In an effort to understand the new Influencers Marketing phenomenon, I decided to try and identify some of the influencer’s characteristics and skills. This information is based on my experience, observing several individuals whom are perceived as influencers by me and others in the online world.
I can envision few derived action items possibly taken following this information:
- Building influencer’s self training curriculum
- Learning to identify upcoming influencers
- Learning how to influence the influencers
The influencer – SWARM
I came up with the SWARM acronym to help remembering them, because it reminds me the metaphor for describing the human behavior following an influencer call for action; like a swarm of bees reacting to environmental change.
|S – Storyteller||Know how to tell a good story. Hers and others.||Vision, Inspiration||Collect inspiring stories to share.
Focus on possibilities and not on constraints.
|W – Well-rounded||Technology, Marketing, Selling, and Communication savvy||Respect||Read outside of your domain. Work on turning week points to strength.|
|A – Ahead||Patience, Analytic, Confidence, Distinctive||Leadership||Be curious. Make very little assumption. Ask questions and look for answers. Reverse engineer. Try to write, and explain how it works.|
|R – Resist||Can see outside the common thinking.
Extract signals from a lot of noise.
|Priorities||Read a lot before making an opinion or taking side.
Read a lot to build solid baseline for comparing it with new information.
Read Seth Godin – reading his blog posts regularly is a good training for counter thinking.
|M – Motivating||Know how to break it all to manageable tasks so other can execute.||Education||Design a plan from one point to the next including tasks, milestones, and objectives.|
How can we use this knowledge for Influencer Marketing – ideas:
Your thoughts about influence?
What do you see as the key virtue and skill for becoming an influencer? How do you plan to find rising influencers in a new niche? As a marketer, planning to leverage an influencer’s call for action in order to convey your message, how do you plan to approach her?
Picture credit: umjanedoan
Mashable, Techcrunch, Gizmodo and Huffington Post posts are re-tweeted over and over again. Brian Sollis, Seth Godin and a couple more bloggers’ posts are all over Twitter and other social media channels. Even traditional news and media publishers now have vast social media presence. I can only praise the great quality of these bloggers, thinkers, thoughts leaders, reporters and analytical brains. I have one small observation: lately, social media and twitter in particular, are making it actually hard for me to share yours!
- It is hard for me to share links from the sources mentioned above. When I see it, the link is already shared so many times, and across so many social media outlets, that there is no point for me to share it again. It seems as if these blog posts are everywhere almost as soon as they come out.
- It is getting hard to find the second and third tier of bloggers. Maybe here lies the new potential for services like blog and twitter search engines. Give me the option to exclude the top 10, 100, 1000 most known/shared blogs.
- This is why I don’t like Digg but I do like StumbleUpon!
- I like to get to know some bloggers from the new long tail – the bloggers from the old one seems to move up to the bell area and joined the mass media.
The irony is that sharing is one of the Social Media corner stones.
Cognitive dissonance (from Wikipedia) – is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one’s beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena.
Do you share more or less lately? How do you find more interesting bloggers?
picture credit oddsock
I was recently amazed to see how many books on the Top 100 bestsellers list are ready for pre-order!
What is the twitter connection?
Just search on Twitter Search for pre-order+amazon+book. By the way, books are just one of the many items that are available for pre-order on Amazon. Apparently twitter helps to close the sale cycle faster, even before the product is actually available. Twitter helps to quickly raise awareness to the upcoming products. I also think that Amazon is doing a great job sharing this information here.
I wonder how that list looked few years ago in the pre-twitter era.
So maybe the real-time web is not just about the present but includes the near future too?!
picture credit: aussiegall
I’m also proud to have a book on Amazon Kindle store! My new eBook is available in Kindle version here: Timing the tweet
The most significant change to my reading habits since I started reading blogs is that I started reading a lot more blogs. What that I lately realized is that there are growing number of different options for getting blog posts streamed to my browser.
- Pros: Since I check my email regularly I know that I will not miss it.
- Cons: I will probably get the post few hours later and if there is something “hot” to share it might get cold by the time that I will see it.
- Use: This subscription option is only reserved for few blogs that I know will provide information that has value (above and) beyond the day of publication.
Reader subscription (RSS)
- Pros: Fast to receive and fast to read. Especially, if you are using GoogleReader and invest the time to learn some of its cool shortcuts.
- Cons: You have to know what to look for. It takes time to build and organize reach blogs list. There is only a little room for serendipity.
- Use: It is a great way to keep half open eye on lots of blogs. It is also possible to see it like a magazine start page via feedly.
Tag based real-time subscription
- What is Tag based Real-Time subscription? Using new technology and real-time protocols like RSSCloud and PubSubHubBub, blog service like wordpress, can notify us about new blog posts as soon as they are published. Let’s leave the buzz word for a minute because in my mind this is only half of the big news. The second half of the change is that it is tag based. If you don’t know what tag and tagging is please read Wikipedia explanation here. Let’s go for a use case to explain the value of this new capability. Let’s say that I like to read about Social Media. The way that I did it in that past was to Google “Social Media”, or to set a Google Alert looking for web pages with the “Social Media” keyword. I could also check the Wordpres tags page searching for the Social Media tag. These option are all either slow or tedious.
The new real-time RSS protocols are tag based. In human language it means that it is possible to retrieve new blog post by tags.With the adoption of these new real-time protocols and the fact that they are tag based, it is possible to get new blog posts while they are still “hot and fresh” into your browser. Service like LazyFeed let you list several tags to listen to. You can read more here. Now, back to our use case. I can add the socialmedia tag (no space is allowed) to my tag list and start reading new fresh blog posts about this subject.
- Pros: I don’t have to know the blog name, url, or feed url like in the Reader subscription case. I can just listen to certain tag(s). I get new blog posts as soon as they are published. I get a chance to lean about new blogs and blogger that I can later promote to one of the other subscription way. Tags are not hierarchical but they are associated somehow (some times hierarchically) so I can drill down to switch listening using related tags.
- Cons: Not all blog services adopted this protocols yet. Some time it is just too fast. I would like to see more invested in the usability and scalability on the client side. It would be nice to be able to combine both the Reader and Tag Based Real-time subscription in a single tool.
- Use: It is a great way to learn about new blogs and bloggers. It is a great way to find new content for sharing on Twitter.
Just remember that blogs reading leads to more blog reading:)
So, how do you take your blog?
- Share news
- New tool, addon, web-site – like the mini launch of a new online real-time community, cliqset, or the re-launch of Pijoo as a purely content-driven service.
- New book, movie, album– the new Dan Brown The Lost Symbol (the bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code).
- Stats – up, down, on top – for blogs, for book, movie, album. Maybe how much a movie made in its first week.
- New Trending Topics – this is another way to break the news. Just look at TwitScoop tag cloud or Twitter Search Trending topics.
- Winning a prize – like announcing Hilary Mantel as the Man Booker Fiction 2009 winner
- Connect the dots
- For new book, movie, album – add link to previous work done by the same creator. Example: similar to the way I just did with the Dan Brown’s example above. I made the connection to his previous work (it is not that obvious in many other cases).
- For a person add link to multiple places where she has presence on the web. If we take the Hilary Mantel as an example point to her Facebook page
- For a book, movie, album add link to coming event – something that take a little longer than Book Signing, The Dan Brown Way
- For news – add other items that can help understanding the context better. This is especially useful for sport event. Having the context make it a lot more interesting.
- Connect people/Introduce
- For new band, author, producer, or actor, provide their twitter username (include the @). Example: The book the Lost Symbol has a twitter account @lostsymbolbook (administered by his US publisher, Doubleday)
- Point to hot discussion. Example: If you like book talks check #litchat
- Active #hashtag – not just the most active (and some times abused) from the Trending Topics. Find others from one of your twitter timelines or twubs.
- Engaging blog – blogs with lots of comments activity – use BackType. Example: I found this blog post Kiss “Sonic Boom” Review with 45 comments (the last one I saw was from October 6, 2009 at 10:25 pm). I searched BackType for CD review.
- Popular item: bestseller, popular on Glue, Amzon, B&N. Example: This is fairly trivial. Here is Amazon Bestsellers in Book page (hint: check how many days the book is in the top 100 – look for the more recent additions).
- Compress (encode/decode) greater knowledge into short messages
- The best example that I could find is @cookbook – tweeting tiny recipes condensed by @Maureen. The owner of this twitter account built a @cookbook glossary that helps to convert the encoded recipes to real one.
- The second best example is StockTwits – here too, people found a way to communicate more than what the 140 characters allows.
- Because delivering value can really help you to get more followers on twitter
- Because if you use Affiliate Marketing links you can truly assist in the buying decision.
- Because it is a little more interesting than seeing the same 5 or 10 top bloggers being retweeted over and over again.
The secret for building valuable tweets
Closely examining my examples above, there are three key value drivers:
- Search – finding the data. Access to great and trusted content sources is value.
- Tying a couple or more data points together into a single piece of information (tweet). Association is value.
- Timing. Relevancy is value.
Additional ideas for building valuable tweets: attention, and help.
What other ways do you see for charging tweets with value?
If you liked this post please consider buying my eBook on Scribd: Timing the tweet