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Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report

social influence marketing

Over the weekend, Shiv Singh from Razorfish, sent me an advance copy of their soon to be released report on Social Influence Marketing.  Once again, the folks at Razorfish delivered a solid report that captures the essence of what Brand Managers need to be thinking about in a world where “actions speak louder than advertising.”

While I highly recommend reading the whole report, here are a couple of nuggets that really jumped out to me:

  • Brands must socialize with consumers: It won't be enough for brands to craft powerful messages and push them through different media channels. They will need to participate directly in conversations with consumers and provide more meaningful value exchanges.
  • Brands must develop a credible social voice: Brands will need to focus on developing credible voices for SIM. These voices will need to be more engaging, personal, humble, authentic and participatory than traditional advertising messages.
  • Brands must provide a return on emotion to their consumers: Social media is a great tool for building symmetrical brand relation- ships, in which both the brand and the consumer reap equal returns from their relationship.
  • Brands must know the effect of influencers throughout the marketing funnel: It is essential to know how influence changes in each stage of the marketing funnel. That information should drive when to focus on which influencers and how to surface content from those influencers on corporate-owned digital properties.
  • Brands lack significant credibility in the digital realm and on social platforms: Brands should explore new ways of marketing on the social platforms that help build trust and credibility first and foremost. It is no use devoting significant marketing efforts to this space unless you've already figured out how to serve as a trusted brand. The social platforms require a new marketing language - one that mustn't be overlooked.

In addition to the above, I was also fascinated by the new Social Influence Marketing (SIM) Score that Razorfish has released.  The SIM Score measures two critical attributes:

  • The total share of consumer conversations your brand has online (measure of reach)
  • The degree to which consumers like or dislike your brand when they talk to each other about you online - consumer sentiment (measure of likeability)

Measurement continues to be a factor that holds back Social Media marketing so it will be interesting to see if SIM begins to take hold.

Finally, the report touches on two remaining trends that I think have tremendous potential for Brand Managers:

  1. Social Ads: As the reports states, “Social ads are about infusing social content and a user's social graph directly intothe ad unit itself.  Advertisers can build social features into the ad units - when and where appro­priate.”  In my opinion, some of the best work in Social Ads comes from SocialMedia.com and their People Powered Ad Products.
  2. Social Graphs: Razorfish defines the social graph “as the network of personal connections through which people com­municate and share information online. These personal connections can be based on common interests, professional experiences and offline social relationships.”  As I have written before, Social Graphs may be one of the most powerful forces for Brand Managers in the year to come.

Fluent is a great read and really touches on many key points around Social Influence Marketing.  And I think they summed up the report best with this point:

Being an active brand means accepting the fact that the days of formulating one big idea with multiple executions are behind us.  Being an active brand means that each day you interact with your consumers based on how they interact with you and with each other.

Well said.  Now the hard part for all of us is starting to really act like an active brand.

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