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SXSW Day 3: Reaching the People that Count

14th March 2011

Today I had the opportunity to attend a panel focused on influencers and how to reach them called “Influencer Throwdown: Proving Influence Once and For All.”

At Engauge we often find that building a one size fits all campaign does not reach its full potential. However, curate a community of influencers, and we just might unlock the doors to the right audience. The difficulty is defining, building and interacting with that audience – a task that is often times easier captured in a brief than accomplished.

When searching for influencers, it’s easy to focus on Klout score, follower count or the number of retweets a person may have, but is that the best way to derive action from your community?

At the end of the day influence is meant to do one thing: drive action, not impressions. Shiny celebrities online may present a message to a large audience, but if that influencer is not a authentic advocate of your brand, what good does it do?

Panelist Krista Neher described it best when she recounted having been solicited to try a new product on behalf of a bean bag company which she had previously raved about to followers. She accepted and was able to spread an authentic and real position on the brand. Her influence not only had to do with the size of her audience, but also an audience willing to listen and react.

While tools such as Klout or numbers such as following should always be a part of your brand’s influencer strategy, don’t let it define it. Look beyond counting people that reach and for the people that count and you’re sure to find new advocates along the way.