Too many brands are looking at influence in a bit of a backwards manner. Social media is fairly wild and unpredictable world, filled with activity and a lot of words; words that matter. The focus needs to shift to relationships when measuring the effectiveness of influence, along with the effectiveness of a brand’s overall web presence.
Social media and the web world in general need defining measurement tools, in order for brands to not waste their time and money. The basis of influence is about connecting to your audience through powerful voices. These voices have built strong relationships with your audience, so you need to work on building meaningful relationships with the influencers who matter to you.
Much like in the real world, relationships take time and can be undone in a few wrongly calculated moves. Understand what makes an influencer tick, and on the other hand you need to understand the behavior of your audience, and essentially why they are trusting certain influencers.
Most brands are still wrapping their heads around the concept of influence, how to measure it, how to market and communicate online, but they all know that it matters. You have to look at it through the same lens that you do with traditional marketing and communications. It is simply about connecting to those who matter, and getting them to advocate on your behalf. In a way, you are courting those who you think matter to your brand’s success and longevity.
Time, effort and the innate ability to listen and reflect will go a long way in not only building and wielding influence, but in measuring its success.