Meet Butin’s 2018 Summer Intern!

Butin Summer Intern Shannon

Name: Shannon Rawley

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

School: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Major(s): Communication and Political Science

Favorite hobby: Traveling and eating

Describe yourself in 3 words: I’d describe myself as goofy, fun and adventurous

Favorite aspect of PR: I really enjoy keeping up with social media because its always changing and its interesting to see the impact that public relations has on social media interactions.

Life motto: “Whether or not you believe you can, you’re right.” – Some wise person.

Favorite place to travel:  So far, the Grand Canyon has been my favorite place but I’d love to go out of the country!

Summer personal or professional goal: Personally, I’d love to travel somewhere new and finally finish reading the autobiography of Malcolm X before the summer’s over!

Top 5 LinkedIn Marketing Tactics for B2B Companies

Thanks to the significant organic growth and engagement potential LinkedIn offers brands, this social media platform is one B2B marketing strategy you shouldn’t ignore.  

We hear it all too often in the industry, “we’re a B2B company, so we see no benefit in being on social media.” Luckily, after spending nearly 10 years working with various B2B clients, we can definitively say that this sentiment is just plain wrong. While there are so many benefits to having a social media presence in general for B2B companies, different platforms offer different strengths. One platform we see delivering ROI time and time again for our B2B clients is LinkedIn, even for accounts without a significant promotional budget behind them.

Recently, LinkedIn’s capabilities and potential have been featured more and more in the B2B and trade media spaces, and for good reason. If we’re being honest, we’re a little bummed that LinkedIn’s value is being spotlighted so frequently, because it used to be one of our best kept secrets for client success. Why? The competition for news feed real estate is far less on LinkedIn than other social networks, giving B2B content placed here significant organic growth and engagement potential. This is because, when compared to other networks, LinkedIn users are typically following less Company Pages and Influencers. Additionally, users’ personal connections are usually posting less frequently on LinkedIn than on other networks, offering more news feed real estate opportunities to brands and companies. Also, with a clear focus on professional updates, B2B content created with the LinkedIn audience in mind feels authentic to the platform, priming it for optimum engagement.

To help get you started, here are our top 5 LinkedIn marketing tactics for B2B companies:

  1. Feature people over products: Consider posting more about your associates, customers and communities on LinkedIn than you typically would on other digital channels, since “people” content tends to perform better than other topics.
  2. Share trending articles: Get in on the conversation and share your opinion on news relative to your industry, positioning your Company as a thought leader.
  3. Native Video: Video content is becoming more and more popular on LinkedIn, resulting in high engagement for brands and companies who choose to execute against this tactic.
  4. Post promotion: Promoting your posts to relevant audiences (including potential customer groups) will not only improve your engagement, it will also help build your following of qualified users.
  5. Share your blog content: Driving traffic back to your blog is an excellent way to feature your Company’s content and entice users to go offsite without a “hard sell” for a product or service.

Looking to take your B2B social media presence to the next level? Learn more about our digital and social media services here.

Pay By Performance

Should you pay influencers based on performance?

If you’ve run an influencer campaign recently for your brand or been involved in any sort of blogger initiative, you may have asked yourself this exact question at some point. Performance-based influencer marketing is gaining traction outside of the industries where it traditionally took hold, such as fashion and beauty. While this doesn’t come as a surprise to those of us close to the influencer industry, since it’s an appealing option for brands, it does present challenges and, in many cases, may not be as simple as it sounds.

Why? Because performance-based marketing can inhibit the number of influencers willing to work with your brand, since branded content, especially from smaller brands, tends to not perform as well as original content. Many influencers, particularly those who’ve built their business models by selling digital real estate on their blogs and social media channels, would less willing to participate in a campaign with a brand they’re unfamiliar with in a performance-based setting. Also, the performance-based model requires access and availability of metrics and an understanding of which KPIs are truly driving your bottom line, something that, outside of e-commerce, can be difficult to pin down.

That doesn’t mean that performance-based influencer campaigns aren’t viable, it just means they’re not necessarily a better option than a traditional program that involves purchase by number of placements. This is especially true for the food and travel industries, which significantly benefit from the awareness and long-term lifespan of third-party, authentic digital endorsements over time. That’s because these types of programs, when implemented with the right strategy and partners, aren’t 100% reliant on the initial momentum and engagement generated within the first few weeks of a campaign going live, unlike their performance-based counterparts.

One reason why many brands are considering the performance-based model is the recent attention surrounding “fake influencers” and the purchase of followers. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that you’re working with legitimate influencers who have real, validated audience members. These checks and balances typically have nothing to do with pricing and payment structures and require the implementation of detailed vetting practices. For example, we’ve integrated a three-tiered approach to combating “fake influencers” in our marketplace (check it out here) and have recently added new reporting KPIs to reinforce the validity of our programs.

So, what do you think about the performance-based influencer compensation model? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click here for more information about our influencer programs and services.

Pinterest Social Media Brands

Pinterest for brands: 5 reasons Pinterest is valuable to your social media mix

We love helping our clients win. For many of them, Pinterest is a valuable player in their battle for consumer attention. What we find interesting, though, is how many people either don’t believe in the power of Pinterest or aren’t aware of how much evergreen momentum Pinterest can offer their brand. For any naysayers out there, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why we love Pinterest and why you shouldn’t write it off, especially if you’re playing in the food, travel, or lifestyle spaces.

5 Ways Pinterest Brings Value to Your Brand:

 

  1. People use it to shop. According to Pinterest, 90% of weekly Pinners use the platform to make purchase decisions. In fact, when compared with other sites, Pinterest is more likely to impact what people buy. Why is that the case? When asked, Pinners explained that Pinterest’s unique mix of inspiring images and personalized recommendations helps them become more confident in what they’re buying.
  2. Great content thrives. What does Pinterest have that other platforms do not? A news feed algorithm that curates user content based on previous actions, versus chronologically-imposed algorithms. This creates far more real estate opportunities for your brand if you’re developing the right content.
  3. Influencers live here. If you’re executing any type of influencer campaign, you must consider using Pinfluencers – influencers who have valuable Group Board access and a high number of followers. They know how to create content with viral potential and are your best allies in winning on Pinterest with engagement-driving imagery.
  4. Updates made with the user experience and brands in-mind. It’s rare that a social media platform gets it right with their algorithm updates. Usually, updates seem to work against brands or users (or both!), but Pinterest has done a nice job of balancing user and brand experience over time. Stats support this, with Pinterest reporting that 78% of Pinners say it’s useful to see content from brands on the platform. Their newest tab gives users the option of viewing just their friends’ pins in chronological order but does not impact the main algorithmic feed which offers valuable real estate for brands.
  5. It drives qualified leads. Generally speaking, Pinterest drives more referral traffic to branded sites than other social platforms do. Because Pinners use the platform to shop online and make decisions in-store, they’re willing to go offsite to gather additional information. This is especially true for long-form content, such as blog posts and recipes.


Some of our favorite resources on this topic for reference are:

 

  • Pinterest– Here’s how people shop on Pinterest (link)
  • The Verge– Pinterest’s new feed has just your friends’ pins, and no algorithmic recommendations by Jacob Kastrenakes (link)

Learn more about our Digital & Social Media Practice here.

 

Facebook Algorithm

What To Do About the Recent Facebook Algorithm Change

Ah, the dreaded Facebook algorithm change. As other similar changes on the platform have done in the past, this recent update brought with it a drop in organic and paid reach across the board. But, luckily, a disruption on Facebook doesn’t have to mean a disruption to your strategy, goals or high-level objectives. In fact, it actually comes at a time when social sharing is down and Google search is making a comeback.

It may surprise you to know that Google reportedly drives twice as many referrals to publishers as social.

Where we once strived for virality on Facebook, creating listicles and short, attention-grabbing content to drive engagement, we’re now pivoting to build more long-form, original, authoritative content. And, since when has weighing quality over quantity been a bad thing?

Additionally, due to news feed clutter, political banter and fake news updates, many users are shifting their attention towards other social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. The beautiful thing about this shift in attention is that these platforms offer far better organic potential for brands and publishers than Facebook has in quite some time. They’re also designed to support inspirational, evergreen content in a way that Facebook is no longer set up to do.

In the end, Facebook and all other social media platforms should be used to amplify your content, as opposed to acting as your one and only source of support for broadcasting your messages and connecting with your audience. Content should find it’s proper, native home via your website, blog (or even someone else’s blog), news media placements or, in the case of video, somewhere like YouTube. Then, your content should be repackaged in a way that makes sense for your active channels and supported with funding based on how it pulls users through the funnel and creates dynamic engagement (purchase, long-term website session, whitepaper download, etc.).

Some of our favorite resources on this topic for reference are:

  • BuzzSumo – Content Trends 2018: BuzzSumo Research Report by Steve Rayson (link)
  • Adweek – Forget Facebook? Why Marketers Are Embracing Pinterest and Instagram by Katie Townsely (link)
  • Digiday – Viral publishers see sharp engagement drops on Facebook (link)

Learn more about our Digital & Social Media Practice here.

Addressing Fake Influencers

How We’re Addressing “Fake Influencers”

Discussions surrounding the issue of “fake influencers,” a problem referring to influencers who pay for fake and/or bot followers, has recently come to light within the mainstream news media. While much of the conversation is specific to Twitter, we at Butin, along with our influencer marketplace and reporting partner, are taking several measures to approach this head-on. Below is the three-step process we’ve implemented to identify fake or disingenuous influencers and ensure the validity of our campaign partners for our clients.

  1. Opt-in, vetted marketplace: When influencers opt into our database, they’re required to enter data about themselves and provide direct API access to their digital channels and analytics. Our partner then vets their data against IBM Watson and Stat Social to ensure accuracy.
  2. Data Science Screening: Because we have influencer API access, which includes past performance and audience data, we’re able to screen influencers who don’t meet certain authentic criteria. Our partner is able to identify influencers who have a disproportionate amount of international followers, spammers whose percentage of sponsored posts are too high, and CPEs that fall below what is considered “acceptable” for their industry.
  3. Manual Database Scrubs: We perform regular checks on our influencers and our partner manually scrubs their marketplace for the above variables throughout the year, so influencers are regularly being re-vetted based on their current performance and audience data.

 

Want to learn more about our influencer programs? Check out Our Specialties page here.

Butin’s Director of Publicity Featured by BuzzFeed

Read the full article at BuzzFeed.com.

Our Director of Publicity, Mary Eva Tredway, recently shared her top 3 tips to get good media coverage with Buzzfeed.

Mary Eva Tredway

Think like a journalist and act like a friend.

There are a lot of publicists out there, just like you, who are pitching stories 24/7. The best way to separate yourself from the crowd and truly stand out is to treat everyone you’re pitching like you would a friend. For example, say you have some amazing tickets to the hottest new band in town, and you’re sure your friend would love to go to this concert, but they’ve never heard of the band. Think about how you would tell your friend why they should take time out of their busy schedule to go see this band? You would first be excited to tell them about it (you should start with believing in what you’re selling), explain why you know they’d love to go based on their preferences (you should know what they like/dislike), and what you think they’ll get out of going to the event. Another element to this is making them feel special by getting to know them and focusing on them as a person versus only seeing them as a journalist.

“So, what?”

You should constantly be asking this of yourself, your team, and your clients, because this is exactly what the reporter on the other end of the pitch is thinking. So, what makes your pitch important, relevant, timely, interesting, groundbreaking to the rest of the world? You have a new soda you want to pitch? So, what? Is it the first of its kind, does it have an ingredient no one else has ever used? You need stats, facts, and vidoes/images that are clearly differential and authentic. Be sure you’re staying abreast of trends and news relevant to your clients to seize any opportunity to connect your pitch to an existing story or headline.

Stay connected!

Making a relationship with a reporter and continuing to stay in touch overtime is key. Just like any other industry, journalists move around, switch beats, and change roles (especially freelancers!). When this happens, it’s the perfect time to reconnect, see what’s new and what they’re up to, as well as hopefully get a personal introduction to whoever has taken their previous position.