The people reached by influencer marketing ‘platforms’ should be way down your priority list

I believe the so-called influencer marketing platforms will be very short-lived. It’s not a route I’ve ever wanted Influencer50 to go.

Three years ago Klout emerged. Within twelve months our whole industry was talking about them. They massively confused the market. Now they’re largely derided and all but gone. These days the talk is of several influencer marketing ‘platforms’. Their time will be short too because they just don’t identify the real influencers. Vendors will take a while to realize this and then stop their subscriptions to them.

All these platforms are doing is providing marketers with another database of easily reachable names. These names are of people who are most prolific online on the subject in question and who have the most number of people in their ‘online network’. That might sound fine at first hearing. As a marketer you want to know who’s most likely to be interested in what you’re saying, and who could spread your message to most others. Right?

It’s not that that in itself is wrong – it’s just that that audience should be way down your priority list. What should be top are those individuals who are affecting the choices of your prospects. Now they might not currently be interested in your subject, because they don’t see its relevance to their role, they may be interested in your subject but not proactively communicate about it, or they may be really interested in the subject but just not post about it on Twitter. And that’s setting aside the 98% of business people who don’t proactively tweet at all!

Take a look at the table below. An influencer marketing ‘platform’; would find people in just the two highlighted rows, and only one of even those would contain influential people. The real influencers could be found in four of those rows.

The Buyer-side Journey.com, Influencer50

I know the platform agencies will say they don’t just listen to Twitter, but as I’ve written about many times before in our White Papers (http://influencer50.com/influencer50-library-pass.aspx), Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. are all but irrelevant in business decision-making, and very little of LinkedIn can be scraped by their systems. Leaving only Twitter of any relevance on these platforms.

It’s all well and good examining these platforms, but when they continually search in the wrong place for real influencers, and then tout the noisemakers that they do find as influencers, they’re not just wrong but willfully misleading. And that, as the industry now knows, was Klout’s problem too.

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