We previously spoke with Lindsay about SnapMyAd. This time we got together with her to talk a bit about social influencer reporters. “What are they?,” you ask. See if our little chat will help you better understand them!
Q. Lindsay – tell us a little about you and how you got into our biz?
I got my start in the events industry as the Manager of Sales and New Media Marketing at an entertainment backdrop company. I took their marketing from 100% traditional to social media. I helped cut the marketing budget by $70k and grew online sales to over $300k in a recession through trackable social media marketing. I then left to pursue a career in the tech start-up industry, and focus on learning and fine tuning how to build online communities from scratch, A/B test social ad buying, secure press, and user acquisition through influencer marketing. I am now CMO of SnapMyAd and consult three other start-ups and am the lead social media strategist for the Long Beach Convention Center’s #SightSoundLBC launch.
Q. Educate us: what is a social influencer reporter?
A Social Influencer Reporter is an influencer in your targeted niche/industry that you hire to build pre-, during, and post-buzz about your event. They attend the actual event. Hiring a Social Influencer Reporter is a great, credible way to build buzz in a short period of time and have a “loud” presence at an event you and/or your company can’t attend yourself.
For example, the social influencer reporters for #SightSoundLBC include: Bobby Umar, Elite Styles Events, Liz King, Jenise Fryatt, Deb Roth, and Nicole Matthews. You can take a look at what they’re doing!
Q. What are the 3 factors that you use to evaluate a potential social influencer reporter?
While I did launch a start-up through a Klout perk – back in the day it was a great way to get lots of eyeballs and sign ups in a matter of days, I first look at how active they are, what their engagement is like and what kind of content/niche they represent. Number of followers and likes mean nothing, if engagement is zero.
Q. If you were stuck in a C-suite that don’t use social media, how would you ‘market’ or sell them the idea of using social influencers?
For events, the lead-time tends to be shorter than usual – especially when event attendees tend to make their decisions last minute. It’s harder to establish a following, trust, and credibility on a variety of platforms in such a short period of time, so you need look to who already is established in your niche market to help spread the word. With this approach though it’s important to hire someone who is established within your desired community who has contacts they can call upon and it’s very important to make the relationships mutually beneficial for all.
Q. How do you compensate a social influencer reporter?
Influencers deserve to be compensated. I have influencers I pay on various platforms per post and they disclose. Bottom line, they have what you want – established following, trust and credibility. If it’s not a local event, all travel accommodations should be covered along with securing them PR. If monetary compensation or travel is not in budget – include perks, swag and PR. Smart brands, include influencer marketing and relations in their budget. It’s a better ROE and ROI than any banners, sponsorships, and social ad buying will provide.
Q. So if someone wants to be considered a social influencer reporter – what would you advise them to do?
- You’ve got to be active and consistent.
- You don’t have to be on every platform but you have to specialize and be a standout on at least one platform – whether blog, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Facebook etc. Rarely do brands look to hire social influencer reporters that all specialize on the same platform. They want diversity. They want to appear like they have a presence on every platform through their social influencer reporters.
- And, you have to have a personality that translates to face-to-face. It doesn’t matter how much engagement you get online if you are awkward in person.
Q. How do social influencer reporters help with an event brand? Pre-, during, and post-event?
Social Influencer Reporters help build pre-event buzz by seeding out relevant, excitement content – behind the scenes content, video, images and interviews. During event they experience it like any other attendee with the mindset of documenting via social their experience and that of attendees. The event should provide a list with headshots and bios of key attendees so the social influencer reporters are aware of who are great content “gets.” They are given the VIP treatment and access like any other media professional. If possible you try to secure them press pre-, during, and post to make it mutually beneficial. Post event, ideally they cover it on their blog, social profiles and spread WOM. Also important to note, if compensated they disclose.
Q. What social media platforms are the best for event marketing?
There are so many, how do event professionals choose? Should they be on all of them? Depends on the industry and event. Look at where your target market(s) are participating online and be there. If you are trying to be the innovator then of course look 1-2 platforms ahead of the curve, set the stage and educate. It’s impossible to be everywhere so if there is an event you know you should attend consider hiring a local social influencer reporter in your niche on your behalf to attend and live report.
Q. How do you stay on top of all the latest social media trends and marketing?
Researching social media trends is my hobby. I obsessively use advanced search on Twitter and Google Plus to find info. I think it’s important to not only read and consume information but also test out what they are saying. For fun, I A/B test image/content and social ad buying to try to customize, optimize and scale campaigns, content and user acquisition.
Q. Gotta ask – what’s your favorite app? Other than SnapMyAd ?
Without question, Twitter! It’s free education and mentorship from some of the most brilliant minds in the world. Invaluable. Because of Twitter, even in the most busy times, you can have intimate conversations from around the world using hashtags. It’s where I’ve met my best friends, landed speaking gigs and paying clients and why I was able to leave my full-time job and become an in-demand marketing entrepreneur.
More About Lindsay
Lindsay is Chief Marketing Officer at SnapMyAd, CEO/President of Middle Child New Media, and Co-Host of #RBChat. She is no stranger to social media. In 2011, Lindsay was named Social Media’s Rising Star in the Events Industry by Event Solutions Magazine and One of the Top 42 Most Passionate Business Women on Twitter by the Huffington Post.