There must have been something in the water this week. From new posts by Amanda Maksymiw, Philip Sheldrake, Mark Schaefer, and John Eaton, to Crowdtap’s white paper on peer influence and hot infographic, to Q&A’s with Ed Keller and Pierre-Loïc Assayag, to FIR Live’s great video panel on influencer marketing (the list goes on), it was an EPIC week for influencer marketing. Kudos to all of us in the influencer marketing community. To the quotes!
“It’s tempting to take short-cuts and jump right in with pitches, but avoid the urge. There are situations where it’s alright to work more quickly, as when finding just the right influencers to promote efforts like deals or contests. However, for the most part, influencer strategies help you target very specific audiences with whom you need to develop credibility. To succeed, you’ll need to be prepared for an investment of your time.” – Carolee Sherwood (via @medialogic), Tortoise vs. Hare: An Influencer Marketing Case Study
“The inappropriate use of the word influence is starting to be replaced with social capital. I prefer that. However, not every social share is accretive to social capital. Social capital is destroyed when stuff is shared in disagreement, disgust or mockery. So any measure of social capital that treats negative social shares the same as positive social shares is flawed.” – Philip Sheldrake (@Sheldrake), Influence – the use and abuse of the word in social media (18)
“Social scoring is an important new business trend and it’s important to understand what companies like Klout and Appinions are up to…. But I am disturbed by this parallel consequence of people obsessing with a number as a legitimacy of their human worth. I know there is nothing I can do about that, but I’m not going to contribute to it either. I’ve been asked by my publisher to write a short book on how to increase your Klout score. It would be an easy financial windfall that would build on my previous work. But it simply flies in the face of my principles and encourages behaviors that will hurt people in the end in my opinion.” – Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer), Klout scores feed a social media sickness
“Life itself has way too much data to fit into a single Klout score. But ranking our efforts within clearly defined frameworks works great. Feeding off of Mark’s title, it’s not that “Klout scores feed a social media sickness” as much as “Klout scores are a useful remedy that is often mis-used”.” – John Eaton (@JohnEaton2012), Klout Scores Are Often Subject to Off-Label Use
“[T]he entire process should never be completely automated. Influencer marketing at its core is about developing real relationship to ultimately champion your influencers to market with you. I’d be shocked to learn about an example of this happening with automation.” – Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks), Influencer Marketing: Should You Automate Your Influencer Program? (Comments)
“Our snake oil and spam radar systems are in top shape these days, especially considering the rising level of noise on the Web. Approach an influencer from a position of value – for them and their audience. Don’t pitch a product, show them how your product or solution will improve lives. The influencer has done the hard work to establish trust with their audience. Help them understand how your product or services provides a positive outcome that is both tangible and relevant to their own market.” – Brett Henley (via @Appinions), An Introduction to Effective Influencer Marketing
“When posting something on a social network such as Twitter or Facebook, the main motivator is most frequently social signaling – what the post signals about the person who is positing it such as being among the first to try a new product, having tickets to a hard to get entertainment event, or other things of this ilk. Functional factors are the second most important – for example, product features and benefits. Emotional factors are least important – things like excitement, awe, disappointment and the like.
“When it comes to offline word of mouth, however, these three “drivers” are exactly reversed. Emotional factors are the key to offline conversation, with functional factors second. Social signaling is least important.” – Ed Keller (@kellerfay), Interview with Ed Keller, author of The Face-to-Face Book
“You have to focus on providing value. If you want people to do something, you have to make sure people understand why it serves their best interest. If it doesn’t because your product or campaign is not good enough, well… you should take a very hard look in the mirror and change your pitch and approach. For example, instead of asking people to talk about your half-baked product, get them to help you fix it. We’ve seen this work great with client of ours but it has to be genuine.” – Pierre-Loïc Assayag (@pierreloic), Finding the Influencers That Matter Most – Tips and Advice from Pierre-Loïc Assayag of Traackr
“One influencer is not “better” than another, and a large following does not necessarily mean the right following. Rather, it’s important to find the appropriate blend of influencers for your brand, which will vary based on overall business goals and even from message to message. Ongoing, careful listening – and engaging with streams of content – is paramount.” – Meryl Serouya (@AgilityAtWork), A Lesson From High School: How to Identify and Engage Your Brand Influencers.
From FIR Live’s video panel on influencer marketing:
“I think all of our platforms should come with a bit of a health warning, that you shouldn’t just stick a number on there and say this is my worth. The question should be, what do you think you’re influential in?”
“I think Kred, Klout, Peer Index – we all have a real responsibility because we are assigning a number to a human being…. Whatever service you use, we have to be so careful that it is somehow portraying some element of truth.” – Andrew Grill (@AndrewGrill)
“I think it’s our job as folks in the industry to educate people that are gravitating to the scores, because everybody gravitates towards numbers…. What we need to do is come in [and say], Of course that’s a benchmark, you can absolutely use Kred, you can use Klout. But let’s look at these other parameters, other key performance indicators, that match up with what your goal is.” – Zena Weist (@zenaweist)
“The trouble with all of this, it seems to me, … is that no one has defined influence or influencer in a consistent way. You have some of these services [like Klout] who are making quite extraordinary claims that people tend to pay attention to…. People pay attention to number without understanding what they’re paying attention to.” – Neville Hobson (@jangles)
“We have to stop perpetuating the thing about the score…. We get all fired up about the score, and then we talk about the score. It’s like this self-perpetuating insanity loop…. Honestly, I think we’re really starting to get too academic about these conversations; they’re not that complex. You have to look at outcomes.” – David Armano (@armano)
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