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Social media influencers — can you be one?

August 12, 2008

Social media has created what is called the influencer. Chris Brogan links to me on his Twitter feed and that leads to a blog post of mine getting on the front page of WordPress. This leads to hundreds of views in the span of 48 hours.

Like I said, he’s an influencer.

Over at Logic+Emotion, Armano (a big influencer himself) kinda talks about this:

“More and more, I’m wondering if it’s possible for organizations to act like the individuals who are often times beating them at there own game. If people like Robert Scoble are beginning to feel like a one-man media machine (never mind social media—he’s transcended that), then is it possible for the reverse? Can companies emulate what individuals are doing and gain credibility for it?”

I think the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, I present this as an option when talking to our clients. Personally, I think a brand can create a social media goal that could turn them into an influencer.

Now, before we go any further, “be an influencer” should not be the goal, any more than “create something viral” is a goal. But engaging in social media for the purpose of solidifying a brand is a perfectly sound goal.

I would write it a little differently. Maybe something like this. In the case where a brand has the tagline “Leader in blankety-blank”, we would attempt to prove blankety-blank in social media. But not the tagline. Taglines come and go. Think more about product attributes, and pick the best one.

The brand can use social bookmarking to bookmark everything to do with that attribute, but on a consumer level. Think shampoo. The product attribute might be that it’s got the perfect formula for getting hair shiny. The consumer attribute would be shiny hair.

The goal is to create the aura of expertise around that particular thing.

Admittedly, this isn’t guaranteed. But it can be a valid goal that has all sorts of side benefits like SEO, and brand awareness.

Think of it this way: advertising is about using marketing to say something, “We’re the expert in shiny hair” in a funny, compelling, or otherwise clever way. Social media tools can be used to prove it. And like other forms of marketing that have a holy grail at the top, “becoming an influencer” could be the result of a well-executed plan.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2008 7:52 pm

    You make it so hard to find your about info on all your blogs, it turns out. : ) Found you eventually.

    Influencers. In some ways, it’s nothing. In other ways, it’s something to figure out. I’m writing a book about B. : )

  2. August 14, 2008 1:26 pm

    If brands can figure it out, then social media becomes more than just ‘conversations’.

  3. August 25, 2008 4:41 pm

    Don’t think social media created influencers, they’ve always existed. Like the guy in high school who got all the girls. I always wanted to wear the same stuff he did.😉

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