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How Influence Doesn’t Work

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Keller Fay just released a short white paper on “How Influence Works” and it’s no surprise (if you’re familiar with KF) that the piece challenges a digitally pervasive myth – that social media is the best way to influence consumers.

The foundational argument of the paper is built on the back of Keller Fay’s oft-quoted research statistic that states “90% of conversations involving brands still happen face-to-face or over the phone.” True influence isn’t found through a retweet from a famous person; it’s happening during yard-clean-up chit-chat between neighbors.

Klout, the “standard for influence” and probably the most prevalent digital platform of its kind, has been highly debated in the consumer engagement community. Keller Fay includes an observer’s quote that claims “Klout is not Clout. Little to no offline influence. Easy to game. Bias to frequency vs. quality.”

Personally, I’ve always been on the anti-Klout side of the fence. Just hearing the term “influencers” gives me a case of the willies. That being said, we’re no strangers to enacting the potential power of influencers – but we tend to push our clients towards in-the-flesh engagements.  In that sense, we are true believers in what Keller Fay is preaching. But that doesn’t mean the digital landscape should be entirely bypassed, as we’ve found it particularly useful for amplification purposes.

What are your thoughts?

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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire. startupgrowthguy.com mymusicbox.me

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