Looking at a message and trying to achieve the same communication in each object or screen is increasingly myopic. Context is critical because more and more our attention is split between distinct activities in more than one device. It’s about in which object the message is viewed and its timing, because we have different mindsets in different moments. Object goes back to understanding culture, because throughout history the objects we choose have always defined us, while timing relates to utilizing our constantly evolving understanding of the workings of the human brain. In traditional marketing, the belief was that the human brain is only capable of processing so much data and can be overwhelmed when too much information is thrown at it.
Measuring online influence is not an exacting science springing forth from today’s social media vehicles, even though that’s what Klout tells you. They’re using a façade of what’s happening today to cover up the simple fact that influence has existed for centuries and can’t be measured as easily as they state. In fact Klout, Kred and the other tools work very hard to make us believe that the awareness they are measuring is equal to influence.
Many businesses today can benefit from using social media influencers to help inform and motivate others about their product or service. The major problem, though, is finding the right tool to point out the influencers who have the most likelihood of being helpful for your cause. Choose the wrong tool and you could be wasting a lot of time and money, while your competition is making sales. Most sites, which promise to measure social media influence, like Klout, are simply measuring popularity instead. It seemed like we would never have a tool that would truly be able to find these critical influencers, but along comes Jugnoo, the new on-demand social CRM platform (mobile and web) in the cloud.
I’ve done some reading lately which has brought together and focused my theory of marketing through online influencers. Awareness Networks published a white paper entitled “3 Keys to Influence: Understanding and Leveraging Influence.”
They report several strong reasons why marketers should seek social media influence:
90% of purchases are subject to social influence
90% of consumers rely on recommendations from people they know
67% of shoppers are willing to spend more money online after seeing recommendations from friends
So, the theory goes, if we identify the main social influencers, we should be able to effect change or motivate action. That’s where the debate begins…who are the influencers and how do we find them? The Awareness Report then lists elements of influence as authority, reputation, rank, and status. While some of this makes sense, I believe they put too much emphasis on rank.
Social media has forever changed marketing and business. I believe it’s for the better. I’m calling this era a brandvolution, because it’s time for customers to naturally select what brands will survive based on who a brand is and what they stand for. As a result of these new and inexpensive social tools, businesses are jumping onto social media as means to communicate with their customers and create awareness. But, thanks to social media, the conversation between businesses and customers has become a two way street. Today, businesses are not the only ones building the brand’s message, customers are too. Customers are either talking about how much they love a brand or how the brand has disappointed them lately. Regardless, the truth is getting out for the world to see.