Within recent years, the concept of digital influence has taken social media marketing to a new level. It is generally recognized today by experts and media practitioners that involving influential consumers into social networking online campaigns and advertising campaigns is a tool that is dramatically changing the landscape of present-day marketing (Solis and Webber 3). PlayStation is a worldwide brand that illustrates how individuals associated with it become influential in terms of marketing, how the capacity of influence is recognized, what effects the digital word-of-mouth has, and how successful engagement with influential customers can be measured.
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The way a person or a social media figure becomes influential about a brand can be expressed through two main mechanisms: association and appreciation. In order to be associated with a brand, a person does not necessarily have to be involved in advertising campaigns. Social media exposure and mentioning the brand is enough to build association. It is important that brands are regarded as components of particular culture or community. A person needs to be influential within a given community to become a brand influencer or advocate (Petouhoff 14). For example, Hideteka Miyazaki, who is credited with the creation of a whole gaming genre, is an influencer for PlayStation because of his authority in the gaming community in general and his association with PlayStation in particular. The authority, however, does not necessarily have to be gained through professional expertise. Game reviewers who run online blogs dedicated to gaming can be brand influencers despite the fact that they are amateurs.
Advertisers offer to buy a product. Influencers are more complicated. In order to recognize influence about a brand, a community or a certain environment needs to be explored on a deeper level than public campaigns. A way to recognize influence is to examine social networking services for personal statements and emotional feedback from customers and community members (Frawley par. 8). Numerous online communities dedicated to gaming and PlayStation can show influence if studied for acknowledged authority.
The effects of digital word-of-mouth on brands and businesses are yet to be explored. However, it is clear that the reflections on a brand disseminated by its customers via social media can be a driving force for companies to adopt better customer service practices (“How To Build a Business Case for Social Customer Experience, Customer Service & Social Media.flv”). As a worldwide brand, PlayStation should not only consider the online feedback of its customers but also in a way shape its strategies by reflecting on this feedback.
There are several ways to measure successful engagement with influential consumers. One of them is to establish certain performance indicators and analyze how they are affected by social media activities of a brand (“How to Measure The ROI Of Social Customer Experience and Customer Service.flv”). In this case, an example of what is regarded as success is customer satisfaction. “Happy customers” are the clear priority of businesses, although such happiness can be challenging to measure. Three particular metrics criteria are demand, brand spreading, and the frequency of contacting the support service (“How Social Customer Experience & Social Media Benefits the Entire Company.flv”). Therefore, if influence marketing is working, there are fewer calls from customers (relevant information is found in social media), more products and services are bought, and more new customers are attracted. For PlayStation, successful engagement with influential consumers can also be expressed in larger attention from the gaming community. This indicator can be measured through social media screening processes as well.
“How Social Customer Experience & Social Media Benefits the Entire Company.flv.” YouTube, uploaded by Dr Natalie’s Executive Success Firm, Web.
“How To Build a Business Case for Social Customer Experience, Customer Service & Social Media.flv.” YouTube, uploaded by Dr Natalie’s Executive Success Firm, Web.
“How to Measure The ROI Of Social Customer Experience and Customer Service.flv.” YouTube, uploaded by Dr Natalie’s Executive Success Firm, Web.
Frawley, Andy. “ROI Is Dead. A New Metric is Needed for Customer Relationships.” Advertising Age, Web.
Petouhoff, Natalie L. “ROI of Social Media: Myths, Truths and How to Measure.” Radian 6, Web.
Solis, Brian, and Alan Webber. “The rise of digital influence.” Altimeter Group, Web.