Majority of respondents in a Gallup survey said that social media had no influence at all on purchasing decisions!

Really good article in last week’s WSJ. Exactly what we’ve been talking about for years. Here’s a snippet but for the full thing I encourage you to go to:

Note the line “A majority of respondents in a Gallup survey said that social media had no influence at all on purchasing decisions”.

Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype

Companies Refine Strategies to Stress Quality Over Quantity of Fans

WSJ - Just Being SocialIn May 2013, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. bought ads to promote its brand page on Facebook. After a few days, unhappy executives halted the campaign—but not because they weren’t gaining enough fans. Rather, they were gaining too many, too fast

“We were fearful our engagement and connection with our community was dropping” as the fan base grew, says Allison Sitch, Ritz-Carlton’s vice president of global public relations.

Today, the hotel operator has about 498,000 Facebook fans; some rivals have several times as many. Rather than try to keep pace, Ritz-Carlton spends time analyzing its social-media conversations, to see what guests like and don’t like. It also reaches out to people who have never stayed at its hotels and express concern about the cost.

Ritz-Carlton illustrates a shift in corporate social-media strategies. After years of chasing Facebook fans and Twitter followers, many companies now stress quality over quantity. They are tracking mentions of their brand, then using the information to help the business.

“Fans and follower counts are over. Now it’s about what is social doing for you and real business objectives,” says Jan Rezab, chief executive of Socialbakers AS, a social-media metrics company based in Prague.

For the full article go to:

What ‘influencer marketing platforms’ really do

If you wonder why I’m so against the deplorable so-called ‘influencer marketing platforms’ here’s an example why. They’re about paying people to spread marketing puff while pretending they’re authentic opinions. Hat-tip to Ginny Marvin at for flagging this up. The full article’s on their site now.

Not surprisingly Microsoft pulled the plug as soon as they realised what was really going on.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Influencer Campaign Backfires: Another High-Profile Example Of Why Details Matter · by Ginny Marvin · June 18, 2014

Another case of poor marketing campaign execution is making waves this morning, with news that an agency has been soliciting paid posts on behalf of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington, posted asolicitation from advocate marketing agency, Socialchorus, to:

“collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer… If you accept our invitation to work on this program, we would like for you to write a blog post by July 10th, in addition to sharing links to the new Internet Explorer across your social channels. Compensation for this post is available…”

The problem for Microsoft could be in the lack of details here. Nowhere in the program instructions does the agency include requirements for bloggers to use “nofollow” attributes in links to Internet Explorer content to signal to the search engines that Microsoft is not seeking credit for the link.

Passing links from paid posts is against Google’s and Bing’s (Microsoft’s own search engine) policies. Trying to pass link credit through paid sources can get a site demoted or even banned from ranking on the search engines. Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, has already made it clear on Twitter that his team is looking into it.

In Socialchorus’s program overview for the “RethinkIE Blogger Network”, bloggers are instructed to use the hashtag #IEbloggers when sharing their sponsored posts about Internet Explorer. A quick look at Twitter for #IEbloggers brings up a few tweets using a Socialchorus URL shortener that redirects to various IE content. Here’s one example:

Never miss a #Skype call on Internet Explorer, thanks to the multitasking feature! #RethinkIE #IEbloggers— Nicole E. (@prettynameless) June 12, 2014

What better message than ‘Make yourself memorable’?

I’ve just finished reading Seth Godin’s ‘The Icarus Deception’. I think I’ve read most of his work to date. I found this one a little disappointing because I felt it re-trod the same ground I’ve read many times before from him. To me, Seth basically has one message, which he dresses in different clothes for each new book. That message is ‘Be remarkable’. That was certainly Purple Cow, Lynchpin was ‘Have the confidence to be yourself’, Icarus was ‘You have to stand out’, Permission Marketing was ‘Be so interesting that people want to let you into their world’. The enemy of each is ‘going with the flow’.

Then I reconsidered and thought maybe having just one core message is a good thing. By now, readers know what Seth Godin stands for and they either want to hear that message or they don’t. Maybe if he was telling us different things in each book we’d be confused on where he stood. And I have to say that every time I read his work I feel re-committed to standing out.

Maybe his own Purple Cow is that in the business world he’s come to own that ‘Make yourself memorable’ message. In a few years my own children will be of career-seeking age. What a great message to give them.

Speaking at PROOF Conference on Influencer Marketing, Phoenix AZ, 10-11th Nov.

PROOF ConferenceI’m excited to be a speaker at the just-announced first PROOF Conference on Influencer Marketing. I’ll be alongside one of the people I most respect in our industry – Paul Gillin (@paulgillin)- which makes me look forward to it even more. Paul’s book, ‘Attack of the Customers’, was one of my favorite business books of last year.

If you’re interested in attending the conference, which is equally for brands and agencies, use the special code ‘NHayes’, for a $100 discount voucher.

Phoenix AZ, 10-11th Nov.

Our next White Paper: To what degree are your prospects & customers influenced by online & offline communities?

WP#18We’ve been spending plenty of time in recent months on the subject of influencers within online & offline communities.

Our next White Paper:  WP#18 : To what degree are your prospects & customers influenced by online & offline communities?

Available for download next Monday.

Do most top influencers now tweet and/or blog to establish that influence?

It’s not a question we’re often asked, principally because most prospects and clients automatically assume it the case. At our company we’ve long known different. I was just running through some stats for a client project we’re near completing.

The marketplace is U.S-centric, at the junction of business-tech and Financial Services. No shortage of cutting-edge technology, major deals, plenty of money, global organisations, heavily performance-based. If there’s a technology invented to gain an advantage they use it. And just look at the figures.

Approx. one-third of the top 75 influencers have an active twitter feed (i.e have tweeted in the past month) and less than one-quarter run an active blog (have posted in the past two months). Most of those with a blog also tweet. So whichever way you look at it, significantly less than 40% of the top influencers maintain a presence on social media. That’s not to say they’re particularly keen users, and certainly not prolific, but they are there if you look for them.

When you’re ignoring over 60% of your most important targets, why would marketing depts. continue migrating so much of their outreach to social?