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Posted by Augie Ray on April 20, 2010
Recently, Forrester introduced a new way to consider influence in Social Media. We identified a group of social media participants we call Mass Influencers. While just 16% of the US population, Mass Influencers are responsible for 80% of the influence impressions and posts about products and services in social channels.
The fact that a minority of social media participants represent the lion’s share of buzz about products and services is probably not at all surprising, but what does this mean to marketers? How can brands develop programs that activate the potential of Mass Influencers to create awareness and consideration among their readers, friends, followers and others in social venues? The answer comes from Peer Influence Analysis (PIA), Forrester’s new framework to analyze influence within particular markets, demographics and industries.
Josh Bernoff and I collaborated on a new report, Peer Influence Analysis, that demonstrates how PIA can be applied to the needs of a brand. In our report, we applied very real data for a hypothetical HDTV brand. Using PIA, we can identify characteristics of Mass Influencers who share news and opinions about consumer electronics products. For example:
Other data that PIA furnished for our HDTV brand included information about mobile use, most popular research sources before making a decision, social network preference, and other data that can help guide Word of Mouth marketing strategies. By using PIA, marketers can be sure they’re not squandering marketing dollars by using strategies or channels that reach the average Consumer Electronics consumer but miss the potent Consumer Electronics Mass Influencers.
PIA is a powerful new framework that takes theories of influence and makes it actionable. I look forward to working with clients to explore their Mass Influencers in the future. If you're a marketer who wishes to understand the Mass Influencers in your market, I'm sure it goes without saying that we'd welcome a discussion about what Peer Influence Analysis can do to help further your social media marketing strategies.