We’ve recently been considering whether there’s still a line between being an ‘online influencer’ and an ‘offline influencer’. And if there is, whether that line is still important.
Take the example of say, a leading academic who has no social media footprint, doesn’t tweet, doesn’t blog, isn’t on Facebook, only engages in face-to-face conversations, meetings, presentations and authoring papers. It would be obvious to categorize them as a 100% offline influencer wouldn’t it?
But then what if other individuals, having met and talked with that person, then blog, tweet and post about that person’s views. Does the original influencer then unwittingly become an online influencer?
I’m sure many of you would say yes, in the same way that David Beckham perhaps unwittingly became a major Hispanic influencer a decade ago. He may have not intended to, he may not even been aware of it at the time, but influential he undoubtedly was. With this as an example maybe an online influencer doesn’t actually have to be online themselves.
But the implication is that all online influencers can be reached by online outreach. That that’s their medium of choice. A prominent trend in Influencer Marketing circles this year has been to assume every influencer wants to be engaged online.
What about the possibility that although an influencer may have never reached out socially, they could perhaps be avid consumers of social media, just not contributors. And what if they then took what they’d ready on social channels and conveyed those thoughts back into their day-to-day offline world. They’d be an offline influencer, correct?
So why do we still categorize people as online influencer and offline influencers? Is that still valid? And even if still valid, is it an important division?
We’re convinced it is. Not only does it represent how they influence, but also how best to establish a lasting conversation with them. Something way too few people seem to be focusing on right now.