I am pretty obsessed by the term social and online influencer, you may have noticed it. I have this big brother idea that one day, not too far away, we will walk around with contact lenses like google glasses and you can see how many influence someone has on certain subjects. By numbers above their heads 🙂 But at this moment in time: what are online influencers? Why are they so important? Why does every brand have to work with the right ones?
I hope MY cloud in the future will tell I am an online (and offline) influencer on the subjects of blogging, social media and innovation. HE! Aren’t these EXACTLY the subjects that I already have on KLOUT, the website that uses social media analytics to rank its users with a numerical value between 1 and 100.? Right, point proven.
Or not, as many say an algorithm can’t determine a person’s influence. Well, not exact anyways.
Algorithms cannot determine influence, or can they?
Last week I unleashed a retweet on twitter (i knew it the minute i posted it) about a letter I got from Greenpeace about them raising MY donation from 10 to 27 euros. Ridiculous! Terminate! A few of the reactions and like 40 retweets. In 4 hours, my tweet reached the news. Last year ‘ Greenpeace’ would be on top of my Klout influential topics, but nowadays they improved their algorithm and this one-hit-wonder will not be placed in this list. Hooray, the algorithm has improved!
WHAT IS AN INFLUENCER?
My definition? Someone who has many active and engaging followers and whom people respect and believe (sharing, liking, retweeting etc). If they say: this new tea is good, followers will buy it. You can only measure well if they use social media and what I prefer better: haver a blog. People who are not online are hard to follow thus hard to call influencer unless they are famous for other reasons and on other platforms, like rockstars or actors. But even they have to work on their online presence nowadays.
Why the obsession with influencers?
I see old school advertising does not work anymore. Content on paper is diminishing quickly. My opinion is that most content will be free. Quality content in niches can make some money through memberships or crowd funding. But content creators that have large audiences CAN make money by promoting their favorite bands. Brands will pay them for sponsorships, mark my words.
Or read this article on the Harvard Business Review here: Yes, Marketers, you should pay your influencers
Networks representing influencers
I see new sites, apps and agencies popping up everywhere that represent influencers. No wonder, there is money there. There is Clever Girls Collective, Voomm, Stylehaul, Blogmij, Social1nfluencers, Blogher, and more. I believe firmly in Blogtoday, the influencers network I am setting up for publisher Sanoma. We need the bloggers, just as much as the bloggers need us, and Sanom as a publisher has a lot to offer! PR in our magazines, on our websites, book deals, video and photo studio, cross media campaigns. But not for the big ones though. Blogs who have more than 100.000 unique visitors already made it, and if they understand the game, they can live of it. They don’t need networks or agencies, only if they don’t want to do the sales and ad-thing on their own. My last blog was about this mutual beneficial relationship between bloggers and magazines, check it out.
Future of influencers?
Besides everybody walking around with a grade for their influence above their head, what will become of these online influencers? They will replace old school advertising. No more ads in your content, we already switch them of anyways. We will seek our advice with the ones we respect and love and follow. No more useless ads at train stations about a tv-show you don’t care about or a new taste of tea you will never try. OR… will it be like in the movie Minority report where digital bilboards show ads that are targeted on you? I hope not. There is too much information already, I only want to hear tips from the ones I know and/or respect, the ones i choose. Where my mind immediately drops the term serendipity, never forget serendipity, but I will blog about that term another time.
What’s your opinion on influencers? You agree they have the future? Or are you absolutely disagreeing?