This past week in Austin I organized and spoke on a panel called “Influencer Throwdown: Defining and Debating Influence Once and For All” with some marketing friends. Here’s a good recap of the session and a few quotes:
The panel began with some discussion around celebrities and how they are perceived as influencers. The big (obvious) example used was Charlie Sheen. Does he have influence? The panel was split on this, and they each had their opinions on it. David Binkowski cited that 8% of Americans trust celebrities. I would tend to agree with him.
And we spent a lot of time discussion this:
A major topic of discussion by the panel (and audience via twitter) was the concept of proving influence. How does one do that? With influence being a largely qualitative concept, we are met with challenges in quantifying it and interlocking it to brand success. Conceptually speaking, influencers are able to drive a higher rate of action. This should have a positive impact on site traffic, click-throughs, and (ultimately,) sales. Measuring a brand or person’s level of influence then rests on quantifying the level of engagement that their content and opinions garnered.
What’s your take? How are you proving influence with your clients, teams or boss?