Digital Marketing

Word of mouth or word of click? Influence or awareness? Art or science?

First of all let’s talk about influence. What is influence? If you search the word “influence” in dictionary you will find the definition “the power to sway or the ability to change behavior”. For marketers or innovators it means how do I get the consumer to buy my product? If you think like Malcolm Gladwell, you will answer – world of mouth epidemics. But things are slightly different now, aren`t they? I do not believe that they have changed dramatically.

While the technology has changed rapidly, people have not. We had world of mouth epidemics before, we have world of mouth epidemics today and we will have world of mouth epidemics in the future. Nowadays, marketers have turned to social – media networks like Facebook and Twitter to create buzz around their products.

Why social media networks? Social media experiencing explosive growth. Because of Millennials, demographic cohort, who are born in the early 1980`s. They have shown us the new way of living. They have taught us the new way of thinking. And the digital era of marketing was born.The old-fashion approach of looking someone who is famous to promote the brand does not have the same impact in social media. The traditional measurement tools do not work in social media. Instead of measuring popularity, marketers need to measure the person’s “affect” and “effect” on others. How they motivate others to do things and how that impact on your brand worth?

What impact do tweets, shares and likes have on sales? Is there any clue how social media influence is viewed? How do companies get a bigger return on their investments in these channels? To get a clear view, changing behavior is not the same as someone`s just taking an action such as a “like” on Facebook or retweeting an ad for some product. It is making somebody think about what is being presented and then taking an action because of it. Hence, the brand awareness and sales are met. Companies realize that once consumers started talking about what they did and did not like in online forums, these people might influencing others, and the good news these chatterers could be identified. If you can identify people who generate a willingness to purchase in others and know what works to activate their authority, then you can create a new product about influence that will really measurable value to brands. There are klout measuring services that actually do measure retweets, total retweets, neutral followers, number of followers and friends, likes, likes per post and commenters.

It is very important to note that retweets and reactions – they do not mean that anyone has been swayed. Influence is not just getting people to take a passive action. It includes getting them to think about and do something that they otherwise might not do. The people designated as influencers react with excitement because they realize that their online activities are being measured and valued. More content means only more awareness. Awareness is important and helpful to marketers, but it`s nothing new. Social media is just another way of building it.

In a world where the “people” hold all the power, movements are much more powerful than campaigns!

Having a lot of Facebook or Twitter followers does not make a person influential in any way. The real influence drive action, not awareness. It gives them audience. There are two dimensions of social influence: advocacy and audience. The audience is just a number, it does not have impact. All you need is real advocacy. The advocacy is totally conditional. How do you do that? First, Find and identify your passion fans. Get them into the same online room and encourage and motivate them to be your brand ambassadors. Second, activate your audience. Make people aware of what you are doing. The most important thing, do not ask your influencers do cover your product! Ask them to cover you movement! A movement are not about product, they are about passion! Fortunately, movements get result. Results that you couldn’t even imagine. Making money and making influence, it seems, goes hand in hand.

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