Discussion about social influence has really ramped up over the past few weeks; it was even mentioned as a trend for 2013 over at Social Media Explorer. We’re thrilled the subject is getting so much attention, but we don’t think this is a merely a passing trend: influence marketing will be around for a long time to come.
Along with the trend reports, there has been a lot of chatter about influencer identification and what makes someone influential. Here’s a hint: it’s not about fame, fortune or number of followers.
The Cult of Influence
Influencer outreach isn’t necessarily new; it’s been around as long as there have been major media publications, but it has changed since bloggers have become the new media. What’s the difference? It’s a completely new approach.
Gone are the days of finding the outlet with the largest audience, now it’s about finding the outlet with the most influence. This piece in Marketing Magazine tells us why James Love, with only 400 followers at the time, was identified as an influencer and invited to DigiFest Canada.
Read the full article on Marketing Mag: The Cult of Influence
It Takes More than Klout to Influence
Miley Cyrus has more than 10 million followers on Twitter, but can she influence their decisions? The answer to that question is “it depends.” If you want someone to promote your cherry-flavored lip gloss, Miley might be your girl. If you want someone to talk about diapers and baby bottles, you need to look somewhere else.
Chad at 1911 Main Street, shares his concerns about the validity of the algorithms used by certain tools to measure influence, specifically mentioning the point we were making above; it’s about context. If an algorithm to determine influence doesn’t take context and topic into account, it’s flawed.
Read the full article on 1911 Main Street: It Takes More than Klout to Influence
Can Reputation Come Down to a Number?
Imagine a world where you could query up software and get a single number by which you could judge a person. Take it a step further and imagine that number would be used to determine how much you would discount a product for that person, or how much more to charge them. That’s one of the scenarios Josh Klein poses in his article for the Harvard Business Review.
In this piece, Josh tells us that while we may want a single number to determine reputation, it’s nearly impossible because reputation is so context-dependent. “I may trust my mother to enlighten me about comparative religion, but I’d ignore any advice she might offer on how to fix my car,” he says.
Read the full article on Harvard Business Review: Can Reputation Come Down to a Number?
Listen to Customers, Engage with Influencers
On our blog last week we gave three examples of product types that make a good fit for influence marketing. We hope you didn’t take that as advice exclusive for B2C companies, because Zachary at Forrester makes a very strong case for B2B too, and tells us “Don’t let yourself be deceived; your key influencers are already having conversations, whether or not you’ve begun a marketing initiative to interact with them.”
He cautions businesses, though, that there’s more to influence than a single platform; we couldn’t agree more.
Read the full article on Forrester: Listen to Customers, Engage with Influencers
Did we miss your favorite influencer marketing article in our roundup? Drop us a link in the comments section below.