To answer the question “what is the future of influence?”, a group of Social Media professionals met at the Future of Influence Summit. The summit, organized by Ross Dawson, was happening in San Francisco and Sydney simultaneously via video conf call.
The panel of speakers was composed of tech startup Founders and industry influencers. Each panelist had some great insight to share with their Social Media erudite audience, but I starred just a few of them in my mental reader to share it with you:
- Brian Solis, head of FutureWorks and disruptive public relations blogger, argues that the concept of influence in the Social Media sphere should be considered as volatile as our perception of Twitter’s active community. In other words, online influence is directly correlated with the potential network engagement of the platform that channels it. For example, Twitter has an immense viral potential, but only a small percentage of registered users interact with their friends’ content.
- Khris Loux, CEO of JS-Kit, the company that recently launched Echo, sees that influence belongs to brands’ power users in Social media marketing terms. Web marketers should seize this opportunity to engage directly with their target market, and maybe build a collaborative relationship for product development purposes.
- Todd Parsons, CEO of Buzzlogic, explained how his company introduced the concept of sponsored influence in the blogosphere. He argues that spheres of influence are the sweet spots where advertisers want to reach their primary target. With an effective influence tracking engine, and with a modern ad format, spheres of influence can seamlessly integrate sponsored messages, hence letting brands buy their share of influence.
- Louis Gray, power tech blogger, brought the most balanced point of view to the discussion. “My father always said that a satisfied customer will tell 3 persons about your business, and an unsatisfied customer will tell 7. The challenge is to keep that ratio positive.” Louis Gray argued that no blogger should be left behind, but in a public relations management logic, influential bloggers should have priority, since their opinions are the most consequential.