Wayne Lapasa

Sharing my Digital Marketing thoughts one post at a time.

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Will Smith is using Social Media to re-introduce himself to a new generation with great success

Will Smith

Entertainer Will Smith unquestionably is one of the most popular and successful actors since the early 1990’s.  The rapper turned actor gained fame on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air sitcom for six seasons, before transitioning into one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.

However, in recent years his star has dimmed a bit.  Questionable movie roles and lack of audience interest finally caught up to Smith.  His days of grossing $100 million+ for eight straight films in the 2000’s were long gone.  Fast forward to 2018 and the movie industry has a new generation of fresh faces that have exploded onto the scene.  Even an established, charismatic and charming personality like Will Smith has seen his fair challenges.  The two-time Oscar nominee found his career at a crossroads with not so stellar box office receipts in recent years.

Instead of fading off into the sunset and walking away from the movie industry, Smith recently turned to social media to remind fans about the Will Smith brand.  Let’s look at what he’s done with digital in just a few short months.

Leverages social media influencers

On the December 14th, 2017 taping of the Ellen show, Will Smith promoted his new Netflix film, Bright. With the assistance of day time talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres, she playfully got Smith up to speed with how to use Instagram and take the best images.   One of Will’s signature traits is his humility, being able to make fun of himself on screen and in this case, he demonstrated it flawlessly.  It also didn’t hurt to have Ellen’s combined social media presence of over 180+ million followers help welcome Will to the ‘gram.

A little over one week later, Will Smith teamed up with YouTube star Lilly Singh aka IISuperwomanII to help produce a comedic video on Internet lingo.  The playful sketch saw the Independence Day actor poke fun of himself again, learning the ins and outs of social media language that his children Jaden and Willow use on a regular day basis.

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Will you give Vero a chance?

Vero

This past week, a new social media app made some noise called Vero.  I know what you are thinking…do we need another app to consume our daily lives?  Maybe we do, maybe we don’t.  Are you tired of using the same social media platforms?  This might be of interest for you.  It has a very clean and polished looking interface.  While Facebook has had a 10+ year run and Instagram just behind it with 8, competition always helps improve the existing products.  Here are few reasons why you might want to give Vero a chance.

Select which audience you want to share your posts with.

Select which audience you want to share your posts with.

Chronological Feed

This is probably the biggest request many users wanted back.  Facebook who also owns Instagram added algorithms to their feed a few years ago on the basis that your post would show up at the top of your app based on engagement (likes, comments).  And while some like to live in the dark and just creep away, others just want to see the posts arrive in traditional style, from newest post to oldest.  Vero brings that back.

Vero provides you with your own stats usage.

Vero provides you with your own stats usage.

Vero gives you multiple options

Some of the most frustrating parts of an app like Instagram is that it is a link less application (only to be seen in the bio section).  Vero incorporates weblink sharing including recommendations for movies, books and music.  They let you buy stuff without leaving the app.  Also, when it comes to viewing Instagram images, you have to hold your fingers to do a pinch zoom…with Vero you can simply zoom in once and it will hold your zoom for as long as you like.  This little small practice is a welcome addition for the user.

Vero provides a clean and polished interface.

Vero provides a clean and polished interface.

Ad Free

Say goodbye to sponsored posts and content that you never wanted to see in the first place.  Probably one of the highlights of Vero is that they don’t want to fill your feed with advertisements that you know you are going to scroll past anyways.   This is going to be a huge sell among users who are tired of seeing ads.  This is especially evident on YouTube where you have to wait a few seconds before you can view your desired content.  I wonder how Vero is going to make their revenues though lol.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, Vero has entered the social media game in a big way.  They originally launched three years ago, but the owner behind the app is billionaire Ayman Hariri and he is looking to make a huge splash.  Time will tell how Vero fares with social media users.

Personally, I am all in favour of new competition entering the marketplace, if they have a purpose and are different from their counterparts.  But I won’t jump on it until I know my own circle of friends start to download the app.   Will Vero sway people who have grown tired of the FB, IG’s and Snaps of the world? We will see if people will catch on with this app.

Why I recommend you should do a Facebook Cleanse

Today’s post focuses on social media’s largest platform online…you guessed it, yup Facebook. I joined the social network just before 2007 began and over the years I’ve learned how to use it to promote various things, highlight events and much more. In the past few years, I have used FB less as other social hubs like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube occupy my time. I have also come to terms that over the years, a lot has changed for me personally and professionally.

The same can be said for my friends list on there. You will have your loyal regular set of friends that you engage with…and then there are the friends who you barely keep in touch with, yet they still appear on your news feed. This past June just before I published my Graduation blog post, I did a Facebook cleanse and I strongly advise you do the same.

Reasons behind the cleanse

Let’s face it, people see and creep your activities online, yet they will never make an effort to pick up the phone or catch up with you in person.  And then there are some who just don’t even use Facebook anymore and have moved on to other social networks that they use regularly or even better…have left social media completely.  Aside from getting rid of a Facebook friend if you dated them and it didn’t work out, I’d like to highlight some of the main reasons why I did my cleanse.

You added them through a mutual acquaintance

I don’t know about you, but when I signed up to Facebook and heard that there was a 5,000 friends add limit, the 10 years younger Wayne Lapasa went out of his way to achieve that number somehow. It became a game and an obsession. Not fully understanding or utilizing Facebook properly at the time, I was adding people I had never met in real life, just for the sake of increasing my friends list number.  Maybe the younger me thought that when people saw how high my friends list was, my coolness factor or online reputation would position me as “connected.” But here’s the truth, it’s a useless vanity metric.  There is no point in adding people you that don’t know because A) they don’t really care about you and B) you don’t really care about them.

In a past life, I worked in the nightlife industry and I added just about every type of person you could think of.  I’m talking DJ’s, MC’s, club promoters, club hostesses, security guards etc.  In retrospect, it was a great way to network and legit stay connected, but here’s the thing. The shelf life in this industry is maybe five years, then the next batch of younger people take over and start to run the scene.  So what happens to my FB connects from my nightlife era?  Only a select few are still in the industry while the others are working in another profession, got married, have kids or moved out of the area. Long story short, people have drifted and lost contact. You start to realize that those connections you added over the years weren’t real friends, but just people you made money with.  But once that environment is gone and there is no genuine friendship beyond that, it’s time to get your Facebook cleanse on.

Facebook Birthday

People don’t greet you on your birthday

Every morning, FB sends you a notification about someone’s birthday from your friends list. They have created a shortcut for you to leave a greeting on their wall.  You can’t miss it, it’s very visible. It is usually good etiquette to write a quick message and go on with your day.  In my own birthday instance, 126 of 952 friends wished me a happy birthday, which was only 13% of my friends list. Guess what…none of the 126 friends were removed from my friends list but the other 826 were definitely under review lol!

Over the years I would make it an effort to send a HBD wall post even if I hadn’t kept in touch with that person, just for the sake of keeping the online friendship alive.  Well guess what, about a year ago I made a spreadsheet and listed all the names of the people who took the time to reach out to me on my birthday, so that I could return the favour when it was their time.

If you’re reading this, I don’t want you to think I’m sour about not getting birthday attention from my friends list.  But in essence, it goes back to the caliber and quality of your FB friend…are they really a friend? Do they really care about you? And do you really need them? If the answer is no, the Facebook cleanse is waiting for you.

You no longer work with that person as a colleague

There’s always a fine line when it comes to having your work colleagues as Facebook friends.  Are you comfortable enough with them seeing your personal life on there when you work with them in a professional setting?  Do you even want to see their own posts, do you really want to know more about them beyond the 9-5 grind? Or how about when you switch jobs because that last job sucked and you have no interest in being fake and keeping in touch with them?  That’s where I once was. I was so happy to move on from one of my jobs, I was smiling my last week there because I knew I was leaving a toxic work culture, with fake people and politics worst than Donald Trump at the time.

You would think it would be a sad time to leave a job after a few years, establishing what you thought were real friends beyond the business.  But you come to realize, that your bullshit radar was so high that you couldn’t be fooled.  When you get to the point where you no longer want to pretend like everything was cool with a select few people, you must make that decision. They still have access to your Facebook activity and they are there just to creep and gossip behind your back. That right there is a clear sign to cut the cord on that contact. When it reaches that stage, it almost becomes mandatory to do the Facebook cleanse.

They never engage with your posts

So we have now established that you have creepers or trolls from your friends list watching your every move.  Just to recap, over the years you might have added them and vice versa. I’m sure you know by now, once you click on the post button on Facebook, your photo/video/status message/web link is shared with your friends network. They see everything.  But it can really be tricky to narrow down their reaction to the post. It’s no secret that the most reactive FB posts are milestone moments in time, such as finishing school, getting engaged, getting married and child birth.

Sure, you will have your regular set of commenters and likers who support whatever your posts are, but then you have your dark social friends. They are the ones who see the content, yet never dare to comment, like or engage. It is likely they have taken the conversation offline or screenshotted your content and converse through the DM or non traceable platforms.  These are the troubling ones, because it goes back to the quality of the friend…are they a real one or are they fugazi? What gives? Are they too cool to say something? Do they dislike you that much but don’t pull the trigger on removing you as a friend because they lose access to snoop on your personal life? There are more factors involved but you can see where I am going with this.  If you have a large group of people on your friends list who don’t engage with your posts, it’s a definite sign that the Facebook cleanse is necessary.

Final Thoughts

What I want people to take away from this blog post is that no, I am not a bitter person ranting about so called digital friends.  Facebook will never define me…but instead I can tell the difference on what a true friend is and who’s just an acquaintance. I loved Facebook, because it was initially the first social network that reconnected you with old contacts, better than any other previous social site could do.  If used properly, it is a communication tool that can reach the masses. But then you have others who just over broadcast their lives way too much. You’ve probably hit the ‘Unfollow’ button a few times in your Facebook lifetime, trust me I have.

Even millennials shy away from FB these days because their own parents have finally caved in and wanted to be a part of the Facebook conversation. With that comes a loss of privacy – even on a network like FB, the younger target audience will flock to another social media tool to maintain their level of secrecy from others viewing their activities…but that’s another blog post story in itself.

We all have our own trusted circle of friends, from family, school, work environments, extra curricular activities, etc.  And then you have distant connections that have just simply lost touch with, moved on, had a disagreement/fight or really had no care in the first place to begin with. Part of my reasoning for doing the Facebook cleanse was because I didn’t want people on my Facebook list to know what I am currently up to.  Five months removed from my FB cleanse, I feel great about it, no regrets.  I weeded out contacts I no longer have interest for and am OK with not knowing what happens to them in the future.  I am certain I have been on the tail end of cleanse removals by my own friends list, but that’s cool…to each their own.

10 years ago, being on Facebook was all about reaching and touching as many people as possible – even if you didn’t know them. Now a days, I barely use FB (but still use other social networks) and carefully choose what I share on there.  I have grown and learned to not easily trust others. The same qualities in people you see online, do not necessarily translate into real life. People come into your life, take advantage of your generosity and feel entitled. But then you have others who are genuine, appreciative and grateful for your help, your time and simply, your friendship. Those are the type of friends I want to surround myself with. Thank you, Facebook cleanse.

Facebook Cleanse

Puma is making moves and using Influencer Marketing to compete

Brand: Puma

Audience:  Puma is a long standing German sports apparel and footwear company founded in 1948.  Their products have an established identify, notably in Track and Field and especially in the Soccer industry.  In recent years, the brand has struggled to remain relevant with consumers.  Lack of identity and style are notable factors.  Since 2014, Puma has stated that one of their primary key strategies is to improve their female division if they want to compete with the likes of adidas and Nike.

Puma introduced a new women’s streetwear product line in 2016.  For this concentrated target audience, the brand is focusing on the 18-24 age group.  They want to appeal to the stylish, chic, trend setting and fashion conscious customer.  Spearheading the campaign is brand ambassador and creative director Rihanna.  The international songstress is a notable style icon with over 201+ million combined followers on social media.  In addition to the signing of socialite Kylie Jenner last year, Puma has a duo of formidable influencers for their advertising campaigns to help grow their targeted streetwear audience.

On the men’s side of things, last fall Puma signed R&B superstar TheWeeknd and in March 2017 inked rapper Big Sean to help appeal to their young male audience.  And most recently, Puma scored a major sponsorship, teaming up with rap icon JAY-Z for his upcoming “4:44” tour.  While it looks like Puma has a concentrated strategy on working with some very big names in popular culture today, there will always be consumers at different stages of the life purchase cycle where they might face resistance.   Let’s take a look at them.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd

Life Cycle:

Communities disruptors affect the Consideration stage in the Purchase Life Cycle.

Economic disruptors affect the Purchase stage in the Purchase Life Cycle.

Personal Situational Factors affect the Awareness stage in the Purchase Life Cycle.

Emotional Situational Factors affect the Desire stage in the Purchase Life Cycle.

Influence Disruptors

Communities is the conversation of the same idea with two different groups that have two different meanings.  In this example, an 18-year old female will converse with her classmates on the it factor of purchasing Rihanna’s Puma x Fenty collection and how stylish the attire looks.  A secondary conversation with her parents can turn into a discussion of price, cost and affordability.  This simultaneously becomes an Economic discussion where the parents and daughter get into a debate of need vs. want.  Both Communities and Economic elements have a disruptive influence.  They can change the sentiment course on the decision-making process from considering to buy, to ignoring the purchase completely.  Puma’s target audience is affected from these mentioned disruptors thanks to overall negative sentiment.

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How do you measure a great Social Influencer?

Personal Influencer definition

An influencer is a person who is knowledgeable and credible, with a leadership voice that encourages others in their decision making.  In order to understand what makes a great social influencer, it’s important to list a few online social platforms that help identify key influencers.

Social Scoring Platforms

Klout is a grading score system from 1-100, that combines various social media accounts of a user and provides a ranking through their analytics system. The main key factors they consider in scoring are: online activity, how often your messages are amplified by others and how others perceive your influence.

Klout

Pros Cons
–          The higher your Klout score can position you as a valuable influencer

–          Can help recruiters and HR review talent personnel for hire

–          Higher score can lead to free product giveaways from companies

–          Klout scores can be gamed

–          Algorithm system they use is not consistent

–          Their metric measurements are secretive

–          Useless for those not interested in Digital Marketing

Klout’s scoring platform should not define the intelligence of an individual (example: Sam Fiorella being overlooked for a job because of a low Klout score).  The way they capture information to determine their scoring system is not consistent.  How they determine one person’s score is not a full representation of what that person’s true credentials are.  Not recommended.

Kred provides two scores to a user which are known as influence and outreach. A recognized competitor to Klout, they provide an open source on how they collect their raw data in their scoring approach.  Points score can increase when multiple people engage with your content.

Kred

Pros Cons
–          Provides a secondary score (Outreach)

–          Better detailed dashboard, broken down into categories like social mentions, community influence, 30-day follower trends

–          Open collection data methods

–          Too much data offered

–          Accuracy of top influencer reports are questionable

–          Collects information of users and sells them off to advertisers

Kred offers some great value and would be recommended to identify influencers for brands.  They have a breakdown of various metrics, segmented and targeted – this information is a goldmine for brands.   The only alarming drawback for consumers is that Kred acts more in a consultancy role by taking their information and selling them to advertising companies.

Brandwatch focuses on the 3 A’s (Activity/Audience/Authority) to calculate their scores.

Brand Watch

Pros Cons
–          Reliable resource tracker for Twitter

–          Focus more on relevance and insight

–          Assists smaller businesses with reaching larger audiences at affordable rates

–          Originally collected data only from Facebook, Quora, Twitter, LinkedIn

–          Formerly PeerIndex now merged with Brandwatch, could mean too much data becoming overwhelming

–          B2B product geared for marketers

Brandwatch has value for both brands and users themselves.  They allow the user to control certain aspects of the data in their profile account.  They also provide information to the user on which brands have their information.  Another reason why Brandwatch differs from Klout and Kred is that they get away from the egocentric influence.  They have removed the search function to see other people’s scores.

Do Social Scoring Platforms have a negative impact on social engagement?

Yes, Social Scoring Platforms put the wrong emphasis in their grading of social profiles.  There are some factors that just can’t be measured, regardless of what algorithm they come up with.  There is an intelligence behind the individual that is not measured by the social scoring platform and it can have a shameful projection for others.  A person should not solely be evaluated for how high or how low their social score is.

There is more to that person that what a computer defines their score.  The system is flawed and can be gamed.  It can be misled and ultimately produce some obscure scoring number that isn’t reasonable.  What would our world look like if human resource departments relied on a person’s social media score to hire them?  Imagine having people in powerful positions who are not educated or experienced enough to handle the regular rigors of the job, yet they were hired because their Klout score was 89?   It makes no sense.  Until they can come up with a scoring process that is more accurate, society should not depend on them at all.

Two Social Influencers making a lot of noise

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a former professional wrestler turned successful full time actor.  A major part of his appeal is his ability to connect with his audiences, whether it be in the ring or on the big screen.   He represents the ideal public persona who embraced social media at a time when actors shied away from it, not realizing the potential it could bring.  His three main social channels of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter have a combined total of 144.7 million followers.

He is regarded as a social influencer not solely for just giving his followers behind the scenes access to his film projects.  But rather instead, he promotes positive inspirational messages with a healthy active fitness lifestyle.   Whether it’s sharing an embarrassing story of himself in his teenage years, or getting up at 4am to start his day with intense cardio, he continues to stay in touch with his audience by being transparent and authentic.  He has been using social media consistently for the past five years.  Recently Johnson branched off into the world of digital with a YouTube channel, recognizing the platform as new media to tell more stories.

Brands The Rock has yet to work with that would be a good look: Any high-end fashion designer.  He has reached this A-lister status but continues to use a private stylist.  His appeal in the fashion world would increase even more.  Another brand he could help with their audience is the headphones market, like Beats.  He is constantly in the gym and promoting head gear seems like a likely union.

Kanye West is a 21-time Grammy award winning producer and rapper.  In recent years his social influence has branched out into the world of fashion, where his trend setting styles are photographed regularly by the media/paparazzi.  In 2013, Kanye left designing shoes with Nike after a royalty dispute and joined rival Adidas.   His departure from the biggest shoe brand in the world did not have any affect on him setting up shop with a competitor, his audience followed.  Since 2015, an even bigger demand was created where people would camp out for days attempting to purchase his Yeezy brand.  West entered the apparel industry competing with more experienced brands, but his product line continues to sell out at record numbers.  His shoes currently sell for over three to four times the market value on the resale market.  From a streetwear consumer perspective, West has dethroned the Air Jordan brand.

Regardless of public opinion on his marriage to a socialite, the bottom line is that Kanye moves product.  He might have built a reputation for his media tirades, but he continues to be an in-demand commodity.   His music is still influential in the urban market despite being overshadowed by his amplified celebrity status.  Without a doubt, Kanye West is bigger than a social influencer, he is a cultural influencer of the moment.  Does his anger get mistaken for his passion and drive? It’s possible and debatable.  For someone of his popularity who uses Twitter as his only platform to communicate with his audience, speaks volumes about his staying power.

A brand Kanye West could help influence one day would be Rolex.  The aura and appeal of Rolex in hip-hop culture goes back many decades.  The artist in Kanye is similar like Rolex in the sense that they both create timeless products.  If the green light to design his own watch was granted, the collaboration would probably be one of the most sought after time pieces in the world.  The merging of two iconic brands would have a large appeal on both urban and mainstream culture.

Resources

Ahmed, Tufayel. “Dwayne Johnson Is Changing Hollywood, One Social Media Post at a Time.” Newsweek. IBT Media, 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <http://www.newsweek.com/dwayne-johnson-changing-hollywood-one-social-media-post-time-436028>.

Boris, Cynthia. “The Pros and Cons of Using Klout and Kred for Hiring.” Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur, 28 Mar. 2013. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226184>.

Brown, Danny. “Why MyPeerIndex Is a Major Step Forward for Social Scoring.” Danny Brown. Danny Brown, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <https://dannybrown.me/2013/09/24/mypeerindex-social-scoring-transparency/>.

Butcher, Mike. “Social Influence Startup PeerIndex Acquired By Brandwatch in Cash/Shares Deal.” TechCrunch. TechCrunch, 17 Dec. 2014. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <https://techcrunch.com/2014/12/17/social-influence-startup-peerindex-acquired-by-brandwatch-in-cashshares-deal/>.

“Celebrity Marketing | What Is Celebrity Marketing?” Celebrity Marketing | What Is Celebrity Marketing? Marketing Schools, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017. <http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/celebrity-marketing.html>.

Fiorella, Sam, and Danny Brown. “3-4.” Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. Indianapolis: Que, 2013. 44+. Print.

“Kred Influence Measurement.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kred_Influence_Measurement>.

Steers, Natalie. “Influencer Marketing: Klout vs Kred vs PeerIndex.” MyCustomer. MyCustomer, 15 Mar. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <http://www.mycustomer.com/marketing/strategy/influencer-marketing-klout-vs-kred-vs-peerindex>.

Steers, Natalie. “Influencer Marketing: Klout vs Kred vs PeerIndex.” MyCustomer. MyCustomer, 15 Mar. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <http://www.mycustomer.com/marketing/strategy/influencer-marketing-klout-vs-kred-vs-peerindex>.

Strong, Frank. “Confluence: Kredibility, Social Scoring and Marketing.” Sword and the Script. Sword and the Script, 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 31 Jan. 2017. <http://www.swordandthescript.com/2013/01/kred-marketing-social-scoring/>.

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