With influence marketing, it’s important to remember that no matter how influential someone is, they too are influenced by their own network of friends, family, colleagues and even rivals.
Those who influence the influential can have their own large network, but in many cases those people at the top of the influence pyramid have a small tight-knit group of associates.
If you want investment guru Warren Buffett to speak at your charity event or university – you form a meaningful relationship with his public relations people. That’s the essence of what it means to influence the influencer.
The kicker is how to do this. How does one go about becoming someone who has the opportunity to shape the actions of the Warren Buffetts of the world? And, depending on your target demographic, the challenge to influence marketing people is not only figuring out who the primary influencers are, but also who influences the influencers.
For those who are new to the influence marketing game, finding out who these people are won’t be easy, but the tools to track them down are probably already things you use every day – social media.
Twitter can help you discover who the real influencers are by how many followers they have. It doesn’t matter what industry someone is in; if they have 800,000 followers, they are influential.
With Facebook, you may be able to see who the primary influencer networks with, and how frequently they engage these people.
At Digg, there is a group of extremely influential members, and if enough of them Digg your article or post, you’ll end on top of the front page.
The student (we’re all students, all our lives) of influence marketing can use this platform to see who the influencers are ‘Digging’ to get sense of what interests an influencer.
But don’t rely completely on social media. Influence marketers should also ‘unplug’ now and then and look at the world around them.
Even in this technological age, some of the greatest influencers are people who interact with others the old-fashioned way – face to face. The lion’s share of research into influence marketing can be done on social media, but there is no substitute for a hand-shake and a good conversation over a cup of coffee.