Lynne d Johnson



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04.29.11 12:11 PM

(Video) Social Connections: FastCompany/iMeet

Here's some vids from a virtual social media panel I moderated for Fast Company & iMeet back in March. It included:

Katie Bisbee, Senior Vice President, Marketing,
Amber Roussel, Co-Founder, Ah-Ha! Creative
Teddy Goff, Associate Vice President, Strategy, Blue State Digital
Jim Moran, Co-Founder, Yipit

Topic: Can Social Media Start A Revolution?

Topic: Why Was The Obama Campaign So Successful?

Topic: Why Have Crowd Funded SItes Become So Popular?

Topic: Why Would A Brand Want To Build A Niche Community On Facebook?

Topic: What Is The Next Phase Of The Groupon Model?

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04.27.11 12:32 PM

Have We Forgotten About Influencers?

Right now, there seems to be a lot of work in social media marketing with Facebook (primarily) and Twitter (secondarily) as communications and engagement channels. Then there's the location-based service and deals options that the industry is working to try to get consumers purchasing more.

But I'm becoming more and more interested in Influencers and Advocates, especially since some of my early work building communities at BlackPlanet, VIbe, Spin, and FastCompany focused directly on this. I think it's become a missed opportunity for many marketers, especially those clamoring to get up an FB page fast and who forget all of the other social strategies that might work for their business.

Some recent findings out in the wild, got me to thinking more about influencers and how we can better work with them.

1. Klout recently announced the redesign of their site with a focus on helping people better understand and use their influence. Putting the power in the hands of the people, will only help individuals better understand how they can be of value to brands.

2. TrendWatching recently released a brief called The F-Factor, in which they focus on how the influence of friends, fans, and followers on consumers’ purchasing decisions continues to become more sophisticated and thus more powerful. This underlines Klout's claim that everyone has influence. This also highlights that it's not only important to focus on A-listers, A-bloggers, A-tweeters, or A-Facebookers, or whatever you want to call them, but it's important to focus on groups that have impact and influence for your brands. Like mommy bloggers for big box retailers. Or young African-Americans and Latinos who use social media for mobile phone companies.

3. Or how about the news from BlogHer and Devries earlier this year that: "Blogs are more than two times more likely (63%) than magazines (26%) to have inspired a beauty product purchase over the last six months."

Basically, blogs are still important. And not just blogs, but each and every person who posts an opinion about a product or service. It's like Joseph Jaffe's Flip The Funnel, the book that teaches us "How To Use Existing Customers To Gain New Ones." From his "Death of A Website" AdWeek Article (also in Chapter 14 of the book):

"That's not how the world works anymore. Web sites are not ends unto themselves; they are simply a means to an end. You don't want your customers to move into your stores-you want them to buy into whatever you're selling and take it with them into their own homes where they consume it, share it and tell their friends and families that they enjoyed it. So why should you expect something different from the Web? Today, consumers' digital homes are their Facebook profiles, their blogs, their custom-created communities. That's where they "live" in the digital world and that's where we need to hope they invite us to come and hang out from time to time, not the other way around."

The thinking is really no different than what I wrote in "Can Social Media Effectively Track Influence?" back in 2010:

"Both the A-list social media influencer and the niche community influencer can create impact (and influence) for your brand. But it's really those who tech blogger Robert Scoble once called passionates that will drive your brand advocacy. In that case, it's not always about how many people they're telling your story to but the actual stories themselves that they are telling about your brand—the ones that are engaging and in turn driving more people to tell your brand's story. That's real influence. And that's where quality and quantity converge. It's a blueprint for how companies should think about developing relationships with their consumers and potential consumers, as well as how they should think about measuring those relationships."

So as we think about how we create brand identities in digital/social spaces, let's not forget about the influencer--who is actually the everyman/woman.

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