Guest post by Dan Zarella, author of “The Social Media Marketing Book,” published by O’Reilly.
When you’re trying to find targets for a social media marketing campaign, you should be looking for two types of people, influencers and audience. Your audience is the people you’re trying to sell to, this is a wide swath of potential users, clients or customers. They may or may not be heavily involved in social media and they may or may not have large followings. Your influencers are the people your audience listens to. They are actively engaged in the social web and can communicate with lots of people. They are the vector for your contagious messages to spread through, to reach your audience you should seed your campaigns to your influencers.
The Future of the Social Web is here today and we’re learning that engagement is not a matter of if or when, but to what extent, how and what value can we deliver and derive from it. The Social Web is much more than a window into information and interaction, it is a completely transformative medium that is changing how we forge relationships, interact with one another, and distribute and discover information. In many ways, the online social revolution is reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution.
A recent study revealed 20 percent of tweets published are actually invitations for product information, answers or responses from peers or directly by brand representatives. Now we learn that Twitter users are actively paying attention to brands on the popular information network.
According to research conducted by Performics and ROI Research, about half of Twitter users who were introduced to a brand on Twitter were compelled to search for additional information.
Prior to keynoting the PACA conference in Miami, Maria Kessler, president of the PACA Association, asked me if I had read a recent post by Fred Wilson entitled “The Golden Triangle.” We were deep in conversation as I was seeking an alternate title for my next book that identifies the divide between brands, information, and consumers and how we can, as social architects and engineers, build the bridges between people, contextual relationships, and technology. While “The Golden Triangle” isn’t a contender for the name of the next book, it did get me thinking.
This is the uncut version of my latest post on TechCrunch…
Measuring individual influence in Social Media is as coveted as it is elusive. While many tools claim to calculate authority, it is the definition of influence that requires clarification in order to grasp the relevance and differences of existing tools and services.
For the sake keeping this discussion on track, let’s define influence. According to Merriam-Webster, influence is having the power or capacity to cause an effect.
While the title invites a predicted round of wordplay, I will spare you the attempts at low hanging witticisms.
I carefully considered this topic before sharing my views. In doing so, my perception might have altered since the news of Hollywood studios banning film stars from using Twitter initially broke.
It’s not a secret that Hollywood has a long history of controlling what is said in the media. Like in almost every industry it touches, Twitter has completely disrupted the chain of command, democratizing influence and shifting the power of publicity, control and reach of information from executives to communities – for better or for worse.
The role of influence is changing and diversifying and with it, the rules and responsibilities of engagement are also reshaping. While PR, analyst, and investor relations were clear yesterday, the rise of new influencers, tastemakers and authoritative users and customers becomes both pervasive and uncertain. As such, new opportunities for engagement emerge; creating new opportunities for cultivating distributed relationships. However, each new connection requires management, a support infrastructure, including a dedicated host.
Over the past several weeks, leaders in the search industry launched an aggressive, very public series of campaigns designed to capture the elusive future of search mind and market share.
What follows is my opening address to the Social Media World Forum…
As we look ahead to 2010 in the world of social media, we should first stop to appreciate how far we’ve come in this journey to new found relevance and presence.
Social media served as a great equalizer. The technology and the corresponding networks that freely connected us, democratized the ability to publish and share content, weave more meaningful relationships, as well reset the ecosystem for establishing and wielding influence.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.