Discuss: Why Social Media Is A Bad Measure of ‘Influence’
It Shouldn’t Be the Only Measure, Not By a Long Shot
Published: May 13, 2011
Chasing the “Influencer” set is a long standing marketing strategy – not a novel concept newly minted from the social media revolution. We may have called them by different names 20 years ago – thought leaders, trend setters, early adopters – but we always understood their disproportionate power to drive business.
Back then, it was not hard to know who influencers were (usually confined to public personalities) but it was hard to determine which “influencer,” a.k.a. celebrity, was worth more than another. To solve the problem, a company called Marketing Evolutions introduced “Q Scores”, a well-known popularity metric as one way (albeit limited) to compare one personality’s influencer value from another.
Then, as social media “happened” – BOOM – brands had easy and really really cheap access to more influencers than ever before. The only trouble was sheer quantity made finding the “influencer diamonds in the rough” really – uh – rough.