Defining social media influence is like trying to quantify feelings. It lacks a baseline formula that can be applied to determining ROI. However, a sound understanding of how social media can be deployed to “influence” consumer decisions goes a long way in articulating its value. In spite of its often incalculable value, social media is indeed influencing consumers to act in response to feedback generated by friends, family, peers and businesses.
Influencing the action of others can range from the subliminal to the obvious. In fashion, celebrity media coverage has long influenced our fashion trends. Music Entertainment venues epitomize shared social values among a select, like-thinking group. This well-defined group is motivated by powerful societal trends encompassing fashion, cuisine, recreational activities and hot trends.
Although it is difficult to establish a generally agreed-upon definition of what social media influence is, it includes the influence of friends and brands alike. The premise of social media influence is based on the belief that we all are influencing each other all the time. Media consulting firm Klout has developed a system that provides marketers with a score of its influence on social media. They recommend the following advice;
- Identify social media influences that meet your prospective social parameters
- Create a social map that clearly identifies keywords, phrases, trending topics and the groups general interests of the social group.
- Participate in conversations and listen for dialog that references new trends
- Create buzz for your topic of interest.;
- Keep up with the chatter of your competition and its level of influence on social media.
Among the parameters that Klout considers in calculating a score include ratios of generated reactions verse the number of shared content, selectivity of those who are interacting and measuring the number of tweets and retweets conducted in a day. Also, a score is more influenced by how many are referencing. That is a sign that you are achieving great influence.