And then there are the social influencers. Are these people with special powers to influence a large majority of people? Not at all; rather, social influencers are the everyday people who influence the consumer as he makes a purchasing decision. Depending on the decision he’s making, the social influencers may be a wife (or husband), friends, peers at work, or even someone the consumer has never even met in real life. Simply, the people who influence a brand affinity and purchasing decision are the social influencers.
They may do this directly by rating products and commenting or by publishing opinions and participating in conversations across the Web. Anyone can be a social influencer, influencing someone else’s brand affinity and purchasing decisions, and you, the reader, are probably one, too, without realizing it. Social influence marketing is about recognizing, accounting, and tapping into the fact that as your potential customer makes a purchasing decision, he’s influenced by various circles of people through the conversations that he has with them online, when he shares his own social media and consumes theirs. But wait a minute.
How does social influence marketing tie into social media marketing? These terms are increasingly used interchangeably, but it’s worth noting that when talking about social influence marketing, the emphasis is on the social influencers versus social media, which invariably implies just marketing on the social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Since this book covers marketing with social influencers and social media on both the social platforms and company Web sites and also emphasizes the importance of social influencers, I use the relatively newer term social influence marketing throughout the book