The Key to Influence is in the Action You Inspire

03Feb11

I’ve been doing a lot of work on influencers lately. Finding people who are influential around certain keywords is no easy matter.

There are many tools that can help you wade through the deluge of data points out there like Klout, mPact, Peer Index, Twitalyzer, RowFeeder, etc.

Some of these tools have come under fire in recent months, since it seems like everyone has their own definition of what makes someone influential. (I myself even have my own ways of finding those that are “influential”)

What has occurred to me though is that URL shorteners are in a unique position to be able to measure influence in the social space.

Why you might ask?

Well, my statement is based on a simple assumption…

Influential people drive people to action.

Brands are looking for “influencers” who will drive action around their products, aka buying said product.

One of the few actions we can track fairly consistently is click-thrus. So it lends itself to think that URL shorteners (or community management tools that have built in URL shorteners) could be in a unique position to leverage that data to measure influencer across it’s users.

If there was a way to combine that data with your web analytics, then I assume that there would be a way to track sales.

So what’s your take? Is this logical? Do you see a better way to possibly track influence?

Do you even buy into the idea of “influencers”?

 

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2 Responses to “The Key to Influence is in the Action You Inspire”

  1. I’m with you. I think the idea of “Influencer” is a myth created by companies trying to sell their products.

    I believe Influencers are single-topic, short life cycle opportunities that are “small waves” in a very large ocean of human behavior. I think companies are better suited to stop pursuing this mythical being and focus more on the products they sell, the relationships they know exist, and simply try to be more effective managing “knowable events”.

    Simple solutions exist even in this very complicated digital world.

    K2

  2. Thanks for the comment Keith!

    Influence is something that’s been rolling around in my head lately and it sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking about it as well.

    I really admire how Andy Sernovitz talks about it, where it isn’t necessarily about influence, but who does the talking. People have those they turn to for advice about everything… the uncle to help you buy the car, the friend who just went through purchasing a new house, what brand of detergent grandma recommends for getting out X stain.

    We look to our networks, both online & offline to make these buying decisions. The whole thing is not about what “influencers” you reach, but more about how you get people talking about your brand and building a relationship which encourage them to recommend your product.

    The idea of influencers (as I see it in corporate marketing these days) is more about what can I get from the influencer to help my brand. Not how can I leverage the ties this “influencer” has to glean insights about my customer base to make a better customer experience. (which I think what marketing should be about)

    I come from the nonprofit space, and I think social media is embedded in our DNA because they way nonprofits operate is completely focused on the people (there are exceptions to this, trust me). It’s been a bit of a shock going into the corporate world where conversations, at times, can seem much more shallow and focused on the brand instead of creating an experience the customer wants to engage in. Brands operate in ways where it is all about them, which is why throwing money and sponsorships at a bunch of “influencers” is something they can understand.

    I guess my goal as a social marketer, to put it simple, is really to do awesome stuff that people will want to talk about.

    I’ve sort of rambled on and espoused a lot of untested thoughts that were rattling around in my head, but your comment gave me the opportunity to put to text a lot of those things, so I thank you!

    Hope to see you commenting again soon (or at least whenever it is I have time to sit down and bang out a new post). 🙂


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