The social media influence myth?

If you begin to hang around social media types who are trying to understand the dynamics of social media, influencers and influence get mentioned a lot, as do nodes. This is particularly so discussions lean towards social media’s role within the marketing, advertising and PR mix. (On which note see the slide show by John V Wiltshire in last week’s recommended reads)

So I was interested to read this post by Anthony Mayfield entitled “How advertising distorts brand marketing” and his corresponding slide show (below).

My summary: influence can be a flighty thing.

Anthony also pointed me in the direction of friend Alan Patrick’s site (always nice when that happens), and his outlining of two reports that have recently come out about Twitter and influence, which is also worth your attention if you’re fed up of the LOTS OF FOLLOWERS = LOTS OF INFLUENCE mentality.

And, by, the by, when it comes to measuring influence on Twitter a combination of the tools Twitalyzer and Twitter Grader will probably give you a good a picture as any for free.

UPDATE 10/09/2009: See also Mark Earls post on this topic – Free gift: influence and how things really spread

Twitter template strategy

Neil Williams, head of corporate digital channels at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), has put together a template twitter strategy for government departments and made it available, to share and mash-up, via Scribd (see below).

The document is incredibly thorough – from clear objectives and success measurements through to how much time it takes to maintain – and a good starting point not just for government departments but brands, businesses and other organisations. The document could also be used to audit your current brand presence and help identify how it might be improved.

Neil explains why as an exercise in putting it together it was worth while, by stating:

[…] some of the benefits I’ve found of having this document in my armoury are:

* To get buy-in, explain Twitter’s importance to non-believers and the uninitiated, and face down accusations of bandwagon-jumping
* To set clear objectives and metrics to make sure there’s a return on the investment of staff time (and if there isn’t, we’ll stop doing it)
* To make sure the channel is used consistently and carefully, to protect corporate reputation from silly mistakes or inappropriate use
* To plan varied and interesting content, and enthuse those who will provide it into actively wanting to do so.
* As a briefing tool for new starters in the team who will be involved in the management of the channel

So, possibly before trying to convince the boss that Twitter is worth while… “honest”, it’s perhaps worth taking some time putting together a strategy that will help them see:

  • How it will benefit the business – ensure you consider potential customers/clients and if they use the service
  • How activity will be measured
  • Success criteria and measurement
  • How the feed will be managed
  • The kinds of relevant content that will appear
  • What editorial considerations may need to take place

You may also wish to consider if individuals within the business or organisation should also be tweeting on behalf of the brand – this decision should be made on a case by case basis, although there are arguments being made for only having individuals tweet on their company’s behalf.

Anita Roddick still lives online

Many would be surprised to learn that Anita Roddick still has a living online presence and brand, under the auspises of Even more would be surprised to find that the website proclaims the strapline “I’m an activist” and lists a “my books” section, selling eleven mostly autobiographical works. Seemingly, for all intents and purposes, that the former founder and owner of the Body Shop were still alive.

Continue reading → Anita Roddick still lives online