First, it should be noted that I am not a fan of this show, in fact I’ve never seen it. The only reason why I can think that I might have been targeted for this promotion was that I sometimes tweet about TV shows (Mostly BURN NOTICE!).
Second, this was part of the Klout Perks program, where Klout apparently works with certain companies to offer certain products/services to people that are deemed to be influencers. I got this offer right after my Klout score hit 70, so I assume that’s the activation point for the Perks program.
In 2011, many companies are now looking for a way to connect with online influencers. If you are wanting to reach influencers, here’s some points to keep in mind:
1 – Target people that already have an interest in promoting you. Too many programs attempt to give an influencer a product hoping that will convince them to promote the company/product to their networks. It’s far better to connect with an evangelist for your company/product. This is someone that is likely already promoting you/your product to their networks.
But perhaps the bigger point is, an evangelist is passionate about you. You can’t buy my passion for a show I have never seen by giving me a $150 toy.
2 – Giving someone access to something they want often works as well or better than giving them products. In this case, the approach of giving me a 1-min clip of a show on a PSP really doesn’t make me any more likely to blog about how amazing the show is. But since I cover how companies can and are using social media effectively, that would be a great way to reach me. What TBS could have done is reach out to me and see if I wanted an exclusive interview with the company’s CMO about how they are using Klout. Or maybe when I am in Austin next month for SXSW, offer to take me out to dinner and tell me what your company is doing in the social media space. THAT is access that has value for me.
3 – People that are influencers (especially online) often become influential by creating value for others. Klout sending me a PSP isn’t going to convince me to blog about Are We There Yet because doing so won’t create value for my network. If you want to gain access to the network that I am influential over, then you first need to give ME an incentive to connect you with them. That incentive is value. If you can give me a way to create value for my network, then you’ll win my attention. This goes back to the previous point about giving me access to how TBS is using social media, vs a toy. Because if you give me that access, then I can create content that will have value for my network.
4 – Target influential evangelists. Let’s again look at what TBS did: They sent me a PSP with a 1-min clip about a show that I have never seen, and never tweeted about. I’ve already said that access would have worked better in this case. Such as TBS giving me access to how they are using social media to connect with viewers online.
But notice I mentioned that while I never tweet about Are We There Yet, I do frequently tweet about the USA Networks show Burn Notice. So what if USA contacted me and offered me access to their Social Media Director to tell me exactly how Burn Notice is leveraging social media to connect with viewers?
THAT would be the best of both worlds. USA would be targeting an influencer correctly, but also an influencer that is a huge FAN of Burn Notice. It wouldn’t be a question of if I would promote Burn Notice and how they are using social media to my network, but how soon and how often 😉 Again, target people that are already passionate about you and your product.
Here’s how I think TBS could have improved this effort:
1 – Give influencers real exposure to the show. As I said, I have never seen Are We There Yet? The promotion should have included a couple of episodes so I could actually watch it and decide if I liked the show. A few ‘behind the scenes’ clips would have been nice as well.
2 – Give influencers customized content. What TBS could have easily have done was have one of the stars of the show, or Ice Cube, create a ‘customized’ greeting. A very short video, about 10 seconds in length, where the star says ‘Hey Mack, thanks for participating in the TBS/Klout Are We There Yet? Promotion. We wanted to show you what we are up to so check out the clips and media we’ve included, and thanks for watching!’ And of course, the name of each influencer could be changed, so all of the ‘customized’ clips could have been recorded in an hour, tops. That would have definitely prompted me and anyone else that got the video to want to include it in a blog post.
3 – Give influencers a Social Media Pack. Include a ton of high-resolution pics and videos with instructions for how they can be embedded/shared on my blog and with my networks. Again, if you are wanting to target influencers so they will promote your show to their networks, make the content creation process as seamless as possible for me.
4 – Focus on more than just Klout score. I’m not certain how I was chosen for this promotion, but it seems that my Klout score hitting 70 was the activation point. For example, I would have also looked at how often influencers are tweeting about TBS/Are We There Yet?, and what the sentiment of those tweets are.
Then TBS could have decided: Is it better to target someone that has a Klout score of 70 that never tweets about our show, or someone with a Klout score of 45, that tweets about Are We There Yet? every week while the show is on?
Those are my suggestions, what am I missing? How can we build a better way for companies to connect with influencers?
Disclaimer: Klout sent me the PSP3000, along with TBS. Here’s the details, Klout didn’t pay me for this post, and my receiving the product wasn’t dependent on my posting about it or receiving it.
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