It has been a while I wanted to share with you this very interesting article of Techcrunch. The article questions the way people apprehend who are influencers on social media, and how we recognize them. Indeed, one of the first way brands and companies are targeting influencers are the number of people who follows them, and how many of them retweet or reply to their posts. Obviously, by doing so, you focus on the ability of one message to grow and to have a large audience. But does it really mean these people are influencial?
Indeed, in terms of marketing, is it enough to have people allowing you to grow your audience of a specific message? Does it really implies that it will lead to more business?
Social influence scores, such as Klout, measure how likely the Facebook fans of Mitt Romney are to engage and share his updates with the rest of their social media friends. However, given that many followers of Romney are already die-hard Republicans, would they have already seen a video he shares on the Drudge report anyway? If Romney solicits his followers for money, would they have already contributed through another website? In other words, social friends are sheep-like: they read the same articles, download the same apps, and give money to the same causes and politicians. Aral says that caring about high follower count could be a “waste of money” if so-called “influencers” are not actually changing behavior. According to the paper, it turns out that follower counts and retweets may be much less important than demographics, such as age, personality type, and gender in determining who is influential and who’s susceptible to social media manipulation.
One of the obvious issue, is to check at brand fanned on Facebook. The brands that are more liked are luxury ones, whereas we all know those brands are niche market ones, meaning they have very few clients. Does having a large number of followers imply more business with the few that are real clients?
Probably, one of the best way to really see what impact social media have on sales would be to identify customers with their social media accounts, but this is not really yet the case.
Thanks to the big data, the large number of users, soon we'll be able to have a clearer view of how social media impact sales, and the way people consume. It will be very interesting to follow.