Tag Archives: collective bias

For Brands, Social Customer Service is a Must

With social media and smartphones on the rise, a new kind of customer service has developed.  Consumers are no longer reaching out via phone, they are voicing their questions and concerns by using social media.  With the promptness that social brings, consumers want answers on social, instantly.  Research conducted by Lithium Technologies says that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint.

While some brands are quick at providing a response, they might not be quick enough. According to Brickfish, 80% of companies believe they provide superior customer service on social media, while 92% of consumers disagree.  Brands might want to re-evaluate their social plan to make sure they are keeping up with the consumers wants.

One industry that is seen to be slow at social customer service is Supermarkets.  Getting in-touch with social could really help this industry gain excellent customer loyalty.  Social Media Today used their Twitter Performance Tracker to look at how 21 North American supermarkets use Twitter as a customer service channel.  The average response time spent on Twitter was 5 hours and 10 minutes.  This is definitely not meeting the customer’s expectations.

One supermarket that is quick at responding is Mariano’s Market.  They had the fastest response time of 29 minutes and 17 seconds.  If a customer is tweeting in store, the likelihood of them still being there within 30 minutes is high.  This gives customers a chance to tweet out any questions they might have.  It could also open opportunities for supermarkets to help customers find recipes with certain ingredients that they are buying in store.

Here is an example of a customer complaining about his store experience. He tweeted at 10:37PM and received a response back at 10:50PM. Though I do not know the outcome, Mariano’s might have saved a customer from becoming un-loyal due to their fast response time and willingness to help.

Here is an example of a customer asking about a new location opening. Within 13 minutes, Mariano’s had responded by providing an answer and then engaging with the consumer.  This is what can drive a consumer to become loyal, and I am guessing that person, along with the nine people who favorited the tweet, will be at the opening.

Consumers want to feel connected to everything and everyone.  By reaching out to someone on social, it can help create that bond between the consumer and the retailer or brand.  According to BrickFish 71% of consumers who receive a quick and effective response are more likely to recommend that brand to others and 50% are more likely to buy from a brand they can contact on social media.

It’s time to stop just posting on social media and to start engaging.  Make people aware of your presence, and give the best social customer service possible! Start now and beat out your competitors.

Do you have a favorite brand or supermarket that has excellence social customer service? Or as a marketer, do you have a marketing tactic that has helped your social customer service? If so, please let us know in the comment box!

The Rise of the Halloween Shopper

Boo!  It’s no secret that Americans are passionate about holidays, and Halloween is no exception. As the second-highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas, U.S. consumers go all out on Halloween, spending billions of dollars on everything from costumes and candy to greeting cards and party supplies. To avoid digging a grave for missing this holiday, marketers should be targeting shoppers early through social media efforts. From the infographic below, learn just how early consumers start their spooky shopping, how they’ll be spending the haunted holiday and more. Check out  this infographic, The Rise of The Halloween Shopper. 

 Halloween Infographic

Amy Callahan to host BAA Social Media Webinar on September 30th

Today’s shoppers can experience the moment of truth anywhere they can interact with brands-which now happens on a daily basis via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a website, anywhere they can get Wi-Fi or a cell phone signal. Thanks to social media, brands can build loyalty and trust with these daily interactions. A shopper’s path-to-purchase isn’t just a trip to the store and a decision to buy while standing at the shelf anymore. But how can brands use social content to harness the power of influencers to win over shoppers before they even get to the store? Amy Callahan, Collective Bias’ Co-Founder and Chief Client Officer, shares the details in a webinar, scheduled for September 30th.

The webinar will discuss understanding the implications of social media on traditional marketing, the 5 C’s of the social path-to-purchase, and how brands and retailers use social to drive awareness, loyalty, traffic and sales.  Register for How Social Media Impacts Traditional Shopper Marketing and learn the power of social content.


Twitter Impressions Were Fraud: Part 1

Written by Spencer Sonaty and Brent Snyder

Twitter Impressions Are Were Fraud: Part 1

Have you ever wondered how many followers you gained from a well performing tweet, or which content improves your engagement rate? Honing the art of using metrics to shape your Twitter strategy should be a constant pursuit. This has been problematic for some time, though, for two main reasons: access to quality social data is very expensive, and measuring impressions as a base for performance has become fraught with pitfalls in recent years.

Twitter now provides accurate metrics to aid in the transparency of how tweets perform, so every Twitter user can gain insights about the content they are posting and the engagement it garners.

In today’s social environment engagement is a topline metric, but engagement is impossible without first generating impressions. Low engagement rates (engagements / impressions) have become the norm, but mainly due to a lack of data surrounding impressions. Impressions have previously been calculated as the number of people who could potentially see a tweet: (total followers x frequency). With the new dashboard on Twitter, impressions are reported as the number of times users were actually served a tweet; a combination of both a user’s followers, and non-followers who also found the tweet via search.

While this clarified view of impressions is monumental, Twitter also breaks out several different types of engagement, including: favorites, detail expands, user profile clicks, replies and retweets. In addition to these metrics, users can see impressions by hour, followers’ locations, gender and popular interests.

Reporting on actual impressions and distinct engagement types will result in more accurate reporting, and better understanding, of engagement rates. This level of insight is vitally important, as users will be able to learn what types of content to use, and when to use it, to better grow followership and engagement overall.

Check out part 2 next week to read how Twitter could be changing the digital ad landscape forever.

What Does the Apple Announcement Mean for Marketers?

The tech world has been more excited about yesterday’s Apple announcement than for anything I’ve seen in several years.  What has become a slightly boring consumer affair in recent years was upended this year with not only the return of the Steve Jobs’ trademark line “One More Thing . . .” but also a new digital payments system.

applepayWhile what Apple does is of interest to most people in the US, it’s typically difficult to tie it to how it impacts our bottom line in the business world.  Mobile in general is huge, and the App Economy is alive and well with almost any business with an eye toward mobile having an App these days.  So what does this new mobile payment system mean for business?

In theory, it’s a new touch point with customers, and at best, it’s a highly secure and engaging way for customers to buy things from you.  In their demo, they showed an easy purchase from a Target App.  With this technology, marketers may be on the precipice to finally finishing the puzzle of consumer behavior from initial point of influence to in-store purchase in brick-and-mortar retail.  What is left in the air is how this attaches to individual identity.  Doubtless, security will be a concern with this payment technology, and they’ve clearly thought out the best way to make this as secure as possible, implementing not only Touch ID but a unique secure element in each phone.  However, tying that transaction to a person’s online identity is a gold mine for marketers – one that Apple surely has a plan to monetize, even if it’s only for their own advertising platform.

Apple also introduced the Apple Watch.  It may seem as though this is a geeky tech toy, but this wearable opens up an entirely new world for interacting with your online audience either via Social Media, or your own custom app.

We will certainly be hearing from a lot of brands and businesses in the coming months leading up to the Apple Watch release date about how they plan to build apps for this watch, but any business whose customers can benefit from real-time short-form pieces of information stands to benefit.  Consider the examples in the keynote:

  • BMW will display a map showing you how to get back to your car
  • Honeywell will allow you to control the temperature in your home
  • Pinterest will remind you when you’re near a pin

There are many more opportunities for businesses to use this new wearable as a communication tool.  Imagine being a gas station and delivering real-time price updates to people who are on a trip.  Perhaps a food company could send you recipe instructions, or a bank could update you when your account drops below a certain amount, or a restaurant could alert you when your call-in order is ready.  There are many useful, and not so useful, implications to this new wearable device.  No doubt the early adopter brands are already thinking of ways to work with the watch and the new payment system, Apple Pay.

What should you do to get ready?  I would start paying attention to the content available for my products wherever they are sold.  Although Pinterest was mentioned as a launch partner with the Apple Watch, and will give you location-based messaging, Foursquare will be in on this opportunity really quickly as well.  To prepare, start looking at your location-based brand content on Foursquare, Yelp, Pinterest, Google, and any other places that make sense.  It may be that this new wearable is not only a revolution in wearable technology, but in social and location-based awareness.

Growing Latino Market Leads to Business Opportunity

Their impact and clout can be seen everywhere from the shopping aisles where salsa now outsells catsup, to social media where superstar Shakira is the MOST liked person on Facebook with more than 100 Million followers.  As you may have noticed, brands are clamoring to capture the attention of Latinos (as well as our increased buying power). With this new found focus on Latinos many brands are realizing that in order to attract their dollars they need to address Latinos differently with targeted strategies and culturally relevant messaging.

At Collective Bias,  we have also taken notice of this “new voice” in shopper media.  To address the growing market demands as well as our client’s needs we developed, ColectivaLatina, a specific community and business team of Latino marketers and influencers that is focused on reaching, connecting and winning with the Hispanic shopper.  ColectivaLatina’s community of social influencers allows brands to impact Latino shopping habits by harnessing the power of cultural influence by using the thoughts and opinions of other Latinos.

To better understand how we utilize culture to activate Latino shoppers, check out our new video which is also featured on our website.  Additionally we have featured links to content authored by our Latina Influencer’s, illustrating how they are weaving brands into their everyday lives and creating connections with their followers.

Bienvenidos a ColectivaLatina!

Future of Multicultural Marketing Lies with Latinos

Latina moms are quickly becoming the latest demographic obsession of marketers everywhere. With the collective buying power of U.S. Latinos expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, Latina moms are now considered the holders of the “purse strings”, meaning they influence most household purchases (including cars). Because of this, they are now one of the principal voices in every dominant shopping category ranging from groceries to finance and more.

Collective Bias’ SVP of Strategy, Holly Pavlika, identifies how brands can better reach this ever-expanding consumer segment in her MediaPost article, “The Rising Influence of the Latina and How to Reach Her”.

The Latina mom is a different kind of shopper who sees shopping as entertainment versus a routine burden. Marketers must fine-tune their strategies to better fit the needs, wants and likes of this major cultural group. Heritage and culture play a leading role in their shopping decisions, which translates to buying more products that directly target Latinos (i.e. use of Spanish language and/or using images of Latinos on the packing) as well as finding ways to add Latino flavors to traditionally-American foods.

Learn more about this influential demographic and how to achieve resonance with them on MediaPost Engage: Moms blog.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Sponsored Blog Posts

Sponsored blog posts are one of the most popular ways for influential bloggers to make money. With popularity comes confusion over what is effective and engaging and what is not. Are stock photos sufficient for imagery purposes? Do you have to include a disclosure? The next time you have an opportunity to write a sponsored post, consider these tips:


  • Add a disclosure at the top of your post before any content or photos.
  • Use 1 or 2 SEO keywords in your post title and in the first paragraph of your post.
  • Link one of the keywords to your client’s website as a “nofollow” link. (Find out more about “nofollow” links here.)
  • Make sure all client links are coded as “nofollow”.
  • Include at least 1 “hero” image in your post as well as 3-5 additional high quality original images that support the story. (The hero image is the first thing a reader will see in your post and is meant to set the tone for your story below it.  In sponsored posts, the hero post often integrates the client’s product in the photo).
  • Check your grammar and spelling…and then double-check it.
  • Tell a story about how you incorporate your client’s product into your life.
  • Teach your readers something (how to make something, how to do something)
  • Be professional while speaking in your unique voice.
  • Ask the brand to share your blog post on their social channels.


  • Accept a sponsored post for a brand that does not fit with your blog’s current content.
  • Agree to a deadline you can’t meet.
  • Forget a disclosure in a post and any subsequent social shares
  • Write a review.  People can find reviews on the brand’s website or on retailers’ websites.
  • Use stock photos unless the brand requires you to do so.
  • Badmouth the brand publically. Send them a private message if you are not satisfied with their product…or if working with a blogger network, notify your direct contact.

Where to Focus Your Marketing Efforts When Targeting Hispanics

Written by Natalia Carter

I still remember my first marketing class when I had to organize a business strategy. The most important page was where we have to define the target, as it is the key to designing all the sales tactics. This has not changed. But considering that my classes were taken in Colombia, there were many points that now, as resident of the United States, we did not consider. The American market is characterized as multicultural. We are talking about a country of immigrants. And where once a minority, Hispanic immigrants now make up a large part of the population. Most brands have been working to connect with and sell to this demographic, with mixed results.  So this begs the question where should you focus your target efforts when your audience is Hispanic?

To answer this question we must first recognize that over 60% of Hispanics in this country have Mexican heritage. As a result, there is a general preference for a certain kind of language. In the case of those Hispanics with Mexican heritage, it is the Spanish spoken in Mexico. As a rule, when a brand is specifically targeting a group of people it is preferable to keep the language spoken in that country. Once this is understood, we must then consider the next useful classification: age.

Usually Hispanics over 45 years old reported feeling more comfortable buying when the message is transmitted in their first language. They are also more likely to watch TV and be influenced by commercials. Also, word of mouth is still popular. On the other hand, the younger audience is not only bilingual, but they speak English more often. And though commercials are effective with younger audiences, those with the involvement of a celebrity are more seen as more trustworthy. Recently, social networks have also gained space in this younger sector. Facebook and Twitter are the most noteworthy.  From surfing the net to looking for reviews about products and services, use has increased significantly. And this is where the importance of blogging has seen tremendous gains.

Given the above information, and the rapid changes in communications technology, brands must now focus on meeting their customers where they are and not where they want them to be. In the past, companies were the ones who decided that where, when, and how customers would be reached.  They dictated the communication.  Today, the story is quite different. Brands must be alert and constantly analyze the platforms their audiences prefer.

Natalia Carter is a social media professional with more than 5 years experience creating social media campaigns and blog content on her site, Comiendo en LA.  Born and raised in Colombia, she and her family moved to Spain when she was young. It was there that she learned the wonders of travel, meeting new people, and Spanish food. Natalia has a degree in Business from CESA in Bogotá, Colombia. After living in different countries, she finally settled in Los Angeles. The city’s beauty, people, and rich cultures sparked her decision to create her blog which is now a hub for Hispanic foodies.  You can tweet her at @ComiendoEnLA

5 Ways to Maintain Balance In Your Work Life When You’re a One Wo/Man Operation

Written by Patricia A. Patton 

So maybe you’ve been blogging for a while now, following best practices for being recognized but you find yourself hitting a proverbial wall. Even though you know better than to chase every new shiny thing that appears in the digital arena, you still engage in this practice. There you are reading and clicking through articles for the entire day, but might this not be a sign? If chasing new things is what you do over a sustained period of time, you will find you have little to show for your time. When I find this happening in my life, I know that as a one wo/man operation, I have lost balance in my work life. For regardless of the importance of research, the truth is that if no work is being completed, gathering nuts alone will not take you far.

Here are the strategies I have learned over the past several years about working alone, feeling isolated and winding up with an imbalance in my output:

Embrace the Problem
Some people seem to have their operation on auto pilot. But in my experience, frustration makes its occasional visits and it’s pretty natural to experience some burnout when you are responsible for all aspects of your blogging business success. If you find yourself running from one set of suggestions to another with a slightly different focus but similar goals and you are feeling drained, it is time to accept that you are engaged in some aspects of burnout and are in need of balance in your work life .

Revamp Your Work Practice
I know it sounds silly to say begin by moving more. Get physical. Get up from your sitting position away from your computer at least once every hour. Take a few moments to work another part of your brain. For me this means not sitting inside the home office, i.e hanging with my computer from morning until 10 pm. It is important to finish projects; but staying in one place is not always productive. And just because you are online all day does not necessarily mean its been a productive day. I said that earlier. Secondly,  put everything you think you want to read that you find online but takes you off course in a particular file like, Evernote. Then when you take a break, go through your reading. Keep notes on the new  thoughts and content that comes from this practice that might be woven into future posts. Try this strategy by allocating a given time frame for follow up either once or twice a day for short periods. This way, you don’t need to feel guilty and you can keep your focus.

This year I had a breakthrough that I think will help you maintain balance in your work life. I actually tried thinking strategically about how to integrate the lessons I’d learned from my blogging experience into a more profitable and commercially viable format. I created what I felt was missing in terms of the community I wanted. Lo and behold, I assembled a small but engaging group of black boomer bloggers with whom I have collaborated to create a White paper, anecdotal research and an ebook as a group. This practice actually leverages my Klout and increases my engagement.

Leverage your momentum
Until recently I’d never spent time on LinkedIn. I thought of it as a place for professional people looking for 9-5 jobs. But it is not simply that. Linkedin is a place to establish your
expertise and to market your business. I published a post about an experience I’d had
when my private internist closed her business. This event precipitated thoughts about
personalized medicine and the future of health. Eighty-three people have since read
this post, the number would be less if it was simply on my web site. With diminishing
comments and more retweeting, this is a respectable improvement. I am leveraging
my momentum by beefing up my LinkedIn profile, taking advantage of the community
features, and leveraging LinkedIn as a business marketing tool.

Schedule Regular Time Away From Work
The practice of unplugging is more powerful than it suggests. In order to maintain balance
in your work life we must all take time away from our work. When I have time to breathe
deeply, I sometimes awaken with a completed message and clarity of focus. I highly
suggest, organized time away from work even if you are the Boss.

You can find Patricia blogging about health, technology and travel at PatriciaAPatton.com