Now that social media is well and truly mainstream, the early debates about whether it’s here to stay, if it has broad appeal and whether it can be used for business are all bring put to rest. Yes, yes and yes – move on.
But one question remains, looming large, and making lots of marketers uncomfortable: what’s the value of being involved?
It’s not a simple question. In some ways, we’re getting to a point where brands HAVE to be on Twitter. It’s expected. Not being there, for some sectors, is like not having a helpline. Customers want to talk to you on Twitter and if you’re not there, they’ll vent furiously until you turn up to fight the fire.
But Financial Directors need to see return on investment (yes, seriously, don’t gag) so there has be more reason to be there than just obligation.
Improved brand awareness? A higher ‘net promoter score’? Direct sales? Indirect sales? Savings through more online orders and fault reports, meaning fewer calls to the call centre?
All valid measures, but whatever a brand’s intention, whatever metrics get that social media budget signed off, there has to be a plan to actually make it happen. Remember when websites were quite new, and millions of businesses had to learn the tough lesson of ‘if you build it, they won’t necessarily come’? Well businesses are back and they’re learning that lesson all over again.
You can’t just set up a profile on Twitter, or a flashy page on Facebook, put together a nifty content plan and then say “ok, we’re ready for you”. Even household names like Coke, Vodafone, Tesco had to do outreach. They didn’t just sit back and wait for it to happen.
But who do you reach out to? How do you find the people who’ll care that you’re there and be interested in what you have to share? And how do you reach out to the people who’ll not only want to form a relationship with your brand online, but also become an advocate, influential enough to help spread the word.
And that’s where Kred comes in. Kred is public directory of Twitter users (other social media platforms coming soon) and it measures a user’s influence and outreach levels, both globally, and in respect of specific topics, from tech to alternative health.
Kred is looking like a significant challenger to its competitors (chiefly Peer Index and Klout) for a number of reasons, but mostly because it offers a real-time and totally transparent measurement system.
There’s a lot to understand about Kred, from what it is and how it works, to how it can be used productively by bloggers, PRs and brands.
Recently I spoke over Skype with Andrew Grill, UK CEO of PeopleBrowser, the company behind Kred and asked these questions and more.
Come back soon to see the video interview in full.