A few months ago, Fast Company magazine attempted to find out who the most influential person in social media was. This amounted to a popularity contest of who could get their social media “friends” to nominate them to Fast Company. Not exactly what I’d define as influential.
A person’s level of influence will vary based on their industry or experiential expertise.
After 30 years of marketing for more than 80 companies in 18 different industries, I have some level of influence regarding marketing.
On the other hand, when I used to go to Las Vegas during the first and second round of the NCAA tournament with data on the performance of every team in the tournament I had some influence over how people chose to place bets on games.
To really find out if someone is going to be influential in your particular area of interest, read his or her posts and ask yourself the following questions:
– Does this person write or comment about industries, brands or companies in which I am interested?
– Is he or she respectful of brands?
– Are there advertisements on the site? Are they real sponsorships or affiliate networks and Google ads?
– Has he or she ever written about my industry, brand or company specifically?
– If so, has he or she been fair and objective?
– Would my ideal customer or target audience find this blog interesting? Why?
– How many comments does the average post have?
– What percentage of comments are from the same people over time?
The key to measuring influence is identifying people who can activate their followers. An effective influencer must be able to take a passive group of people and make them do something, not just click on a site.
How have you identified online influencers in your business?