I had a lot to share on this subject, so this is the second post of a two-part series. If you missed the first part, read it here.
Yesterday we looked at the specific metrics that can be used to measure personal influence. Today we will discuss how that influence will be used to create value.
Having strong online personal influence will most likely be leveraged in two different ways, depending upon the person and the brand/marketer involved.
People who have an established network of followers and readers will be able to draw attention to other brands from within their own personal sphere of influence.
Professionals with a large group of Twitter followers or blog readers will be able to drive attention to a product or service from their network of other professionals (the Robert Scobles of the world are a good example of this).
Public personalities, such as a reality-show star, who have established a social network during their moment of fame will be able to offer that attention back to brands and marketers with quantifiable metrics. (We kind of saw the reverse of this with Tila Tequila).
Individuals within an specific group, such as indie music fans, will be able to quantify their social influence by the number of bands and fans they are connected to. Music labels could use these metrics to find the influential members of the target audience to share unreleased music and information about new bands, thus “seeding” the audience to help grow a fan base. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about influencers in The Tipping Point. Metrics like the ones listed yesterday will allow companies to more easily identify these social influencers.
Aside from showing your own personal value, there will be tremendous value in also showing the ability to use and succeed within social channels. For example, a successful ebook may demonstrate the ability to spread ideas, regardless of the relevance of the topic.
Take the example of a candidate applying for a marketing position who has built a large online network around their hobby of knitting. They maintain a blog about knitting (with a high number of monthly visitors), a large Twitter following for their knitting-themed account, a monthly email newsletter, and participate in online forums and comment on other blogs, all related to knitting. They have shown an understanding and appreciation of online social communities. Even if the job they are applying for has nothing to do with knitting, the demonstrated ability to effectively use online marketing channels is a valuable skill.
So who is listening to you?
We are witnessing the death of mass marketing and advertising. In an attention-based economy, the new currency is social influence. Being able to illustrate that influence with quantifiable metrics will increase your worth as a marketer and as an employee. So get to work building those metrics. The numbers won’t lie.
One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.