Editorials /

How are Political Campaigns Utilizing Social Media?

While social media played a slow, simmering role in earlier elections, it’s clear the impact of the platform on elections wasn’t fully realized until the most recent presidential campaign. From Twitter rants to the influx of bots, we can see now that social media is a place where political campaigns can be made or broken. If you’re on a campaign team, whether for a candidate, platform, party, or ballot issue, you’ll want to pay attention. You can’t ignore social media. In fact, not only do you have to pay attention, you need to have a strategy.

Gathering data

Social media gives a good overview of general sentiments and public opinion. Whether campaigns use data mining techniques (hello, Cambridge Analytica) or if they use less invasive methods, it’s possible to get a sense of overall opinion. Other tools, like causal polls on Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram, allow campaigns to get information from their audiences. Of course, this type of data gathering isn’t remotely scientific or unbiased, but it can give campaigns important information.

Using analytics from their followers on social media, campaigns can see where their online demographics really stand. Both Facebook and Twitter give basic insights on age, gender, income, and more. This type of information can be key in strategizing for online campaigning. Best of all, it’s free. So campaigns can access a lot of information without spending money for expensive polling and public opinion surveys.

Broadcasting information

Whether it’s upcoming campaign events, commentary on the current administration, spreading the word about other news, or even explaining their platform, many campaigns use social to spread information. This one-way communication comes from the candidate or campaign’s team and goes outward in a one-to-many approach. Unfortunately, due to traffic, algorithms, and audience attention, these posts are becoming less and less significant. Unless the campaign uses shock or controversy, these posts have a small impact. Depending on your campaign goals and needs (Is it a local school board election or is it state-wide in California?), that may not be enough.

These posts are little more than free ads. Sure, ads will get more eyes (because they’re paid), but there’s no conversation. We know that social media users want more personalized, unique interactions. We talked about this in a recent post about the work brands have to do to get consumers’ attention. Sorry campaigners, not only are you not the exception, you’ll have to work harder.

One-on-one engagement

Some campaigns may be using this strategy, but not many, and definitely not at any scale. Sure, and campaign team can respond to a few questions or reply to some tweets. But even the campaigns who engage this way can’t start proactive conversations. At KickFactory, we have the tools to help campaigns identify potential voters (age, geography, and more) then engage with them on topics they mention on their accounts. Here’s an example from the work we did with Evan McMullin in the 2016 presidential campaign:

Even though this person wasn’t addressing Evan’s campaign specifically, we could reach out to educate and inform. This interaction is unique, unexpected, and effective. Instead of blasting out tweet after tweet designed for the masses, these tweets “stop the scroll”. In fact, the user doesn’t even have to scroll to see it—in many cases, they’ll get a push notification on their phone.

Curious? Ready to bring in something unique and unexpected to your campaign this election season? We’d love to show you how the KickFactory team can help you design and implement a campaign to reach voters. Contact us today!

Editorials /

Facebook and Google Ads Not Working? Take Your CPC Dollars Somewhere Else

We’ve seen over the past year that digital ads are losing their traction. From Facebook (and their recent issues) to cookies following customers across the internet, these ads are quickly fading into the background.

And while 39% of consumers attributed their declined perception of social ads to recent political events, the top reason for the drop cited by 58% of respondents was simply seeing too many social ads overall. – Sprout Social

So if you’re experiencing a drop in results from your current CPC campaigns, you’re not alone. Sprout is pointing to creating more entertaining content to help punch through all the content online, but that may not do it. It may be time for you to rethink your CPC strategy in its entirety and try something new.

Engage with in-market customers one-on-one

Skip the firehose and target your customers with tailored conversations. Here’s an example:

Instead of waiting for this Twitter user to use Google to search car repair and leaving her to the mercy of search results and ads, Sears Auto used her own cue to reach out and make an offer. This can be much more effective than ads for a number of reasons:

  1. It will likely trigger a push notification on her phone, making it more likely to be seen.
  2. It’s proactive based on her current state and tailored to HER.
  3. It’s helpful, not salesy.
  4. It suggests a specific action, which is also easy to track.

It’s not unusual at this point for your customers to completely ignore your ads. There are so many ads, it’s getting easier to just tune them out. By creating an interaction that’s targeted to one person, brands can give those potential customers a much more intimate experience. Ads are for lots of people, these responses are for one person.

Identify customers in their moment of expression

Combing through millions of tweets by millions of users one by one is impossible without the help of artificial intelligence. At KickFactory, we’ve developed smart algorithms that will learn about your potential in-market customers so you can find them. We can find them by age, gender, interest, geography, and more based on the data they reveal in their public profiles and updates. It’s amazing what we can identify with the help of AI—we could do it with people, but it would take a lot longer and scaling it would be really hard. You’d have to have a huge call center! But we can do it with a small team, and without adding to your team.

We’d love to show you how KickFactory works and help you reimagine your CPC strategy. Contact us today for a free demo.

Editorials /

With the Latest Facebook Drama, What’s Working for Social Media Marketing Now?

We know the latest revelations about Facebook are having a significant effect on the value of Facebook overall, and that definitely matters to shareholders. But what about marketers and brands? Do current events translate to even more difficulties for those of us trying to connect with our customers online with social media marketing? The answer is absolutely, and we don’t know what the overall and ultimate effect will be. So what can we do right now to ensure our efforts on our social platforms are making a positive impact on our brand reputation and sales numbers?

“People don’t welcome ads with open arms. In fact, our survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that their collective perception of social advertising has mostly stagnated or declined in the past year. This indicates that when on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, a majority of consumers aren’t finding much that stops them from scrolling right past brands’ ads. – Sprout Social report

It’s not just the privacy issue with Facebook that’s causing this decline. Like we’ve talked about before, customers are simply saturated with ads. They hardly see them anymore. So how can a brand stop the scroll and make an impact? Sprout has one idea:

By and large, entertainment is still the single best way to stop the scroll, with 41% of people reporting that entertaining content makes them more likely to engage with a social ad.

That’s a lot of pressure—to be funny, poignant, memorable. Some accounts (Arby’s comes to mind) are non-stop entertainment and hilarity. But what can other brands do who don’t have full-time teams of writers just for their social platforms?

Less entertainment, more impact

We read more into that sentiment of entertainment and see people asking for a unique, memorable experience with the brand. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “entertaining” in the traditional sense. What the social efforts need to do is stop the scroll, grab attention, and give each user something different. That’s where one-on-one engagement comes in.

With KickFactory, you can find individuals who are expressing a moment of need and reach out to them before they even search (read: before they are served any ads). You become a hero offering them help, resources, or information from the get-go. It’s proactive and different from what anyone out there is doing. It’s not ads, it’s not DMs, it’s personalized and gives you a chance to make a really significant impression.

Want to learn more? Contact us today for a free demo. We’d love to show you how you can skip algorithms, ad bidding, and more to reach your target market.

Editorials /

The False Logic of Paid Influencers for Building Your Brand

In many ways, follower count is just a vanity metric – what was once seen as a key indicator is becoming less and less relevant as algorithms shift the focus away from broadcast reach.

Are you using paid influencers in your digital marketing? Whether you are or aren’t, it’s important to look at how effective these tactics really are. You can’t put all your marketing eggs (or budget) in one basket. Especially paid influencers. As we learn more about how many fake accounts are out there and how many accounts are padded, each influencer needs to be carefully vetted.

Editorials /

Social Media: Survive and Thrive in Your Political Campaign

As campaign season starts heating up, we know candidates are looking for more ways to reach, inform, and engage voters. Like any press or communications outlet, social media can work for or against your campaign—swinging either way in a short period of time. But your campaign has more control over your social media than you think. You can move beyond survival and use the tools at hand to thrive online and all the way to the polls.

Editorials /

How to Find the Moment of Expression for Sales Success

You’re probably familiar with many of the ways brands are (creepily) finding customers online. From retargeting campaigns to Facebook ads that seem to read your mind, the touch points and opportunities keep growing. In our past post How Brands are Beating Google to Customers, we talked a little bit about the “Moment of Expression”.

This new data point in the buyer’s journey creates yet another opportunity for brands to connect and create intimacy one-on-one. Thanks to social media, we can find individuals before they hit the search bar or even ask their friends or family for recommendations. This is where they give us a hint into their future purchases.

Editorials /

How the Three Types of Social Media Have Evolved

For the past couple of years, we’ve been talking about the three types of social media—the different ways brands use social to reach potential customers. We broke this down into three main categories: broadcast, customer service, and social sales. And while the tools of the trade change and social media platforms grow or fade in popularity, brands are still using these three categories to reach their markets.

Examples /

Social Sales from Head to Toe

Venting has always been a common route to relieve stress. Now, more than ever, people take to Twitter to vent their frustrations. While this can benefit the “vent-er,” as it lifts a weight off their chest, many businesses can find a customer in the process and help the “vent-er” and the company itself. Check out this example from @Headshoulders and see how they use social sales from head to toe:

News /

The Key to Social Sales: AI With a Human Touch

A key component of a successful social sales campaign is the implementation of Artificial Intelligence. Through AI, the software can search and comb through countless tweets in a manner that a human never could. This search is specific, targeted by keywords and therefore incredibly precise. But with all the excitement (maybe hysteria?) surrounding AI, people are forgetting what helps this technology reach and interact with your customers.

Editorials /

Why Aren’t You Using Geolocation in Sales on Social Media?

When it comes to social media, finding a good balance between information, sales, and brand recognition is what many brands are striving for. Marketing teams work tirelessly to find ways to drive sales and to show ROI to their leadership teams. However, many of these teams are leaving out a major asset to their efforts: geolocation.

Hard data point to pull together

Many people believe that location data is embedded in the tweets or posts we send from our phones. Depending on if you’re a marketer or a Twitter user, that could be good or bad. Since geolocation information is something the user must opt-in to use, being able to leverage location is trickier than just metadata.