Friday, July 10, 2009

The Importance of Influencers

Spent some time this week with some ad agency execs chatting about the challenges of building an audience for branded video content on the web. One told me about a piece of humorous content they created for a major package goods company. They posted it on all the usual outlets – YouTube, Facebook, MySpace. It languished until a popular YouTube vlogger praised it. Views spiked from 10,000 to 250,000 in a week.

There is a distinct hierarchy in the social media system and at the top are the people with the ability to influence the stream of conversation. 360i just published a social marketing playbook and in it illuminates this hierarchy, describing 6 levels of participation:


The Creators and Critics share the top, are mutually dependent on one another and often exchange roles. For example, a popular blogger or vlogger might be all about identifying interesting content that they praise and send off on a viral run.

Now more than ever, you need friends in the right places.