From the Influencers

Credibility and Knowledge Translate to Value in the World of Social Media Influence

April 29, 2016

In the dizzyingly fickle and fast-paced world of social media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to separate value and expertise from the fakers and the cheaters. Companies need a clear game plan to navigate this complicated and crowded world while retaining brand integrity and credibility.

A recent Expertcity whitepaper offers some guidelines to organizations regarding the impact and effectiveness of social reach, expertise, credibility and trust. For instance, according to Fast Company, 91 percent of brand mentions on social media originate from accounts with fewer than 500 followers. These mentions may be much more powerful and influential than an off-topic plug from an account with thousands or millions of followers. There is a very clear distinction between true influence, resulting in brand awareness and sales, and “vanity metrics” such as likes, shares and comments that never translate to any measurable value.

Companies need to understand and build on the value of social media influencers who have actual first-hand experience with their products and brands, an interest in sharing this expertise with others and the capability to speak about products knowledgably. These traits have far more reach and value over fluff mentions and recommendations from accounts with many followers but little substance.

The power of word of mouth also shouldn’t be underestimated, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that 13 percent of all consumer sales are based on word-of-mouth sharing. That means that “micro-influencers” on social media have a significant impact when it comes to telling their peers about brands and products. In fact, these endorsements carry more clout than advertisements and paid sponsorships, so companies need to understand the value and importance of this type of social media influence.

According to a study from Tomoson, a blogger relations platform, brands earn $6.50 in ROI for ever dollar spent on influencer marketing. So it pays to understand exactly which influencers have the most valuable reach, translating to actual sales and profits.

Ultimately, consumers gravitate toward real-life influencers with knowledge and expertise about a certain product area and brand instead of paid celebrity and high-profile social media influencers. By investing in the right social media influencers, organizations can realize an actual ROI while promoting their product and brand reach among real consumers interested in spending money on their offerings. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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