Remember when social media was about quantity? It was based on the idea that social media services provided new ways to blast out messages to as wide an audience as possible.
Today, quantity seems antiquated given the focus on quality. Rather than pursue a wide reach, the social game is about targeting influencers, who can then use their reach to do the dirty work for you. The role and importance of influencers is attracting a tremendous amount of scrutiny and excitement even though it’s not a new concept when it comes to sales and marketing.
For all the buzz about the influencer, it is interesting to see the concept start to be scrutinized and evolve. The social media world has a bad habit of getting excited about new ideas and services, often imparting them with far more importance than they deserve simply because they are new and shiny.
Influence is no different.
For the perceived value of the influencer, a lot more time need to be spent to determine the real value these “special” people offer. Perhaps most important is whether investing time and resources to court influencers offers a bottom line benefit. It makes little sense to woo influencers when there is little return on this investment.
The problem with influencer is it’s not only a catch-phrase but a catch-all that pulls in anyone with stature. The missing element is determining the impact of this stature.
In other words, influencers may be influential but are they important?
It looks like we’re about to enter the next and much-needed phase of the influencer discussion in which companies start to get a real handle on the value of influencers and whether going after them makes sense.