15 January 2013 1 Comment

Social Noise and Social influence: A guide for decision makers

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

influencer Relations, Online influencers relation, influential marketingThe level of noise is at the top of the roof. Everyone is talking and that may be good in some ways. Everyone now has the vocal or publishing power as long as the individual has access to the internet. Those who are constantly making decision on online influencers relations as well as advertising budget are often in dilemma on way to go and strategy to employ.

Many online account holders want to be seen as  power broker or tribal leader. This is not limited to individuals alone but corporate organizations. In some cases it is the Agencies’ actions that make some of the corporate offenders guilty. They will promise unrealistic goals. There may be nothing totally evil about a desire to command influence and build engagement around a cause, the challenge is the process. We must note that an influence with a shaky foundation is as good as useless.

Appearance and noise on social media can be misleading. It will take technology czar sometimes to make meaning out of the noise. In a matter of law, everyone may look like a saint or presumes innocent until cross examination begins.

The reality of fake accounts on the social media is an issue today. As we know, influence is often seen on numbers of followers, fans etc. Having followers in Millions makes a brand look great and influential. At least on the face value. Unfortunately, this does not translate into engagement. Even if we even refuse to accept this, the existence of fake accounts and huge investment of some brands in ‘buying’ fans and followers make the issue of engagement and influence illogical.

If a brand is truly influential, will it need to buy followers? I recently stumbled on an info graphics from Social Selling University on followers of many leading global brands on twitter. The question is why is it difficult to identify fake twitter accounts? The info graphics offered a tenable answer. Many fake account sellers/creators often randomly follow influential users and tweet once or for a few times before abandoning them. Unfortunately it was discovered 53% of fake account dealers and buyers have between 4.000-26.000 fake followers. But before we go further here are the discoveries on the twitter accounts which range from companies, celebrities etc At least if the info graphic claim is valid.

39% of @facebook followers are fake, 34% of @ladygaga followers are fake, 31% of @justinbieber followers are fake, 32% of @katyperry followers are fake, 32% of @espn followers are fake, 33% of @britneyspears followers are fake, 27% of @youtube followers are fake, Barrack Obama has 29% fake followers, 38% are inactive while 33% are good. Of CNN, 30% are fake, 43% inactive while 27% are good followers etc. The question then is does that means there are no genuine influencers? The simple truth is there. But we must accept the fact that some of their followers’ may be in inactive mode for a while. What should decision makers do before investing time and money in online influencers’ relations?

Follow their track records: The info graphics cited example of Mitt Romney, a Presidential aspirant in the US, it was stated that between one day 20/7/2012 and 21/7/2012, Romney followers grew from 673,002 -789,994(an increase of 17%). A careful analysis showed 4 out of 5 new followers were created less than 3 months earlier and that one in four of those accounts have never sent a single tweet. The moral, never jump into conclusion on who an influencer is.

Numbers sometime do not translate into influence: That Lady Gaga has more klout percentage (just assuming) than President Obama does not make her a more influential in term of global perception. Know what your parameters are.

What is your goal? : Why do you want to engage in online relations? This should be  the cardinal point of what you should be looking for. This should help in doing proper classification, segmentation otherwise you are flushing money through the drain.

Over to you, what do you think?

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