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Marketers have been paying celebrities to endorse their products and services for decades, so it's no surprise that there's a booming market for celebrity endorsements via their social media profiles.
With the help of companies like Ad.ly, celebrities and 'influencers' are reportedly earning thousands upon thousands of dollars for a single tweet or Facebook status update.
In the United States, marketers paying high-profile individuals to tweet and blog about their products worried the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) so much that it developed guidelines around the practice.
Foursquare's founder Dennis Crowley has an idea: turn influential social media users into affiliate marketers.
At a panel discussion the other day, he suggested that if you mention a brand, or one of its products and services, and that mention generates revenue for the brand, "you should get some kind of referrer’s fee." He predicted that within a year, "there will be some way for [users] to get kickbacks" through social media platforms.
The word 'influencer' is thrown around a lot today but when you get right down to it, there's still a lot of debate about influence online and who influencers are. Can marketers harness influence through social media to further their campaigns? Can marketers even identify influencers?
While these are very valid questions, many simply make assumptions about what influence is and who has it. But according to a study that looked at the tweets from well-known Twitter celebrities who are often classified as influencers, these assumptions might very well be wrong.
As any seasoned Tweeter knows, success it isn't about how many followers you have, it's about reach.
Recent figures may put Lady Gaga at the top of the tweeting pile, but teen-pop bubblegum sensation Justin Bieber may well have the edge when it comes to actual influence.
Not to mention a mischievous streak that could cost one tech savvy super fan dearly.
When you’re embarking on a social media campaign, one of the most important goals is finding influencers. If you can get respected and well known market voices behind, then you can give your campaign an invaluable leg-up.
The only problem here of course, is that influencers themselves are elusive figures. How are you going to hunt them down, and do you even know where to start looking?
In order to do so, we need to clearly define influence...
Over the past several years, businesses have flocked to social media. Many have done so because they want to, and many more have done so because they think they have to.
The increasing use of social media amongst businesses reflects the fact that social media is important, even if its value can be somewhat difficult to define and quantify. But social media is just a platform, and realizing value from its use requires the right type of use.
Twitter users big and small were saddened to learn today that their followers had shrunk — to the sum total of zero. Trying to fix a bug where individuals could force any Twitter users to follow them, the company temporarily deleted all the follower count for every user.
That stark zero disturbed more than a few users who had carefully curated their follower list. But the entire event coincided with a new study out today, that shows that those with the most followers are not necessarily the most influential.
Kim Kardashian may be earning a nice chunk of change charging for Sponsored Tweets, but according to Yahoo's principal research scientist, marketers who pay celebrities to tweet are likely wasting their money.
Yahoo's Duncan Watts spent two months analyzing influencers on Twitter and found that a large group of people who influence an extremely small group are a more effective (and cheaper) way to share a message than enlisting a celebrity Twitterer.
Twitter's deals with Microsoft (Bing) and Google have the blogosphere and Twittersphere abuzz. 'Real-time search' has been a hot topic in 2009 and there has been much speculation on Twitter's strategy vis-à-vis the real-time search opportunity. It appears that we now know what that strategy is: sell firehose access to the Twitter stream to the search engines and let them do what they do best.
The Bing and Google deals could be significant. Depending on what Bing and Google decide to do with their Twitter firehose, internet users could potentially see SERPs that are heavily influenced by Twitter activity, which would mean that SEOs will have to deal with Twitter as a 'ranking factor'. Of course, nobody knows all of the details yet, which is why I thought it would be worthwhile to see what experts and observers are saying about the deals.
Can social media influence purchasing decisions? Lots of time and money has been invested in a clear bet that the answer is 'yes'.
Some cite anecdotal reports regarding commercial activity on sites like Twitter, for instance, as evidence that popular social media services are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. But is social media the boon to the influence of purchasing decisions that many believe it is?
Quick - name the top five minds in web analytics. If you know the space, no doubt Eric T. Peterson made your list. Analyst, author, blogger, speaker, he's a bona fide guru when it comes to extracting meaning from a mountain of data.
Now, Peterson's burning the midnight oil in his quest to build the Twitalyzer, the first really robust analytics tool for Twitter. Its goal? To measure influence in the white-hot social media channel.