibility with their followers because they interact with them regularly and in a meaningful way.
  • They provide a level of knowledge and in many cases expertise in the industry in question.
  • When they discuss a topic or request a call to action there is movement from their followers. Their thoughts are RT or Shared or Commented On in a way that moves people to act.

Should you spend money chasing influencers? I don’t think so. True influencers (and subsequently brand advocates) are organic. A brand that interacts with its public (that is public relations part of this equation) regularly within the channels that their customers frequent be it Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc ( you get the idea) or any combination there of will create and identify their influencers.

Should you spend money to identify influencers? Yes.

Should you monitor what influencers are saying about your brand, industry etc? Yes.

Should you measure the outcomes of those interactions? Absolutely Yes!

Last Thought: Keep an authentic and transparent presence in social and traditional media and influencers will grow like weeds :)

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