December 20, 2014

Effective Marketing Includes A Return On Influence

Return On Influence“We are on the cusp of a marketing revolution. And it’s being led by YOU.” ~ Mark Schaefer, Return On Influence

I discovered Mark Schaefer’s (@markwschaefer) latest book, Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing, while glancing through my Twitter feed one day.

Mark is considered an authority on marketing and social media. Ironically, Mark also wrote the bestselling book, The Tao of Twitter (which has just been updated) so it’s really not a surprise that I became acquainted with the book on Twitter.

The title of the book immediately grabbed my attention. So much so that I invited Mark to be a guest on my internet radio show and received a copy of the book through the publisher. After the show and talking with Mark, I realized even more so how important this book is for CEOs, presidents and business owners to read.

With the world and technology both changing so fast, business is changing too, right before our eyes. So fast we may not even realize how much or to what extent.

My advice to everyone running a company is: Don’t get left behind. One way to do that is to read Mark Schaefer’s book, Return On Influence.

How Influential Are You In Business?

The word, influence, is mentioned quite often lately. Have you noticed?

In the forward to the book, I learned that the idea of influence is rooted in astrology. Centuries ago, the Gauls started using the word influence to explain the actions of people saying that it “lay in the stars.” Fast forward to modern society and influence has taken on a whole new meaning with the phrase, “under the influence.”

Today due to the digital age we live in the word, influence continues to make a transition in its meaning.  For three distinct reasons:

  • the rise of the Internet.
  • the rise of mobile devices.
  • the rise of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Mark Schaefer refers to it as “influence marketing.” It brings fresh meaning to the classic Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Now anyone can be influential as long there is relevance.

The Roots of Influence Marketing

The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 explores: The Roots of Influence. The chapters cover such topics as the rise of the citizen influencer – how it’s the end of an era for mass marketing and the rise of a generation reclaiming their consumer voice. No longer is influence only for the politicians and celebrities. The Internet now gives us the opportunity to be “super-connectors” far beyond our circle of family, friends and work associates.

An especially interesting section in Part 1 of the book discusses the “weapons of influence” using Dr. Robert Cialdini’s, “six weapons of influence” model as a basis to illustrate differences. The author contrasts the role of authority, likeability, consistency and scarcity in both the online and offline worlds.

Weapons of influence include social proof and reciprocity as well as “badges” for our information-dense society such as the number of Twitter followers. Schaefer names a seventh weapon which is content. As it states in the book:

“Content is the ammunition that powers influence on the social web.”

Yes, content is king if used properly within a marketing and social media strategy.

Do You Have Klout?

The rise of influence marketing includes “social influence scoring” which is beginning to permeate through business, human resources and our personal lives. Social scoring takes the traditional meaning of “having klout” to a whole new level.

This is what Schaefer examines in Part 2 of his book: The Social Scoring Revolution. He focuses especially on Klout.com – how it came to be, its controversies and benefits. For those who may not be familiar with Klout, it is considered the leader in social influence measurement.

I must admit that since reading this book and talking with Mark, I am much more aware of what my Klout score is. You should be too. Chapter 10 will tell you how to increase your Klout score.

The author talks about a revolution in marketing. This is it. Make sure your company is part of the revolution. Otherwise, customers may no longer view your company as relevant to their needs.

A Different Kind Of ROI

Mark Schaefer, according to his official bio, is among the top 5% of all “influencers” on Twitter, has done his homework in researching the book. He interviewed 50 experts and industry thought leaders including Influence author Robert Cialdini. There are more than a dozen marketing case studies in the book to reference. Plus practical, actionable tips to increase your own power and influence online

For years now the standard question in marketing to determine if a campaign is effective or not is often based on ROI – “return on investment.” Today, that is changing. Mark Schaefer’s book is certainly proof of that. Meet the new definition of ROI. It’s now “return on influence.”

Welcome to the future of marketing… it’s already arrived.

6 Comments ▼

Howard Lewinter


Howard Lewinter Howard Lewinter guides, focuses and advises CEOs, presidents and business owners to greater business success throughout the United States. Howard also publishes a blog about business success, Talk Business With Howard, where he shares his insight and perspective about leadership, management or any business topic that relates to running a successful business.

6 Reactions

  1. I may just have to invest in this. Social media influence is clearly an issue for SEO

  2. Hello Howard, I liked your article on “return on Influence”. As you can see
    from my website, I’m considered a “maven” of Influence in some circles.
    May I use or excerpt from your article for my blog (with attribution and links of course)?
    Or (and) perhaps you’d like to interview me for your blog?
    Thanks so much,
    Best regards, Elaina Zuker

    • Elaina:

      I would be pleased if you reposted any of my work as long as I am given full credit and nothing is edited. As far as anything that is on SmallBizTrends that I have posted, you need to get permission from the publisher, Anita Campbell.

      Howard Lewinter

  3. Howard: Thanks for a great book review. I have to get this book sometime in the future as “ammo” as the questions I get on the “return on investment” with social media. You could get influence… ;)

    Have you looked into Klout’s latest upgrade? At the moment, I have a Klout score of 64. Mark Schaefer has 72.

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