Barbara on March 23rd, 2011

On March 17, 2011 the Influencer to Advocates panel was held at the BrightTALK offices in San Francisco. Here is the video of the event.

Popularity: 73%

Don’t miss the first Think Influence event of 2011! Our members voted for an event on who is an influencer and how do you attract them. Here it is!

Featuring:

  • Don Bulmer, VP, Influencer Relations, SAP
  • Mike Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC
  • Guy Kawasaki, Co-Founder of Alltop and author of the newly released book, Enchantment
  • Moderated by Barbara French, co-founder of Think Influence.

Attend the event in person at the BrightTALK offices in San Francisco and pose questions throughout the panel - register at http://go.brighttalk.com/evite.html

Or, attend remote via the live interactive webcast & tweet your questions/comments - register at http://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/24993

When: Thursday, March 17
Registration / doors open: 7:15am
Roundtable: 8:00am - 8:45am
Networking Breakfast: 8:45am - 10:00am

“Influencers to Advocates”
Social media has enabled business professionals to quickly grow large spheres of influence in targeted industries. These power users hold the key for marketers trying to gain access to their niche audiences. The question is how to identify who the key B2B influencers are, how to rise above the noise to capture their attention, and how to encourage them to become advocates for your brand. Hear from these influencers themselves as they present live from the BrightTALK San Francisco office sharing what attracts them and learn how you can influence the influencer to become a brand advocate.

PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

We wish to thank BrightTALK, graciously co-producing and videocasting this event. Interested in sponsoring? Contact me.

Not yet a member? Join Think Influence on LinkedIn.

Popularity: 71%

Social media has enabled business professionals to quickly grow large spheres of influence in targeted industries. These power users hold the key for marketers trying to gain access to their niche audiences. The question is how to identify who the key B2B influencers are, how do you rise above the noise to capture their attention, and how do you encourage them to become advocates for your brand.

On March 17th, join me for a live streamed event where you’ll hear from Don Bulmer from SAP, Guy Kawasaki from Alltop and Michael Fauscette from IDC as they share what attracts them and learn how you can influence the influencer to become a brand advocate.

thinkinfluence panel

WHEN: March 17, 2011, 8:00-8:45am PDT. Also available for replay.

PARTICIPATE:
Participate from anywhere, by watching the live streamed video webcast and posting questions/comments via Twitter. Or watch the replay. Register at http://www.brighttalk.com/r/kZS

Attend onsite in the panel audience or for a breakfast reception afterwards with the panelists. By invitation only.  Space is limited. Join the Think Influence group on LinkedIn to request an invitation.

PANELISTS:
Don Bulmer, Vice President of Global Communications, SAP AG
Guy Kawasaki, Co-founder, Alltop
Michael Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions, IDC
and moderator Barbara French, President & Managing Editor, Tekrati & Co-founder Think Influence

COST:
Free, however registration is required for the live webcast and replays. Onsite event is by invitation only.

SPONSORSHIPS:
Contact me for info on sponsoring Think Influence events. Contact BrightTALK for sponsoring their Social Media Marketing Summit.

ABOUT
This event is a joint production of Think Influence and BrightTALK. Think Influence is a grassroots community of peers discussing the role of influence in business.

Popularity: 100%

I’m pleased to find that a new study validates what I’ve been seeing in client projects and industry conversations: social media is taking on a larger role in business decision-making processes. Social media is enabling decision-makers to reach out to larger numbers of people (the size of their unique influencer ecosystems) and to tap into their influencers through online as well as offline channels. These are among the preliminary findings of a study conducted this summer under the umbrella of the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR). SNCR Research Fellows Don Bulmer, SAP, and Vanessa DiMauro, Leader Networks lead the research and analysis and have begun releasing preliminary findings. Their full report will be released in January.

On the business front, about 4 in 10 respondents incorporate social networks into 4 steps of their decision process:

  • seeking peer referral
  • reading blogs
  • gathering opinions through an online network
  • looking the company up on a social network

Other findings relative to social media and influence:

  • Information obtained from offline networks still have highest levels of trust with slight advantage over online (offline: 92% - combined strongly/somewhat trust; online: 83% combined strongly/somewhat trust)
  • Approximately three quarters of respondents rely on professional networks to support business decisions: 40% gather opinions via their online networks and 39% look up companies on their social networks.
  • Reliance on web-based professional networks and online communities has increased significantly over the past 3 years for essentially all respondents

Don has shared one of the interview excerpts, and for me, this comment puts the study results into context:

“I find that I will network offline at events and meetings where I establish connection with many people and I use online tools to follow up and maintain connect. I may meet 20 or so people at an event and then immediately then put them into Plaxo or LinkedIn to keep and maintain connection. I try to maintain my status and activity regularly to keep engaged and keep people informed.”

The methodology for the “New Symbiosis of Professional Networks” study involved a mixed methods approach supported by quantitative data gathered via online survey of 356 professionals to understand their perceptions and experiences with social media in support of their decision-making. Select interviews of 12 professionals were also conducted using a semi-structured interview guide as part of the second phase of the study. All respondents were either the decision makers or influenced the decision process within their company or business unit, and company size ranged from less than 100 to over 50,000 full-time employees.

Find more at Don’s blog and Vanessa’s blog.

Popularity: 6%

Barbara on September 10th, 2009

There are several good reasons to replace the terms “influencer” and “influencer marketing” in the marketing vocabulary. What are the best  alternatives? I don’t know the answer, however I see signs of a backlash against misuse and abuse of these terms.

What are the issues with the word influencer?

To start, not everyone likes being branded as an influencer. As Evan Quinn so often tells me (and I’m not the only one), many analysts bristle under the “influencer” label.

Then too, there’s the growing confusion around who is an “influencer”.  As Duncan Brown so often says, not everyone is an influencer. You can’t transform anybody into an influencer. Finding influencers is just not that easy, even in the wild west of social media.

Finally, as Nick Hayes says, “None of us has ever seen anybody with a business card that says ‘Influencer’.”

By contrast, there are the outstanding examples where the terms are applied appropriately and best practices applied flawlessly.  Case in point: Don Bulmer’s program at SAP. Such clearcut instances are more exception than norm.

The right words are out there. If we pay attention, we’ll recognize them when we hear them.

Popularity: 16%

Barbara on July 15th, 2009

donbulmer_sapDon Bulmer, the SNCR-award winning head of influencer relations at SAP, is forming an informal think tank project on social influence, and in particular, best practices for social influence. He’s issued an open invitation to participate and contribute content.

He’s outlined an ambitious agenda. In his words,

“As I think about this I am inspired to look more deeply at how social media has affected the dynamics and rules of ’social influence’ across a number of areas of society (business, politics, philanthropy/giving, personal productivity/advancement, etc.). To understand how the phenomena has affected the behaviors and motivations of people for greater benefit and activism.”

I’m in. Looks like a good opportunity to ponder influencer dynamics beyond the business setting and to do it in the company of great minds. Get the scoop at his blog. Or if you work inhouse on the corporate side, consider collaborating in concert with the Influencer Marketing & Influencer Relations Group at LinkedIn.

Popularity: 2%