Our Thoughts and Insights

Friday 5 | Considerations When It Comes to Influencer Marketing

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Almost three billion of the world’s population are reachable by influencer marketing through various social channels, given massive monthly active users on Facebook and Instagram. The majority of brands (91 percent) use two or more social media channels. Furthermore, 81 percent of small and medium-sized businesses turn to social media to help fuel growth. This has contributed to the decline of traditional advertising and sparked an ongoing debate concerning the effectiveness of influencer marketing.

Here are some top considerations for an effective influencer program:

1. Pledge Your Commitment

A long-term strategy, including legal consultation, contract negotiations, social media monitoring and product seeding should be in place to ensure that influencers are constantly updated and aligned with the brand’s mission, values and operations. This is to ensure that contracted influencers are acting in the brand’s interest and have the best knowledge to respond to their followers accordingly.

2. Relationship-building is Everything

A successful influencer program should result in organic brand advocacy, where the influencer becomes an evangelist for the brand and defends the brand in times of need. To foster such relationships, an influencer program should include regular gatherings, behind-the-scenes tours, celebrations of festivities and milestones, invitation to industry events and exclusive product launches.

3. Identify Genuine Thought Leaders

Thought leaders display passion for their industry and have developed enough credibility in their market to provide valuable opinions and experience. They invest time and effort into becoming experts and co-create quality content for their followers, who look to them for the latest updates. Beyond creating content, they can work with brands to conceptualize campaigns, support social causes and help expand a brand’s offering. Great examples of Singaporean thought leaders would be content creator, Jemimah Wei, who wrote and produced Laneige My BB Love campaign or yoga instructor, Liv Lo, who recently set up her very own fitness portal.

4. Understand Your Audience’s Content Preferences

It is crucial for brands to understand their target audiences before jumping onto the influencer-bandwagon. While men are more likely to use social media sites like Reddit, Google+ and LinkedIn, the number of women on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook far outnumber men. In terms of content, research has shown that women prefer lifestyle-oriented content while men prefer goal-oriented content that highlights product benefits.

5. Stay Safe, Be Prepared

Brands should have guidelines prepared, to minimize risk, in cases where an influencer acts against a brand’s values or is featured negatively. Brands should be equipped with readily-available statements and protocols, to respond appropriately and be prepared for potential threats.

Friday5 | Social Good and Facebook Community Tools

Digital, News

In November 2017, Facebook held its second annual Social Good Forum in New York. The Forum came amid criticism over fake news stories spreading on its platform during a number of elections last year. Facebook has made an effort to chip away at that public image, pointing out that it helps people connect from around the world with features like Safety Check. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced even more new tools and initiatives to help make communities feel “safe and supported.”

Here are the top takeaways from those new tools.

1. Mentorship and Support

The mentorship tool lets users find mentors in a given field or sign up to help nurture young minds. They are starting a pilot with iMentor (for education) and the International Rescue Committee (for crisis recovery) to help connect people around a variety of causes like addiction recovery, and career advancement. “Facebook has mostly focused on helping us connect with people we already know. But I think it may be just as important to help us connect with people outside our social circle,” Zuckerberg said. The mentorship tool will be available only for users 18 years and older.

2. Charitable giving tools expansion

Facebook has made some major changes to their fundraising tools. Its Nonprofit fundraising tools (including donate buttons and nonprofit fundraisers), which allow people to raise money for non-profit organizations, have been newly introduced across much of Europe. Facebook has also eliminated its nonprofit fees, meaning that 100 percent of donations made through Facebook payments to nonprofits will now go directly to those organizations.

3. New Fundraisers API

Facebook’s new API allows users to sync their off-Facebook fundraising efforts to Facebook fundraisers, making it easier to share the causes they support with their communities. Facebook says that connecting fundraising to the platform can help users meet their goals faster. They are trailing the new system with Susan G. Komen, JDRF, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Movember, and will be rolling it out to 500 additional nonprofits by the end of spring 2018.

4. New Community Help API

Last year, Facebook announced Community Help, a crisis response tool where people can ask for and give the help they need to recover following a crisis. Facebook has now introduced a Community Help API, which will give disaster response organizations access to data from public Community Help posts that can offer important information about the needs of people affected by a particular crisis. Facebook will be piloting the Community Help API with NetHope and the American Red Cross.

5. Expanding Blood Donations Feature

In October 2017, Facebook launched a new blood donations feature, starting in India, to make it easier for people to donate blood. There are now more than 4 million blood donors signed up on Facebook in India. Hospitals, blood banks and nonprofits can also create voluntary blood donation events on Facebook, and nearby donors are notified of the opportunities. Early this year, they will expand blood donations to Bangladesh, where there are thousands of posts from people looking for donors every week.

2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that trust in journalism rises as fear of fake news remains high

Consumer Trends & Insight, Corporate Reputation, Crisis, Government Affairs, Media, News, Trust

Edelman Trust Barometer 2018 finds that Trust in traditional experts Rises as Fear of Fake News remains high

8th February 2018 – Trust in traditional journalism has rebounded by five percentage points to 53 percent while trust in search engines and social media platforms has plummeted by eight percentage points to 33 percent since last year, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer. The annual study shows that as a significant majority (64 percent) are concerned about fake news there is a yearning for journalism that provides accurate, credible information. According to the study a strong majority of Irish people believe that traditional journalists are meeting expectations in terms of investigating corruption (56 percent), guarding information quality (54 percent) and educating on issues (61 percent).


This year’s study shows a revival of faith in experts. Academic (68 percent) and technical (66 oercent) experts are seen as the most credible spokespeople for a company, while trust in ‘a person like yourself’ dropped 2 points to 52 percent. Trust in CEO’S as a voice of authority increased by 14 points to 41 percent.


The research finds that business is now expected to be an agent of change. 63 percent say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than wait for Government to impose it. This show of faith in business comes with high expectations. 75 percent of respondents believe that producing high-quality products and services is the most important job for CEOs, followed by ensuring that the company is trusted (73 percent) and has high ethical standards (66 percent). In Ireland trust in US headquartered companies fell by 6 points.


“At a time when people are struggling with who and what to believe there is a notable rise in trust in journalism.   People’s trust in social media as a source of news is collapsing, leaving an opportunity for journalists and bona fide experts to inform society,” said Joe Carmody, MD, Edelman Ireland.


According to the Barometer, Government is seen as the preferred institution to lead Ireland to a better future ahead of business and NGOs.    Trust in Government is also increasing year on year and now stands at 35 percent.  Over the past five years trust in Government has increased by 15 percent, the largest increase of each of the four institutions during that period.


Manufacturing (61 percent) and education (70 percent) are the most trusted sectors, according to the Irish study, with financial services (29 percent) and automotive (44 percent) the least. The study also reveals that trust in industry sectors including technology, food and beverage, telecommunications, entertainment, automotive and consumer packaged goods declined over the past five years.

The presentation is available to download and view here.

Written by: Martyn Rosney, Account Director, Corporate at Edelman

The Rise of the Machines, or Is It? What We Learned From the World’s Biggest Consumer Electronics Show

Innovation, Technology

Last week CES, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, descended once again upon Las Vegas, bringing with it 3,900 exhibitors and nearly 200,000 attendees spread across more than 2.75 million square feet of exhibit space–the largest show floor in the conference’s 51-year history. With a tsunami of news coverage, 860,732 tweets about CES 2018 and 450,554 uses of #CES2018, we’ve cut through the noise (and the darkness of the Las Vegas Convention Center) to identify the key trends poised to transform the global tech ecosystem in the coming years.

Here are our five top learnings from CES 2018:

  1. Consumer Brands are Betting Big on Artificial Intelligence

    While industry experts have been waxing poetic on AI’s potential to solve the world’s greatest problems for years, at CES we saw brands (e.g., like Hyundai with its Intelligent Personal Agent, YouTube with its new AI-driven recommendations, and LG, through its AI platform to help our smart home devices become smarter) learning to deploy AI for consumers to perform specific, often tedious tasks. With many artificially intelligent solutions (like Google Assistant which took over what seemed like the entire Las Vegas strip throughout the conference) already in market and hundreds of others approaching in the wings, consumers are finally realizing the tangible benefit of AI on their personal lives.

  2. Integration is the Name of the Game when it Comes to Voice Assistants

    It was impossible to ignore the explosion of virtual assistants at this year’s show. However, most notable was that neither Amazon nor Google announced any new products of their own. Instead, each rolled out a slew of technology partners enabling voice-assistance support into speakers, headphones, TVs, car dashboards, and even showers. The rise of virtual assistants is sure to provide the smart home industry with new life and relevance in today’s consumer landscape.

  3. Consumer Robotics isn’t yet Ready for Prime Time

    While tech giants were eager to show off how robots can eliminate the menial chores from our day-to-day – like folding clothes or interfacing with appliances – their robotic creations were less than obliging. Both on the show floor and in live demos at press conferences we saw countless robot malfunctions, LG’s stage fright-struck CLOi for example, proving that the dawn of the robots isn’t upon us…yet.

  4. The Drive Towards Autonomy – for Everything that Moves

    Autonomous vehicles were pervasive at CES 2018: Self-driving Lyft and Aptiv cars ushered attendees from the airport; Toyota previewed its e-Palette concept allowing autonomous vehicles to be seamlessly shareable between people and businesses; Intel demoed an autonomous helicopter during its CES keynote. While CES is designed to present a vision of the future, this year we learned that autonomous vehicles are very much of the present.

  5. Major Companies are Refraining from Sharing Big News at CES

    This year may have been CES’ biggest yet in terms of physical space, but major disclosures from large brands were noticeably absent overall. Increasingly, the world’s largest consumer electronics companies are opting to time major releases with their own events over battling the clutter of the CES news frenzy, with many using the conference instead to tease upcoming announcements.

Caitlin Stewart is an Account Manager in the Toronto Tech practice, specializing in Earned Media.

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