Influencer Shminfluencer: The Truth Under the Covers

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Hey, I feel for you. You’re launching a new campaign and you want to find the most influential people to inform and to win over as advocates. Your CEO asked you to put together a list of influencers but you know the score- every famous person is inundated by such requests and you feel your product or service will be lost in the noise. Luckily, you are a Socially-aware CMO and you have the right answer: the little “i” influencer- those unsung folks who can help supercharge your brand and make your campaign a true success.

In an ideal world, you’d be able to excite the most influential people on the planet and have them gravitate towards your brand. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Bill Gates endorsed your software product or Lebron James evangelized your new running shoe? Financial services product? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have Alan Greenspan stump for you?

Well the problem is that these people are incredibly busy and celebrities are frankly incredibly expensive to work with. Furthermore, you want to leverage the power of social media as much as you can- to extend your reach, to be able to get real-time data and feedback, to leverage the power of technology, and to do so without breaking the bank. And not all influential people are engaged in social media. So the ideal model might not work.

You can then turn to your PR agency. But very likely they will trot out the same predictable names and offer to pitch on your behalf. The fact is that folks like Walt Mossberg are on everyone’s list– digital doesn’t mean accessible!

What you really want to do is to identify the true social influencers- those folks who might not sport household names but who tweet and retweet, creating a cascading momentum for your brand, product, or service.

The power of social media is precisely this- the power to uncover diamonds in the rough, to find advocates and influencers who ordinarily would not make the list. And those people are hard to find unless you have the right tools.

Paul Dunay is the Chief Marketing Officer of Networked Insights, a leader in social media analytics, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies, Facebook Advertising for Dummies and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition. You can learn more here.

Paul Dunay

VP of Marketing, Maxymiser


Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the Global Vice President of Marketing for Maxymiser, a leader in web optimization and analytics, and author of five “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010), Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 3rd Edition (Wiley 2012). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Marketing Darwinism, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.

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