The Evolution of Influence.To understand the enormous potential this tool has, we will take a look at how marketing has evolved and how social media is an opportunity waiting to be capitalised on even greater than it currently is.
Marketing aims to deliver value for customers, clients, partners and society. Marketing ultimately is all about influencing people at the moments that most influence their decisions (Court, Elzinga, Mulder & Vetvik, 2009).Court, D., Elzinga, D., Mulder, S., & Vetvik, O. (2009). The consumer decision journey. Mckinsey Quarterly, (3), 96-107.
Marketing aims to influence as many people as possible. Traditional mediums for marketers to reach their target market are television, billboards, radio, magazines and word of mouth. They try to push consumers (Court, Elzinga, Mulder & Vetvik, 2009).
Consumers pull relevant useful information.2/3 of touch points in the active evaluation phase of purchase decision making are consumer driven; eg Internet reviews, word of mouth, in-store selling and reflection upon past experiences.
This traditional marketing model has been translated into the IT world, enter eMarketing. All of these e-mediums have degrees of influence like never before. For example a video can reach millions in a matter of hours. Information is shared faster than ever. Influence has never been cheaper and easier to achieve.
A glance at social media user statistics….https://business.twitter.com/en/basics/what-is-twitter/http://press.linkedin.com/abouthttp://www.youtube.com/t/press_statisticshttp://www.engadget.com/2012/06/27/google-has-250-million-users-more-mobile-than-desktop/
The biggest social media platform is Facebook. Facebook has 955m users of which 552m are daily active users.Facebook as a product for consumers is all about sharing information, whether it be news, photos and videos just to name a few (Facebook, 2012).http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22
Facebook has tworevenue streams – ads and royalties from 3rd party applications such as FarmvilleAdvertising on Facebook is at the heart of why Facebook exists. Ads on Facebook are targeted to segments specified by the advertiser. For example, when I worked at a large IT organisation, I would get dentistry ads offering a 10% off discount as I worked for IBM.
All of the mentioned eMarketing options provides something greater than just information; they provide a platform for word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising (Keller, 2007)WOM product reviews have been proven to increase sales (Moe & Trusov, 2011). Moe, Wendy W. and Michael Trusov (2011), “Measuring the Valueof Social Dynamics in Online Product Forums,” Journal ofMarketing Research, 48 (June), 444–56.Keller, E. (2007). Unleashing the Power of Word of Mouth: Creating Brand Advocacy to Drive Growth. Journal Of Advertising Research, 47(4), 448-452.
Online Influencers spread their thoughts and opinions out into the social media world, thus via word of mouth.Online influencers are people who are either a)in your network, b) credible in a field (bloggers, YouTube gurus), c) celebrities and companiesBut how does a business recognise who is influential and who isn’t? How can they target the right influencers to spread word of mouth regarding their product or service?
Klout is an online social media tool which measures influence. Influence is defined as, ‘the ability to drive action, such as sharing a picture that triggers comments and likes, or tweeting about a great restaurant and causing your followers to go try it for themselves.’Measures influenceInfluence: The ability to drive actionPerson is scored out of 100
Klout allows users to connect different social media platforms in order for them to generate their Klout Score. They also provide a summary of some basic interaction statistics.
It is important to remember that an individual’s amount of connections do not directly correlate to a higher scoreKlout scores are Generated over a 90 day windowAll engagement contributes to Klout ScoreContent generation is key
Klout allows users to recognise their influencers and see which posts/updates/tweets were the most influential.
Klout enables users to pick their topic of influence. Once they have picked that topic of influence, their relevant content may be posted for anyone browsing that particular topic to see.
Klout offers different perks according to an individual’s Klout score.
Businesses therefore are able to target specific users with perks according to their Klout score and topics of interest. There are over 2000 businesses are utilising Klout. One Hotel in the USA, searches customer’s Klout scores in order to decide whether to upgrade them for free or offer them tickets to Cirque du Soleil
Influencers who receive perks will naturally be happy and want to share that information with their social media networks. This generates word of mouth advertising for the business; the most effective form of advertising.
Businesses achieve greater word of mouth advertising as a result of targeting the right influencers, whilst not being viewed as another annoying advertiser.