Hey, I feel for you. You’re launching a new campaign and you want to find the most influential people to inform and to win over as advocates. Your CEO asked you to put together a list of influencers, but you know the score: Every famous person is inundated by such requests, and you suspect that your product or service will be lost in the noise. Luckily, you are a socially aware CMO and you have the right answer: the little “i” influencer, one of those unsung folks who can help supercharge your brand and make your campaign a true success.
In an ideal world, you’d be able to excite the most influential people on the planet and have them gravitate toward your brand. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Bill Gates endorsed your software product, or Lebron James evangelized your new running shoe? And for a financial services product, wouldn’t it be amazing to have Alan Greenspan stump for you?
Well, the problem is that these people are incredibly busy, and celebrities are frankly incredibly expensive to work with. Furthermore, you want to leverage the power of social media as much as you can—to extend your reach, to be able to view real-time data and feedback, to leverage the power of technology, and to do so without breaking the bank. Remember, not all influential people are engaged in social media, so the ideal model might not work.
You can then turn to your PR agency. But very likely they will trot out the same predictable names and offer to pitch on your behalf. The fact is that folks like Walt Mossberg are on everyone’s list. After all, digital doesn’t mean accessible!
What you really want to do is to identify the true social influencers—those folks who might not sport household names, but who tweet and retweet, creating a cascading momentum for your brand, product or service.
The power of social media is precisely this: the power to uncover diamonds in the rough, to find advocates and influencers who ordinarily would not make the list. If you use the right tools, you can find them. They are out there.
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B-to-B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Dunay is the CMO of Networked Insights, a leader in social media analytics, and author of five “Dummies” books: “Facebook Marketing for Dummies” (Wiley 2009, 2011, 2012).
Follow him @PaulDunay