Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Understanding and Leveraging External and Internal Influence for Increased Sales
Posted on May 3rd 2012
As marketers, our ultimate goal is to influence others – to develop affinity for our products, to act in support of our values, and to choose our brand over those of our competitors. Leveraging influence is the single most effective and enduring asset we have in our marketing arsenal. In our new e-book, 3 Keys to Influence: Understanding and Leveraging Social Capital, we explore the ways to harness influence to grow a brand’s social capital and positively impact critical business drivers such as sales.
If there was any question that influence fuels word-of-mouth (WOM) and drives support for brands in social media marketing, consider the following:
- 90 percent of all purchases are subject to social influence.
- 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
- 67 percent of shoppers spend more money online after seeing recommendations from friends.
- Fans of brands are 51 percent more likely to buy.
We define Influence as a brand’s ability to affect or prompt action among its key constituents. We believe influence is comprised of four distinct elements. These are:
- Authority (or expertise): The degree to which a brand is widely viewed as an accepted and reliable source of information and advice on a given subject or industry, usually based on specific domain expertise. For example, Apple knows about product design, mobile devices and mobile apps.
- Reputation (or trust and integrity): The way in which a brand positions its authority. Some brands consistently share their views on a topic or industry. For example, Patagonia has a reputation for being environmentally conscious.
- Rank (generally expressed numerically, such as with a Klout score): A brand’s perceived reputation and authority relative to others in a specific industry or domain. Rank is often used to identify and prioritize, or score, influencers online. It is the key way to identify an initial set of influencers external to your brand.
- Status (or social standing): A brand’s social standing as compared to others within a particular industry or topic domain. Similar to reputation, a brand’s status in the ecosystem is affected by the consistent display of authority and reputation.
To harness influence, brands should turn to brand advocates – those who support, endorse or would personally recommend your brand to their network. Brand advocates can come from external sources, like domain experts, or internal sources, such as your top buyers.
You’ll want to weigh your business goals before defining exactly how you want to include internal and external influencers in your campaigns. Take a new product launch, for example, you’ll want both domain experts and loyal brand users to spread the word about it.
For example, when Springpad, a free app built to help people stay organized, re-launched in April of 2012, the effort was bolstered by leveraging both internal and external brand advocates. People who had previously used and loved the product used WOM and social channels to tell their world how much more they loved Springpad after the updates.
For a step-by-step guide to identifying and leveraging both internal and external influencers, plus how to run a successful advocacy campaign, download our free e-book, , 3 Keys to Influence: Understanding and Leveraging Social Capital.