Today I don’t want to tell you the secret sauce of how to become a social media influencer, and I’ll not preach how great it is to monetize your community. I think in 2022, the concept of what influencers are and what they do is already generally understood. Indeed some might have another understanding or definition than others about this, but influencer marketing is now a typical aspect and part of digital marketing. After COVID-19, it might even be a part of event marketing again. Knock on wood.
Inconspicuousness is the goal behind the goal
So what is the public perception and understanding of influencers and how they make money? There are some metrics to their social media presence that might help them land jobs. Some companies might be interested in working with an influencer with a very high amount of followers. Other brands might be looking for the most engagement on the content someone posts. Maybe there are other metrics or formulas they do in order to discover ambassadors and people who they want to have as part of their communication team.
But there is something else to all of this. Remember how the old saying goes? “Speech is silver, silence is golden.” What is oftentimes overlooked and never part of metrics is the person who sees a post, reads it, maybe even clicks on the call-to-action link, but doesn’t say anything and doesn’t “like” the post. As a matter of fact, those are even the majority, even though you can’t really count this kind of people in your community. They are there, but you don’t see them because they are simply more passive in how they use social media, and that’s totally fine. As I said, this is the largest group of users, and it’s definitely good to have them on board.
It’s true that you can’t easily report on such activity, and this is why they can not become a metric or requirement of neither professional influencers nor brands. Still, these kinds of people are frequently decision-makers or other key people that you actually wanted to target and reach with your message and content. It happens all the time that people would approach IRL (in real life) and comment in person about something that happened on social media while the influencer had no idea they were even followed by that person. Equally, this could impact a purchasing decision of a CEO of a company to make a significant investment in the B2B world. It could even be that you get excellent talent applying for a position at that company only because of a social media post and that they’d consider them a thought-leader in a particular industry or niche.
What you can’t count and still need
All of these are silent readers. They are the delta that is no part of the engagement math. They are one of the thousands who count as giving “impressions” but nothing else. Don’t be fooled by vanity metrics. Most of the time, the campaign’s monetary ROI comes from the silent users and not from the loudest people in a community or following. It often comes from indirect actions and not from clicking that CTA (call-to-action) link. True, tough to report on, but as a clever marketing director once said, “if you need to measure it, it wasn’t worth doing.”
Also interesting: Many Colors – What’s It like to Be Part of the Xbox Ambassadors?
Am I shunning influencers and ambassadors with heaps of social media followers and fantastic engagement with their community? Of course not. This is all great stuff. I also try to have the best possible relationship with my social media community just as much. I only want people and companies to remember that this impression delta is not just a failed chance to convert. These are people, and they are important. Silent people are important too. Maybe they don’t “like” or drop a comment, but perhaps they purchase the service or start working at that company. Silence is golden.
YouTube: How Influencers Have Transformed Modern Marketing | Rachel David | TEDxVancouver