It's not enough to be specific. Especially if you're being specifically rigid about the way to look at things. Did you think your way or ideas was the only way? If you want people to care, you need to be the first one to do so - and meaningfully. What about respect? Something else you give to get.
Attractiveness is about pull, not push.
Influence -- building and leveraging it -- is a topic that has held much discussion in marketing communications and now social media. Instead of learning to employ change to re-energize, a topic we'll tackle next week, businesses are looking to change channels for continuous maximum impact.
Indeed, you cannot expect a Fortune 500 company to give up mass anything to fill its pipeline -- it just wouldn't be sustainable. Yeah, you can fall in love with Dell's Twitter outlet case study until you compare that amount to the revenue (and profit) the company needs to make to stay in business.
So we look for new answers to old problems: getting the word out. A new Forrester report from Augie Ray and Josh Bernoff outlines Peer Influence Analysis. From the executive summary:
[...] we now know that people in the US generate more than 500 billion online impressions on
each other regarding products and services — more than one-fourth the number of impressions advertisers make. Furthermore, 16% of the online consumers generate 80% of these impressions. These numbers come from Peer Influence Analysis, our new model to help marketers quantify reach and connect efficiently with the Mass Influencers for their products and services. Based on this analysis, marketers can develop programs that draw in, engage, and unleash the power of influence in social applications.
Bernoff and Ray distinguish between influence impressions and are about 256 billion generated in social networks, and influence posts, around 1.64 billion multiplied by an estimated 150 readers each or 250 billion. That's how they got to the 500 billion number.
The two types of Mass Influencers identified in the report are straight out or Gladwell's The Tipping Point and they are Mass Connectors and Mass Mavens. The first group has a massive number of connections, the second massive insights and knowledge to share. To me there are several people who travel in both circles.
Social Broadcasters do not equal Mass Influencers and need to be treated separately. You go ahead and identify your Mass Influencers using the Social Technographics Profile, and you're on your way.
Except for getting the word out is not really the problem is it? The problem is getting people to care.
So what do you do with this information? How do you get to the care part?
1. Take a look at what organization behaviors are sought and appreciated by your buyers -- and you can do that through their digital body language and the information they share about you. Things like:
- constant innovation and experimentation -- the ultimate example is Apple
- re-imagining the world -- what if everyone took better care of themselves? what can you do to deliver a necessary message about health through entertainment, for example?
- aligning around good -- the ultimate universal meaning, in your flavor
- presenting products as stories -- how fun, educational, engaging that would be
2. Build meaning into your interactions -- whether they be with a person representing your business, or what your business does. For example:
- communicating deeper meaning people can opt into beyond a product or service
- creating alliances with other products and services as part of a market ecosystem
- sharing information and knowledge, out-teaching your competitors
- being a true representation of your brand, believing in it yourself
If you think about the brands you love, you'll probably see some or many of these characteristics and behaviors at work. For brands to become a true part of conversation, they need to be intertwined in the very fabric of it -- means to a meaningful experience and connection for the people who buy them.
That is true influence.
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of Forrester's Peer Influence Analysis report as part of the company's media outreach efforts.]
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.