There have been millions of debates on what makes an influencer in the social media world. These debates have added to the way businesses understand what the power of influencers is in a marketing reality that is mainly driven by word-of-mouth. However, isn't it more relevant to be able to identify influencers across several channels and looking beyond the obvious and often meaningless metrics such as the number of followers of fans? Influence is a relational and social element that goes beyond this first degree metrics and should be monitored throughout the whole social chain of individuals. This is how it happens, for instance, where e-mail and social are combined
Selligent Interactive Marketing offers marketers to include social sharing functions in emails, one of the many channels we include in our integrated interactive marketing approach. This possibility is offered by a growing list of ESP's as well.
Testing what makes people want to share
However, offering the possibility is only the start of what truly matters. First of all, businesses should understand that simply including social sharing tools does not mean that people will actually use them. In order to get content shared it must be matching the behaviour and triggers that make people want to spread it over social networks. So it takes quite some testing to see what works and what doesn't.
And, still, that's not enough. Most e-mail marketing platforms allow you to monitor what people have been sharing over social networks. At first sight, one would identify and segment those recipients who actively recommend your e-mail content on Facebook, Twitter and the likes. However, are these recipients influential? What matters most? The number of followers or fans they have? The answer is no.
Measuring influence beyond the obvious
The best way to know the "social reach" and degree of influence of the people behind your e-mail addresses, is to be able to monitor what happens with the content they share in a second, third, fourth, fifth, well basically infinite, degree.
An e-mail recipient who has 800 followers on Twitter and 500 friends on Facebook can be much more influential than one with ten times those numbers.
What you really want to know is how the content they have shared travels afterwards in order to see their true influence and reach.
This is exactly one of the ways the social media features of Selligent Interactive Marketing have been set up. Using special tracking codes we can follow the social sharing power of all your recipients through the whole life cycle of shared content.
This way, you are not blinded by the simple metrics, such as Twitter followers, that can be easily manipulated, but can identify the true influencers.
Segmenting and engaging influencers
Finally, it is not enough to know who these people are. What matters most is how you treat them, target and segment them and reach out to them.
Every (potential) customer is equal but just as the business of a marketer is to have loyal customers in the strict business sense, they also should focus on loyal customer in the social and influence sense.
Satisfied customers, recipients, followers and fans are all people that are not only the centre of your marketing universe but also the goal you should strive for.
Ask for a demo if you would like to discover how Selligent Interactive Marketing can help you identifying influencers and leveraging the power of word-of-mouth.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
Discover why your business should move to an integrated marketing approach step by step and how.