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Actionable influence ™

June 11, 2008
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There is an evergrowing attempt to identify the most influential people on a given topic and, although I find this an interesting study, I don’t really see how actionable this is, for a social marketer.

OK, you just figured out that the most influencial people on Microsoft strategies are: Steve Balmer and Bill Gates. So what… the chances that you’re able to send these people a Facebook invitation are still very small.

That’s why I ‘d like to suggest a more hands on approach:

  • Listen, Listen … I love the sentence ” anybody with a match can start a forest fire” (from this CMA Blog). I’ll add, unless you’ve got heavy rain or a snow storm or just happen to be in the desert. So listen and spot when it’s dry enough and ready to burn.
  • Not all matches are equal, Not all fire are the same: use the customers words, immerse in his conversation of the day, provide information and knowledge that he/she can benefit now. Don’t risk getting doused with a bucket of water by the first blogger you anger.
  • Take influence as a verb (influence somebody) not as a noon ( influencers) . Figure out who YOU, or YOUR TEAM can influence, spot 40 trustable people with decent influence on your favorite topic. People that you can reach and that will read your prose, people in your LinkedIn or Facebook first circle. Here is a reference article from Steve Rubel on Trust
  • Seed as you test – test is still a core function of marketing insn’t it – then seed big. Use buzz, outreach to “test, adjust, ignite” and advertising to refuel…. until you get critical mass and find your road to tipping point. (See Dan Zarella on social influence)
  • Set reasonable expectations, most of the time, it’s not gonna be viral but you’ll have learned a great deal down the road.

You’ve probably noticed you’re on a “solution provider blog” and as you guess, our solution makes it possible to execute these steps with high productivity and quality.

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