Read this and found it really provocative.
Despite this data, many marketers are on a seemingly relentless quest to beef up their own social network profiles and reach users with lots of friends and followers. In the Vocus-Solis study, 57% of respondents said they’d be willing to pay for an influencer to help them “drive actions or outcomes.”
We are in the early days of companies figuring out how to maximize the value of social networks in their marketing and advertising strategies. It doesn’t surprise me that companies are basically trying to buy popularity as in driving as much traffic to their profiles and fan pages as possible in an effort to garner as many “likes” as they can capture. However, as the article states, popularity is not influence and you really can’t buy it.
In day to day interactions with brands I have found that they too are aware of the superficial nature of these activities but at the same time they are quickly acquiring IQ on social media strategies for marketing and promotion, as well as investing heavily in building out teams capabilities. The largest of brands are able to tap into creative and thought leadership, for a price, and from those efforts will trickle down meaningful strategies that brands with lesser budgets can take advantage of.
For better or worse the social stats are a meaningful measurement for brands to capture in their quest to master this new medium and the virtuous cycle is further amplified through the efforts of networks to offer services that appeal to brand marketers and social media marketing managers.