Building a BetterInfluenceMousetrapSo you know who the big trade pub authors are but do you know all the relevantbloggers? You may know who the top journalists are covering your industry but doyou know who on YouTube or Twitter is currently influencing your potentialcustomers? Marketing has changed. The days of only sending out press releases isdead. There is more opportunity to create rabid brand ambassadors than everbefore. Do you REALLY have the information you need to be competitive?Turns out it’s alot harder thaneveryone thinks!The idea for SocialMatica was born out of necessity. We were manually trying todo a “simple” task for a client. The client provided a list of players (the usualsuspects!) to contact to spread their message. We just scratched the surface inasking: “ how did you come up with this list of individuals”. There didn’t seem tobe any definitive reasoning behind it. The answer we received was “those are thepeople we always contact”.
Our research uncovered a list of over 100 individuals that were unknown to themarketing person but were just as (or more) relevant to the topic at hand. Theseindividuals weren’t even on their radar. The interesting part about this revelationwas the person supplying the information turned out to be a marketing executivefrom a big name company and not some underling in a small unknown company.SocialMatica wasborn!SocialMatica is a silicon valley startup company created with the sole purpose ofuncovering the most influential people in your market. We designed this softwareto pull information from across the web to produce a scientific list of influencerscurrently available to the marketing profession.The success of that project was a real eye opener. If a client that was as wellfunded and connected was not aware of how to reach an entirely new audience ofinfluencers then what chance does the smaller, underfunded company have? Theopportunities are limitless in this new area of marketing. Kind of like “where noman has gone before”.We gathered a very talented team together with the sole purpose to identifyinfluencers. It didn’t take long to see this was a complex task. The simple question“what is an influencer” resulted in hours of long conversations. It was essential toanswer this question in order to move forward and build the software to extract thisinformation. Another question that popped up during our discussions was “DoesTwitter really matter?. The experience of figuring out all the details and at thesame time building software in parallel has been challenging to say the least
How do weexplain whatSocialMaticadoes?It’s easy to say we provide you with a list of Influencers. But HOW exactly do weexplain all the complexities of this challenge we’ve undertaken? Believe it or not itwas our CTO, Marty Harris, who provided the best answer, and that answer is inthe napkin sketch below. At first it was just a fun way to talk about what we weredoing internally but the more we referred to it the more we felt we needed to shareit.I’m currently running a contest over at our favorite crowdsourcing designwebsite 99designs to turn it into something slightly more PowerPoint-friendly butthe first draft is simply too good not to share!