You might’ve seen Collective Bias’ distinctive logo on blogger websites, or chatted with their friendly staffers at conference events or on Twitter. But some bloggers still don’t really know what Collective Bias does and what it means for bloggers.
We caught up with Courtney Velasquez, Community Director for Collective Bias, to dig a little deeper into what CB is all about.
Courtney Velasquez has served as Community Director for Collective Bias over the last six months. Her daily responsibilities include management and oversight of Social Fabric™, Collective Bias’ exclusive closed community of influential social media personalities.
Through her position in Collective Bias, Courtney plays a pivotal role in the creation of social media strategies that benefit online influencers, brands, and, ultimately, consumers. Courtney original joined Social Fabric as a community member in 2009. During her six months as a Collective Bias staff member, she has tripled the size of Social Fabric and created campaigns and strategies for such clients as ConAgra, Murphy USA and Elmer’s. You can find Courtney online at DetroitMommies and @CourtneyDetroit.
Courtney, what is Collective Bias?
Collective Bias facilitates the creation of real shopper media by connecting groups of social media influencers to the brands and retailers they use in their daily lives. Through the Social Fabric community, Collective Bias drives conversations on a wide variety of social media platforms in order to build consumer engagement and brand loyalty that ultimately lead to sales conversion.
Do you have a selection process for who becomes part of your organization? What types of bloggers do you look for?
The Social Fabric community is made up of influencers who have been primarily invited by current members of the community, but bloggers can apply to join the community, and everyone has to go through the formal approval process. We review an applicant’s blog and other social media presences to gauge their commitment to the space and to see how much reach they have in their various social media channels.
We’re basically looking for bloggers that are committed to blogging as a practice and committed to the concept of community. Social Fabric members help each other in ways far beyond participation in brand-sponsored projects. We have raised money for members who lost their homes to floods and comforted each other through family tragedies. I wouldn’t go so far to say that all of Social Fabric is a family, but we are a very close-knit group of people committed help each other, and Collective Bias’ clients, succeed in every way.
Why should mom bloggers want to get involved with CB and Social Fabric?
Social Fabric community members have the opportunity to be brand ambassadors, serve as consultants, run campaigns and participate in social shopper insights missions and activities.
Each campaign for a Collective Bias client provides several ways for Social Fabric members to participate. We include community members in the campaign development process and select the most highly engaged community members to lead campaigns. We’ve also had several clients invite community members to their corporate strategy meetings as trusted advisors and consultants. Each opportunity is exciting and different.
Describe a typical brand opportunity or campaign with which bloggers could get involved.
We have two types of campaigns. Social Feedback℠ projects involve sending a group of community members in-store to shop a particular product or product category and then engage that group in conversation about their shopping experience and home product usage. The results of these activities help to immerse the group in the product category and generate shopper research insights that we can take back to our clients.
Social Conversation℠ projects are public-facing campaigns intended to generate visible social media content around a product launch, a new product innovation or seasonal product awareness. We work with the community to design “talkable” activities around client products that will lead to interesting blog posts, videos and photos for their readers.
Let’s talk about what everyone wants to know about: money. Does CB/Social Fabric offer paid opportunities or other perks to its members?
We pay community members anytime we ask them to participate in an activity. When we send them shopping we compensate them for the cost of the product and their time to go shopping.
When we ask them to participate in a more structured activity, such as building better Easter Baskets during the holiday season for Hershey or creating helpful family meal solutions for ConAgra’s Marie Callender brand, we pay them for the time it takes to create and execute those activities. All content generated from these compensated activities is fully disclosed by our community members at every step of engagement.
How would a new blogger sign up?
Membership is by invite only, but interested members can reach us via Twitter @collectivebias or Facebook.
Once a new blogger is accepted into Social Fabric, what is the best way for her to get involved and hit the ground running right away?
Once a new member is accepted into the Social Fabric community, they first join the New Member Group where the meet other new members, as well as learn from Advisory Committee mentors.
What differentiates Collective Bias/Social Fabric from other brand/blogger programs?
We really feel our mission in life is to change the face of modern media by injecting the consumer’s voice into every part of the media generation process. We feel privileged to work with almost 1,000 influential media professionals each and every day who are helping us to realize this change.