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.
It ‘s a given – Celebrities are social. Transformed by the Red Carpet, interviews and filling the stream via Social Media. Some are using the social universe well to promote… And that’s exactly NOT what I’m talking about.
Do today’s media stars really get, or understand, the power of social media. Do they get the power of engagement that they have at their fingertips? Are they using the relationship they have with those who follow them to change beliefs or effect change? If they are not, then I stand by my belief that they are not social influencers, despite what their rankings might say on Klout or other measurement tools.