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Marketing strategy: Networks of influence

October 17, 2013

Most businesses have set up a presence on popular social media sites such as Twitter, and many are monitoring for brand interaction (such as the number of likes, retweets, etc). But as a marketing strategy, there’s a big difference between using social media for brand presence versus managing a program for brand impact. The power of social goes untapped unless you are using it to access networks of influence.

As I mentioned in another post, I hosted an Ask the Experts Roundtable at the Direct Marketing Association annual conference in Chicago this week. This topic resonated with the crowd ’round the roundtable because marketing leaders are under pressure to show value with social. One marketing leader at a Fortune 500 company told me her bosses want her to “do something with crowdsourcing”. Another, this one from a collection agency, was struggling with how social applies to their product (the product one no one wants!).

Our discussion centered around the concept of empowering a network of authentic voices to drive influence, using social media. These influencers include:

  • Employees with credible voice
  • Advocates who have passion for your product
  • Partners who have interest in your success
  • Customers who care about their purchase
  • Observers who form opinions about your service

Your social marketing program equips these influencers with content, training, feedback, motivation and support to develop authority in their networks. The digital strategy connects and amplifies the conversations, thereby reinforcing reputation and authority.

We also discussed the importance of measuring what matters.  The goal is to measure impact, but also analyze effectiveness of the marketing program itself.  This includes:

  • Program readiness – Strategy alignment, org support, tools
  • Participant effectiveness – Training, reach, engagement, reputation, impact
  • Business outcomes – Branding, marketing, sales, service, recruiting, referral

I used these slides to prompt the conversation around the table: DMA2013AsktheExpertJeanneMurray

From → Marketing

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