Marketing Technology » Writing Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Social media influence cannot be measured Fri, 22 May 2009 07:47:35 +0000 admin A few different projects have got my mind focused on influence this week. The first is planning the research design for the centrepiece of my book on social media in B2B (can we measure the influence that social media platforms have on the different staging of the B2B buying cycle?). The second is connected with our cooperation next month with Twitter at the Cannes Lions.

In both contexts I am reaching the conclusion that influence cannot be measured, and thus is a futile metric for exploration. Sure, you can ask people how much influence something has or has had, but do they really know? And what is influence anyway? In my mind it is a power that makes someone do something, not a property that any individual possesses. Invariably when an individual does have influence, it is only over a specific thing. Even the most influential people in the world (politicians, one could argue) have no influence over whether I will buy a Sony or a Panasonic television this weekend.

In a public environment, you might (just) be able to attempt to measure influence by looking at people’s networks, the re-communication of their utterances, but to me this is just reach. Someone who says something that reaches 100,000 people is no more influential than someone who reaches just 100, if all of the latter act on that communication but none of the former do.

In short, influence needs to be measured in context and at the receiving end not the transmitting end. That is not something you can do by looking at their blog posts, tweets or Facebook profile.

So do we continue to try and measure things that cannot be measured, or do we measure things that can be measured and can give us as marketers comparisons that we understand.

I think it’s the latter.

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Today’s Big News* Fri, 01 Feb 2008 14:22:00 +0000 admin It’s been 16 months since I broke the news that I had been asked to write a book on social software in the enterprise (now widely known as Enterprise 2.0 thanks to people like Andrew McAfee and Dion Hinchcliffe).

At 22.49 last night I sent my final manuscript (all 50,000 words of it) to my publisher. Phew.

Now the waiting begins. Hopefully they won’t require too many changes and we’ll be able to get into the exciting part of producing and marketing it fairly soon. I’ve already started my bit. My personal domain will be used to support the title, and the nice people at Socialtext have given me a wiki that I intend to become an ongoing revised edition.

It’s packed full of goodies including:

  • Enterprise 2.0 case studies from the BBC, BUPA, IBM, Janssen-Cilag, Microsoft, Oracle, Serena Software, SpencerStuart and the US Defense Intelligence Agency
  • A practical framework for classifying social software and mapping it to the culture of any organisation
  • A round up of the various different models of success (and advice on how to avoid failure)
  • Tips on implementation and adoption
  • A bonus chapter on social software outside the enterprise

I’m sure you can’t wait ;-)

I’m hoping that it will be published sometime in July, so start saving. If you want to reserve a copy (no obligation), just leave a comment or email me at and I’ll give you a shout when it’s ready to order.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get to this point.

* Oh, and some big company is trying to buy some other big company for what appears to be a very large sum of money, but of course that’s not as important as me delivering my manuscript.

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