Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Do You Need High Scoring Influencers or Everyday Advocates?
really matters most, quality or quantity? If I believe most of the popular influencer stat measures (Technorati, Klout,
PeerIndex, etc.) then it must be quantity of followers. But is that really what you are after?
If brands are seeking to get mentions in front of large numbers of people, then I would like to introduce them to the concept
of mass media advertising. After all, not only does such media produce boatloads of eyes and ears, but
it allows the marketer to entirely control the message. (And if you think one is free, and the other is
costly -- not so fast, but that’s a discussion for another day).
12:03 pm edt
We don’t believe quantity alone should be the measure. We believe that advocates and influencers
are impactful and valuable when they communicate with people that know them TRUST them. Not only is that
typically not a matter of quantity, but it may even become a situation where quantity becomes a negative. Just
consider how many individuals in your world that you actually know so well that you would trust their every word.
solutions are great for accomplishing many objectives, but when it comes to determining what produces consideration and actual
purchase of products and services, things are not quite that trackable yet. We believe that quality matters
and that having a thousand everyday advocates who each speak and write (online and offline) to personal friends,
neighbors, classmates, relatives or co-workers can be far more valuable than several highly rated influencers who reach thousands
of “friends”. And it takes a totally different strategic approach to arm and nurture those
everyday advocates than it does to buy those high scoring influencers.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It's the Content Stupid
Among those of us who probably spend too
much of our time thinking about marketing and media, the big issue this week seems to be who broke the story of the killing
of Osama Bin Laden. Some say it was Keith Urbahn, once chief of staff for former defense secretary Donald
Rumsfeld. Others say it was Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant from Lahore, Pakistan, who was in the neighborhood
of the raid and tweeted about a helicopter hovering overhead.
11:50 am edt
In both cases the announcements came via Twitter and some are using the story to declare that traditional
news media and their reporters have been replaced by citizen journalists. But before we totally write off the traditional
news organizations, let’s take another look at the facts. Apparently Mr. Urbahn’s later tweets
suggested that he was only reporting a rumor and that he wasn’t sure it was true. Further he announced
that his source was actually a contact within one of the traditional media news gathering organizations. As
for Mr. Athar, a tweet declaring that a helicopter was hovering over his neighborhood (in which he presumably did know that
Osama Bin Laden was a resident) is hardly breaking the story. Further, while we can go back now and connect
the dots, I wonder how many Americans actually follow tweets of Mr. Ahar or any other Pakistani IT consultant.
My point: Those who feel the
need to declare that one medium (traditional mass media) is dead in order to promote the importance of another (social media
networks) are WRONG. The two are additive. Traditional media outlets plus social
media networks together deliver more and faster communication of news. I can certainly guarantee that those
fans at the Mets-Phillies baseball game who started chanting "USA-USA" weren’t all following either Urbahn
or Ahar on Twitter but more likely got the news via phone or text message from – you guessed it - either directly from
traditional news media feeds or from friends at home following those sources. The learning should be that as
marketers we need to concern ourselves with the content. Improving the quality of that content and getting
our stories delivered through as many credible sources as possible. That includes both traditional
media and those citizen journalists (your current loyal customers).