Although identifying and leveraging influencers is one of the fundamental strategies in social media marketing, a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (“What Would Ashton Do – And Does it Matter” by Sinan Aral) shows it is not as simple as many think. For those not familiar with the term “Influencer,” it refers to someone who has significant influence with either a niche or the mass market due to social media presence. It could be someone with two million Twitter followers or somebody whose blog is read by virtually every doctor (and thus influences the medical community). There are third-party services, such as Klout, that create scores that attempt to show how much leverage somebody has in social media.
In social media marketing, the tactics often revolve around identifying influencers and getting them to promote your game or product. The belief is that if some of these influencers are promoting your game or product, you will hit a threshold at which everyone is talking about it (and playing it). Thus, every marketer’s top goal is to get Ashton Kutcher, who has 13.7 million twitter followers, to tweet about them.