3 Ways Social Influence Scores Miss the Mark

by Susan Hanshaw November 28th, 2010 

The measurement of an individuals online influence is valuable knowledge. Yet lets not lose sight of the fact that size of audience, amplification probability and network influence are advertising metrics which do not take into consideration the relationship the individual has with a particular brand or their affinity with its products and services.

Brands who sell directly to consumers have a diamond-studded opportunity to leverage social media in ways that influence scores neglect. The @mention feature of Twitter enables brands to talk directly with customers. This powers the ability to develop relationships that influence customers' lifetime sales value through messages that tell your customer that:

  1. You know who they are
  2. You value the relationship you share
  3. You want to give back to them

If some of your best customers are on Twitter but their Klout scores barely hit the radar, does that mean you shouldnt invest in them socially? Of course not. Your first and foremost social goals with your customers should be to make them love you and continue to love you. And because of that love, they will continue to buy and potentially talk about you online or offline.

Similarly for prospecting on Twitter, dont seek out lists of the most influential users. Instead find people who are talking about your brand, products or services you sell, and the brands you compete with and make those people feel important.

Okay, I here it coming. Theres a scalability issue. This strategy of investing in relationships with individuals doesnt scale in social networking like a strategy that focuses on audiences. Yes, that is definitely true. But is it wise to be so deadset against something that doesnt scale if you havent even tested its potential?

Susan Hanshaw

Susan Hanshaw is the Founder and CEO of Inner Architect a direct marketing firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her focus is the integration of social media with direct marketing.

innerarchitect.com

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3 Responses to “3 Ways Social Influence Scores Miss the Mark”

  1. Susan,

    Great post. I think anyone still grappling with whether or not to engage with their audience from a ground-up, peer-to-peer, level has and will most likely miss this boat. A diamond studded boat of opportunity to say the least. :)

    While I use social media for my own company and brand, I do testify to the age-old question of ROI and social media out reach rarely show strong correlations in the bottom line. However, without my community of friends and peers online and in the twit-o-sphere, I would have a fraction of the leverage that I have when it comes to having word of mouth brand support. I prefer to see the relationships and friends I have created for me/my brand as a living army of brand ambassadors. Something that Seth Godin would confirm champions any blanketed campaign, especially in the long run.

    Relationships are beyond powerful and are immeasurable. If a company feels the need to measure their relationships in order to makes dollars & sense of this time investment, than this concept will not work out for their purposes.

    There is no right or wrong, just an objective of business. People will value relationships in business differently – and success will come in many forms – it is just which path people choose to get there. I have chosen the nostalgic route of having sincere relationships with people who are willing to interact and share all of our messages with all of our individual yet interwoven communities. No matter how digital we get – it is about reaching people, and the best way to do that is through people.

    Cheers to you and to all of the people that make social media an uplifting and pervasive media to engage in!

    Andrew
    @WineSoiree

    • Andrew,

      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment, which in itself is an example of how social media has the power to build strong and sincere relationships.

      I am seeing these kinds of relationships with customers and prospects happening with a measurable and positive ROI through Twitter. The necessary ingredient is a strategic contact strategy similar to direct marketing strategies in the email and postal channels. Twitter is simply a more loving communication channel, so imagine what can happen when you apply a warm human touch to a marketing science!

      Cheers!
      Susan
      .-= Susan Hanshaw recently posted: Marketing ROI- Guide to Hiring a Social Media Marketing Consultant =-.

  2. [...] Susan Hanshaw går rett på pucken når hun formidler at et fokus på innflytelse, kan komme til å stå i veien for den viktige relasjonen, nemlig med dine egne kunder. Her er Hanshaw sine bonusargumenter når det gjelder den uovertrufne verdien av direkterelasjoner: 1. You know who they are. 2. You value the relationship you share. 3. You want to give back to them. [...]