Will @aplusk end slavery? On reach vs influence.

    Sam Mutimer

    I’ve been giving some thought recently to how we identify ‘What is effective social media marketing?’
    Is it about the big numbers – the most YouTube views? The most Facebook fans? The most diggs?
    To wit: What works??
    I’m not talking so much about ROI (that’s another story)Â but more so social media marketing that adds value to our lives and to brands.
    @faris suggested to me that we still seem to quantify successful social media activity using the old (advertising) formulas.
    (simply) impressions = conversions = revenue.
    Increase the former and your should increase the latter.
    But does this still apply and, importantly, does this apply in social media?
    Some of the bigger names on Facebook and Twitter are courted to endorse a product, event or service (impressions). The expectation is that influence in one sphere (let’s say Reality TV – hello @kimkardashian) can be transferred to another sphere (local fashion?)
    impressions = conversions = revenue
    Booty Call to help local brands

    “OMG, it’s like… OMG” [OMG!]
    Sure the ‘booty call’ was fine but I’d suggest the activity only generated fleeting interest for associated brands – particularly through social media.
    OMG is not always remembered weeks later.
    I recently came across an article that suggested the post popular twitter users (based on followers) were not necessarily the most influential (retweets, mentions). The article suggests while we like to talk about the twitterati we are not talking with them or even about what they tweet. The article concluded:

    A user’s popularity .. is not related to other important notions of influence such as engaging audience, i.e., retweets and mentions. Retweets are driven by the content value of a tweet, while mentions are driven by the name value of the user.

    The notion of reaching key influencers online to champion your message or idea is not at all new. The popular communications theory (put forward by many, years ago) maintains that:

    … by targeting these influentials in the network, one may achieve a large-scale chain-reaction of influence driven by word-of-mouth with a very small marketing cost.

    More recent thought suggests the key factors determining influence are actually:

    1)Â the interpersonal relationships among ordinary users, and
    2) The readiness of society to adopt an innovation

    From my own experience I have to say I’m loathe to RT or share anything from a ‘personality’ on Twitter. Like many people, I followed a few names I thought might be interesting. Not many of them were. They oscillated from the truly dull to the over-hyped.
    “Meh” I thought.
    The people that have really kept me interested are the everyday users – people I may or may not have met – but people I can visualise, identify with and who share their humanity with others. Excited people. Imperfect people. People I can connect with at some level.
    These are the people that influence my thoughts and actions more so than any @kimkardashian or @aplusk can hope to.
    Do you care what Ashton Kutcher thinks about slavery?
    Are you more likely to take an action to end slavery if a close connection has done so or if Ashton says it’s cool? Maybe both?
    To my mind the best campaigns are those that make interactions and connections between the everyday users better (impressions+). More meaningful, more interesting and more about ‘us’. You and I.
    Recent research suggests that, for many of us, our identity is chiefly linked with our friends and what they think about us. For many of us it’s becoming more about what you share, link to and post rather than what you share offline.
    “You are what you tweet” I guess?
    RT @rene “I post therefore I am”
    And if your brand has something great to share, something that adds value to people’s lives, this is where the focus should be:
    How can you add to people’s lives and their connections with one another in a meaningful (if fleeting) way?
    One example of enriching connections through social media is the new Rapstar game by Def Jam.

    It’s a (baggy trousered) Movement.
    The best feature of this game is how social you can make it.
    Solo kareoke is pretty crap but get some friends together and it’s a party. If Hip Hop is your thing this is gonna be huge for you. You can share your rhymes through Facebook and get your people to bump you up the game rankings. You can ‘battle’ with people through twitter.
    Maybe the new formula is more like:
    (simply) content = shares = revenue
    This is the challenge I set myself: Make it worthy of the share.