Social Influence Marketing : A New Science to Develop!
Since 2009 and the lightening-speed emergence of Klout, the concept of online influence has evolved a lot. The approach used by early adopters has rapidly evolved from being quantitative analysis (like Klout and other currently available online tools) to more qualitative metrics (based more on achievements). Suddenly, the importance of social scores take up much less room in the debate, and interest has immediately turned to the recommendation of ambassadors who represent a greater value for company name brands (see: Social Media Influencers or Social Media Ambassadors : What Is Their True Value ?)
However, Klout’s newly modified algorithms will likely affect the score most influencers currently have (and their relationship with the brands). This means we can expect users to play an even more important role in the game.
Six Major Social Influence Marketing Trends
The science of influence marketing in social media continues to evolve. And observers’ attention is now turning towards new metrics, focusing more on the actual values of influence such as commitment and user confidence. In a recent post on BusinessesGrow.com: Six Hot Trends In Social Influence Marketing , Mark Schaefer describes six major social media trends:
1 – The notion of influence in social media is finally emerging from the experimental stages, and is becoming progressively more prominent in the various marketing agencies’ campaign budgets.
2 — Social influence is hitting the streets – small businesses and merchants are finally benefiting from programs that reward established loyalty (through perks) put in place by measurement tools.
3 – Influence marketing is still a new science, but it will become an increasing concern for professionals who will continue to discuss and share the best practices.
4 – Measurement tools tend to further integrate recommendations from peers among their metrics and are still seeking a way to get these online interactions and exchanges in order to convert the consumer
5 – New measurement tools (such as Appinions from Cornell University) now put social media influence into context and are evolving towards the metric analysis of user sentiment.
6 – More and more companies are currently integrating measures of influence internally by compensating employees who are best at being brand ambassadors (such as PepsiCo.)
These six major tendencies have been observed by expert, as Mark Schaefer, as within the industry. They effectively illustrate how influence marketing will become an increasingly important strategy for brands and agencies.
Eight Ways to (Re)gain Generation C’s trust
Nevertheless, when examining social media’s current context, it’s important to closely monitor the growing impact on the new online consumer that is Generation C. (Read: Social Media Influence : Understanding The New Generation C)
Cheerfully enjoying the tremendous viral power of their recommendations and their ability to impose new economic rules, Generation C users now require new, more social rather than commercial approaches to marketing. In some ways, they reveal themselves as the true social media influencers.
Currently, in order to engage these social consumers businesses and traders need to gain (or regain) their trust. In an infographic relayed by @DR4WARD (Dr. William J. Ward) in his blog, Mark Smiciklas (Intersection1, Vancouver) recalls the eight essential steps to build (or rebuild) trust within one’s network (The Path of Building Online Trust – 8 Steps to Build Social and Online Trust):
1 – Communicate honestly and freely admit your errors.
2 – Never use the personal information provided by your contacts.
3 – Never break a commitment.
4 – Make sure you respond quickly to every situation.
5 – Show integrity through your approach.
6 – Demonstrate high ethical standards through your marketing.
7 – Adopt a charter that is open and transparent.
8 – Create history of positive interactions over time.
These are the eight simple but unavoidable steps that business owners will have to learn to implement in order to (re)gain consumer trust online.
What did you think of this article? Join the debate and share your thoughts. What trends will the new science of influence marketing adopt? Are these eight rules enough to (re)build consumer confidence?