Context-driven influence beats one-size-fits-all absolute scores

Social Media replicate the mechanism of society. Like in everyday life, we act in social media as individuals, we behave actively or passively depending on the specific context, we simply listen to some topics we are interested in or we express our opinions on others, we impact on others’ opinions and we are influenced by other people.

In this context, a mass marketing approach would not only lead to fail, but also let you miss the opportunity provided by social media to relate with your target, individually, regardless of the location and many other barriers that you might experience in “everyday life”.

An effective marketing approach should consider that at the heart of Social Media there is the individual, his/her own relationships, topics of interest, feelings and opinions, influenceability, trustability, authorship, natural sense of belonging to a given community and physiologic aggregation with other communities.

Savvy marketers are definitely moving towards more individual-centric and much more context-driven marketing approaches.

Let’s focus on the influence marketing, one of nowadays key practices.

The influence marketing leverages on people trusted in specific domain and impacting on a specific audience to reach target customers. This perfectly applies to social media, but the marketers should avoid generalisations.

One-size-fits-all absolute influencers that are also active in your topic of interest will not allow you to reach the envisaged target, to create the engagement and interaction you need to increase your visibility, loyalty  and sales.

A wise approach to influence marketing starts from the following simple considerations:

  • everyone can be an influencer, but not all influencers are effective on your target audience and for your campaign (budget size, content type, etc)

  • the most effective influencers are those that have an impact on your specific target audience, a community that acknowledges their authorship, expertise and reliability within the given domain.

  • the influencer’s domain of influence, the influencer’s profile, the community impacted by the influencer and their features – gender, location, language, other topics of interests – constitute the context and need to be considered during the identification and selection process of the influencers.

The real challenge for a marketer is to identify the right influencers to impact on the target audience and to create a Ripple Effect maximising the amplification of its message.

A few takeaways about influence:

  • Influence is context driven – domain centric and community related: the influencer’s authorship, expertise and reliability are recognized around a specific topic/domain and/or within a specific niche.
  • Influence is a complex concept: Influence is not based on a community size only (e.g. followers, fans), but above all on in-domain relevance, domain-related engagement and amplification capacity of the specific individual

  • Influence changes over time: Influence depends on the intensity of social media activities and the engagement produced during a period of time.