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Author: socialday

How brands should tackle fake followers


The old saying “fake it till you make it” has been applied by many in social media over the last few years, with great success. We are now starting to see those who have built up a genuine following or years of expertise in a particular field fight back, expose some of the “frauds”

Is the industry beginning to self-regulate or is it simply that in this day and age we all need something to be angry about, a bandwagon to jump on? For me and I have said this before Social Media is long overdue some of the safety nets other advertising platforms have.

Some may read this and think big deal, others may agree, I have spoken to those on both sides of the fence.  It gets interesting as the two main issues are for those who claim to hold Influence and then those who offer businesses a service such as social media marketing.

It’s those who offer a service and claim to have a large following (which turns out to be bought) that I have the issue with, its fraud, you are misleading those who trust you and using your following to say hey we know what we are doing, look how we have built up our audience. 

Then there are those who do it for the Influencer marketing to boost the advertising revenue (ad fraud), which is a massive factor that stunts the growth of Influencer marketing in some sectors.

Wake up call!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Businesses and brands should look at these recent stories as a wake-up call, if you are going to spend the budget on marketing your business, or using influencer outreach then it’s time to get serious about doing your homework. Or at the very least making sure  your agency partners are accountable for the spend, are they doing the homework for you?

Most businesses understand traditional media and as it’s been around for so long have good sanity checks in place (aided by stats and regulation) Social Media is still in its infancy and the same level of education and understanding is often not there. However, this should not stop you from being vigilant at the campaign planning stage.

The planning stage is the most important, make sure those who are working with you understand your brand, your goals, and who your audience is. Despite that 50 slide powerpoint deck on your business you prepared and sent to agency partners, it simply does not mean they get your business! Be diligent here and it limits the room for error later on.

 

I am a small agency or business how can I check that we have the right partner?

Firstly when you are bringing people in to pitch your business, if they claim to have been there done it and got the T-shirt, then some case studies and tangible evidence will exist, get them to talk through the project. Have they shown an understanding of your market, your audience and most importantly your business?

In my experience this is the bit that seems to go out the window when people don’t understand something it’s easy to have the wool pulled over your eyes, clients see the number of followers and instantly make a connection, oh these guys know what they are doing and some do.  It’s those that have bought this light credibility that we have issue with (more so with those who have purchased the engagement as well)

We are a results-oriented industry, and while each project is different don’t be afraid to ask partners to show you what success they have had, ask them to talk through how it was achieved and actioned. Good agency’s and specialists will be happy to share this, and if anyone is worried about the ideas being stolen, be happy to sign an NDA, problem solved.

 

How can we check?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When hiring an agency in particular or if you are having an influencer campaign managed, before you get drawn into the data on returns, the charts showing the ROI, the case studies, start with understanding the policy they have on selecting Influencers, what due diligence do they go through? Any good agency will be happy to be transparent as they are looking for repeat business and are in it for the long haul, they are just as concerned about the “fakes” as you are.

If you are doing this yourself, or as a marketing department you can still do your own sanity checks and here are a few tools to help. :

 

Twitter fake follower tools

Instagram fake follower tools

  • https://www.fakecheck.co/

The biggest giveaway is the ratio of followers to engagement, too often we see 100,000’s of followers and little engagement, this is the best metric to use.

 

This is a tool developed by OMD and Influential, it’s a scoring system that looks at a variety of things including the engagement to determine if the engagement is real or not. (yes people also buy engagement in a bid to dupe you, although it’s fairly easy to spot) This creates a score and gives a good guideline as to how genuine the account is.  

We would also say, remember if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

 

There are lots of good genuine influencers who have built up followings the hard way, by engaging and using the experience they have to influence the lives and work of others and to hold influence you don’t need large numbers, it’s quality numbers that matter and we should not tar everyone with the same brush! 

Content Cal return to sponsor SocialDay

We are delighted to announce that ContentCal is back to sponsor SocialDay(the number 1 Social Media Marketing event in the UK), this is a tool that we at Socialday use for our own marketing, we honestly do!

ContentCal will be hosting the “agency growth” session at this years event, we will be announcing the full list of panellists shortly, if you want to know how to scale up your agency then this is the workshop for you!

ContentCal is a simple and intuitive way to manage social media content, removing the need for the numerous painful Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Emails – allowing teams to maximise efficiency by planning, approving and publishing content in a familiar and intuitive calendar interface. New for 2018 they have also introduced analytics to help with tracking progress and those tricky client reports.

What do Users of ContentCal say:

“For me, the planning side is what makes ContentCal different. Ideas can now be stored in the backlog, upcoming events and drafts can be added as placeholders in the calendar and mapped alongside our campaigns.“  Beckie Coupe

“I started planning our week’s social media every Monday morning, which reduced my workload massively. ContentCal is easy to use so took no time to get to grips with. The whole team could then chip in easily, creating ideas together, and all being able to see the week ahead” Gravity Force

“Streamlining content creation, team communication, sign off and publishing in one tool has been a game changer for the team at Molly Moodle Media. Feedback is easily tracked using comments and edits can be made quickly within the calendar. The drag and drop feature makes it easy to move posts around the calendar to optimise posting times. Whilst managing every client calendar from within one app has removed a lot of the stress and admin from managing social media for multiple clients” Molly Moodle Media

To grab your place on the agency growth workshop at SocialDay book a ticket today: here

You can find out more about ContentCal website here: they have a few different options for all sizes of social media account management

Guide to pitching and closing – without ending up in the news

In other Social Media news, this time less about the Facebook algorithm and more about the plight of “Elle Darby” blogger and influencer and her request to stay in “Paul Stenson” Dublin hotel.  After reading several articles and many posts commenting on how Paul did not understand “modern marketing” and equally posts condemning Elle for being “entitled” I think many miss the point here.

Fundamentally the issue is with the way the whole opportunity was presented, no matter how you dress it up Influencers are “selling” a service regardless of the transaction being in exchange for a hotel room or for money. It’s an exchange and when you go in cold, you’re selling.   

Having cut my teeth in media as a salesperson, selling some of the hardest products in B2B and consumer, the fundamental flaw in the whole process was the opening, straight in for the kill, she opened with a close.  At no point was the lead qualified and what surprises me most is that more Hotels have not come out claiming they were sent the same message as to me the lack of thought and attention stinks of a cut and paste job.

I personally think the Hotel owner is just as bad, in the world of Social Media Marketing all to often people forget to sell, marketing any product has one goal and its a sale in some form or another, it might be a cash transaction or it might be data.  

She is young, she is not a salesperson, she will learn from it, but how should she have gone about it.

Here are our tips on understanding the sales process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Qualify your prospect – If you are looking to reach out to anyone, as an influencer or as a potential client, do your homework.  A little research rather than just blind messaging will pay dividends.  In this case, she may have worked out not only what type of character she was dealing with but the Hotel was really hot on social. This would have changed the approach, or made her think and move on! Ultimately we qualify the prospect to see if we have a chance of converting, will this be win/win for both parties?

2) Make contact – Once you have established you might have an opportunity you have to make contact, many ways to do this, but remember this is the first impression.  How many times have you been on LinkedIn accepted a connection to find 30 seconds later a spam proposal in your messages? It’s a balance, no one suddenly wants a best friend out of the blue either.  Let’s start with making the right impression before you get into a pitch and offer your service lets see if it’s needed. “Hey, I am Elle a UK vlogger, do you work with Influencers? I am interested to know? If so I am heading to Dublin in the near future and would love to discuss an opportunity that might benefit us both, hope you don’t mind me getting in touch with you.” my personal preference would be to pick up the “dog and bone” and give them a call. Why? saves me the bother of typing an email if they’re not, also it gives me an idea of what they are doing as we can have a discussion about it, even if the outcome is not one I want.

3) Presentation – Pulling all your benefits into a pitch document, make it easy for the other party to see why they should be using you.  Your reach, who your audience is. This is also an excellent place to pop in any case studies or similar opportunities that you have worked on, show what was in the partnership and why it worked for both of you.

4) Handle those objections – Despite it being rather public, Paul’s response was an objection, you need to break down the issues and address them individually, it’s all part of the negotiation. Your aim is to change the person’s mind, don’t take it personally, its business you might not get the outcome you want but they buyer has outlined the reasons they are not buying from you, address these issues, don’t fall at the first hurdle.

5) Close the deal – The art of closing, it amazes me how many people do the pitch and then pitch, and pitch again, most humans find it hard to ask for the deal, the close. Why? Because we fear rejection. Go for the trial close “is that something that would interest you?” if not handle the objections and try again.  What I love about closes are the amount of them, here are some of my favourite.

Let’s look at some closes as if you were asking someone out:

 

  • The Assumptive Close – Where shall we go on our date?
  • The Direct-Question Close – Will you go out with me?
  • The Reverse Close – Any reason why you would not go out with me?
  • The Alternative Close – My place or yours?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many ways to pitch and close, you do though need to understand the process to avoid ending up all over the news!

Social Media and Sales are intrinsically linked as with all sales and marketing, you can know all the algorithm hacks in the world, but if you can’t ask to close your not going to make a sale.

What is the Future of Livestream for brands?

Do you encourage the brands/clients you work with currently to use Livestream?

While most in social media value the boost Livestream can add to organic reach and the added engagement, can it work effectively as a constant in any given media campaign, are brands switched on to the idea? Sure we have seen plenty of amazing one-offs and special Livestreams and we have some of these great case studies featured during the event.

Our panel of experts will be discussing what the future of Livestream is for marketing, how and why brands should be adopting this as a core component in any campaign and the shift that brands need to make towards becoming broadcasters. They will share with you personal experience of things that have worked and lessons learned.

The panel will be hosted on 31/05/18 (on day two of the event)

The Panelists:

  • Nic McCarthy – Chief Creative Officer, SevenC3
  • Kevin Gibbons – Managing Director, BlueGlass
  • Adam Barnett – Client Services Director, ITN Productions
  • Julian March – Managing Director, Media, Games, Video and Entertainment

Charing the panel debate will be:

  • Florie-Anne Virgile, Chief Operating Officer, Citizen Press UK

The panel is in association with our friends at the Content Marketing Association

We are delighted to bring such a wealth of knowledge to Socialday wish such a wide range of expertise from content marketers to media owners.

What about you!

At all of the Socialday panel debates, you will have the chance to join in with the session, we have microphones ready for you to have your say and put your burning questions to the panel. We actively encourage you to be part of the debate.

All sessions including panel debates are recorded at social day and with two streams running if you decided to go to one session you can catch up in your own time after the event. (We record the keynotes as well!) If you have not already booked your ticket get it here:

If you want to see more of our articles on Livestream you can find them in our backstage area!

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