You undoubtedly know someone who can recommend all of the best restaurants, coolest movies, great places to shop, and even best places to get your hair cut. When you trust that individual, that person can have influence over you. It’s no surprise that there are very influential people in the online world, who may be obscure except for the people who follow them and listen to what they have to say. It should come as no surprise that companies such as Klout have come along, attempting to measure online influence and how it can affect buying behavior.
Well-known marketing professor and educator Mark W. Schaefer writes in his book “Return on Influence” about a graphic designer for the city of Los Angeles named Calvin Lee. Calvin does graphic design by day, but is one of the most sought-after online celebrities in the world in his “other life”. 80,000 people follow Calvin’s Twitter account, which includes a variety of content, from graphic design articles to celebrity news. Calvin’s audience that trusts him, so brand managers around the world seek him out, hoping his influence will persuade his followers to think favorably about their brands. Among many other things, Calvin was selected for a week-long test-drive of a brand new Audi A8. He received a pass to a House of Blues VIP event at at the private Las Vegas Foundation Room club, hundreds of dollars in gift cards from American Express and other brands, and even a chance to hobnob with celebrities at the VH1 Do Something Awards.
Calvin Lee is a Citizen Influencer. Much like people who host Tupperware parties or recruit friends and colleagues into multi-level marketing businesses, he’s an everyday person exercising his influence. Brand managers and even smaller businesses are taking notice of active social media users and publishers who have audiences that can be motivated to take action. Connecting your accounts to Klout will yield a score based on the topics Klout’s algorithm thinks you’re influential in and your perceived ability to move content around the web.
If you’ve taken the time to read your Facebook comments, you may have noticed the same names popping up with some regularity. When monitoring our client pages, we will see questions be posted and previous customers answering them. Even when negative comments are posted, you will see satisfied customers coming to your defense. Those customers could be targeted for rewards on their next stay…and though you couldn’t require it, you could find them leaving good reviews and comments. People who blog and otherwise write about travel and tourism also could be encouraged with a variety of rewards.
Finding those who can influence others to take action is an important part of using social media to it’s fullest. We’d love to help you with that process.