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Influence marketing and social influence scoring platforms: they’re not the same

From State of Play for Influence Marketing in 2013 – Infographic @ dannybrown.me:

Identifying individuals who sway online consumer opinion on specific topics and within specific communities has become critically important to marketers and public relations professionals.
A slew of social scoring platforms have emerged with claims that they can identify who influences who online while providing various tools and scoring systems to rank those who are influential and those who are not on a variety of topics.
However, as with most early adopters, their efforts have been widely criticized. Some say they’re just misunderstood and that the technology is just too new.
Either way, there’s one certainty: Marketers and public relations professionals are taking notice.

Key insights:

  1. 68% see Influence Marketing as a lead generation and customer acquisition practice, not a branding exercise.
  2. Marketers and PR professionals see a clear difference between the practice of influence marketing and social influence scoring platforms.
  3. More than 50% will be allocating budgets for Influence Marketing strategies, more than 60% reported no budgets will be allocated for "social influence scoring platforms".
  4. 79% of respondents have used social scoring platforms; 55% state social scoring platforms are ineffective at identifying influencers.
  5. 94% of te marketers surveyed don't fully trust the metrics of social influence scoring platforms.
  6. 74% reported that they will deploy "influence marketing strategies" as part of their marketing mix in the next 12 months.
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4 facts about online influence

From The State of Social Media and Social Media Marketing in 2012 at socialnerdia.com:

  1. People don't trust brand as much. They are influenced by friends/family/contacts (Source: Vision Critical, “Online Social Networks: Trust Not Included” (.pdf) Sep 15, 2010-
    Active social media users also tend to be influential offline (Source: Nielsen, State of the Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011)
  2. Influence is shifting from media to individuals. As a consequence, startups are rushing to measure and rank influencers (Source: Eloqua & JESS3, The Message is the Messenger, March 8 2011, Forrester 2010; AdWeek, A Million Little Klouts, Dec 14 2011)
  3. Influential people can spread messages faster than ever.
  4. Today's mega celebrities engage directly with fans; some became influential by spreading content online (Source: Dissecting Justin Bieber infographic by Crisp Social, Mashable Nov 6)

More in this slidedeck below:

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8 theories about influencers

From The state of influencer theory on the social Web:

The discussion about influence’s actual being has been ongoing since the social Web first began. As the infographic depicts, there are several theories influencing the professional conversation.

  1. The Tipping Point (2000) by Malcolm Gladwell: Movements are caused by three types of influencers: connectors, mavens (subject-matter experts) and salesmen. Examples: Old Spice Guy, Dell Listens.
  2. Six Degrees/Weak Ties (2003) by Duncan Watts: Data analysis shows influencers rarely start contagious movements; instead, average citizens provide the spark. Examples: Egyptian revolution, Tumblr – Digg events.
  3. One Percenters (2006) by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell: It is the content creators amongst Internet communities that drive online conversations. Examples: Lady Gaga, Ford Fiesta.
  4. The Magic Middle (2006) by David Sifry: The middle tier of content creators and voices break stories, and discussing that trickles up into widespread contagious events. Examples: 2008 Obama election, Motrin Moms.
  5. The Groundswell (2008) by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff: Movements start within communities, and leaders rise up out of the community and can have many roles including content creator, critic and collector. Examples: Haiti earthquake texting, Pepsi Refresh Project.
  6. Trust Agents (2009) by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith: Influencers are people who build online trust and relationships with communities that look to them for advice and direction. Examples: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV, Republican Party’s #FirePelosi campaign.
  7. Free Agents (2010) by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine: These trusted influencers are independent of traditional command and control organizations and crash into walls of storied culture. Examples: @BPGlobalPR, Robert Scoble at Microsoft’s Channel 8.
  8. Leaderboards (2010-11): Influence can be quantified by online actions taken by a person’s community, including retweets, mentions, comments and more. Examples: Klout, Empire Avenue.


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