If Christopher Columbus were a marketer he would still be using Google and Facebook.
Let’s veer from the “West Indies” of social media marketing. Below is a map providing a faster route to a land full of sugar and spice and everything nice.
The Map to Social Biz Marketing
We are all in the experimentation phase of social. As marketers we explore. We set out to sea, land (sometimes in the wrong territory), track mistakes and successes and adjust our map. My map isn’t necessarily sexier than your map–but considers some recent mistakes you might not have heard about.
There’s no question that it’s important to have influencers and brand advocates on your radar. Let’s face it–it’s good to be in the light of the influencer. But influencers aren’t generally as easy to find as omniscient Oprah–they are currently moving targets.
Finding and engaging influencers, and turning them into advocate, takes blood, sweat and tears. Or at least it used to…
The good news is some people are working very hard to simplify this process. It’s now a refreshingly easy two-step process.
Step 1: Identify Your Influencers.
Step 2: Bring Them Into A Branded Community.
1. What is the easiest way to identify your influencers?
Recent college grads are kicking themselves for wasting a $100,000 dollar education “googling” all day. Fortunately for these millennials Google is possibly on its way out-at least for marketers.
What defines an influencer?
In defining an influencer there’s the philosopher‘s answer and there’s the scientist‘s answer.
The philosopher’s answer–>
Influence comes from confidence, vision and timing.
The scientist’s answer–>
If you ask Michael Wu, PhD, Principal Scientist for Lithium, he might tell you something different. In Michael’s blog The 6 Factors of Social Media Influence he talks about two criteria for gauging influence:
a. Credibility: The influencer’s expertise in a specific domain of knowledge.
Please note: There is no such thing as a universal influencer, because no one can possibly be influential in all domains. The best that anyone can hope for is an influencer in a specific domain of knowledge
b. Bandwidth: The influencer’s ability to transmit his expert knowledge through a social media channel.
Please note: Active influencers in one channel may not even be present on another channel. So influencers are not only specific to a domain of knowledge, they are specific to social media channels
Marketing is a different animal today. The way we gauge influence has shifted. As Michael wrote, not only are influencers specific to a domain, but they are also specific to a particular channel. At first glance this seems to make marketer’s jobs even harder.
How do we hit these rapidly moving targets?
The answer is Klout a service that measures overall influence across the web. To measure influence the metric considers:
- the size of your engaged audience
- the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) on a scale of 1 to 100
- Network score indicating how influential your engaged audience is
I recently met Klout’s CEO Joe Fernandez. He told me he had the idea for the company when his jaw was shut for a period of three months due to a medical procedure.
Klout counters one of the biggest fallacies about social media–the lie that that brands have lost control. Companies like Klout illustrate the fact that the power is there for the taking. Power can be re-assumed by the brand and its care-takers.
Step 2: Now that I’ve found my army where do I put them?
Courting influencers can be likened to paying for celebrity endorsements–only difference is courting influencers is much cheaper and less risky. Remember when GM paid Tiger Woods $40 million for a 5-year contract ending in 2009. Well we all know how that turned out.
So let’s make your life easier. Find your influencers and bring them into a private external community.
Stop! I know you are thinking about le Facebook. Facebook is not a long-term strategy. Rather Facebook is a short-term investment where you don’t control the data. You are essentially investing in the future valuation of Facebook.
With this map you are now investing in YOUR OWN platform. You have assumed control over your brand’s communication and messaging. This route leads to sugar and spice and everything nice. You are not in the West Indies-and you know that 100%.