Paris rainbow

What, exactly, is the value of social?

We’re one week from the European AMEC Summit – the Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. AMEC and The Conclave have been working hard to agree social media measurement standards for presentation at the summit, on: content sourcing and methods; reach and impressions; engagement; influence and relevance; and sentiment and advocacy.

You can read about our contribution to the deliberations on influence and the resulting WOMMA guidebook here.

The final part of this standards initiative is perhaps the most controversial: impact and value. We like to think that this aspect is a particular strength of our consultancy, so we’ve just circulated the following slidestack for discussion. It’s not for the summit per se, but to inform the direction AMEC and The Conclave take afterwards.


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train tunnel

Influence the influence standards

AMEC Madrid Summit 2013 Every industry has its jargon. The lexicon emerges to aid efficient communication, but that efficiency is only achieved when everyone knows what the words and phrases really mean, and uses them consistently.

Modern PR practice and social business are nascent, fast moving and increasingly business critical, and standards setting is important to realise value sooner than later.

The Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) is pivotal to this effort, and I’m a special advisor. Ahead of the European Summit in Madrid this June, I’m particularly involved in proposing standards around the concept of influence, a topic very close to the approach Euler Partners takes to social business as you may well know.

Should you be interested in our machinations, or indeed in lending your voice, I’ve just posted a document to my personal blog detailing some of the fundamentals our working group is grappling with. We’d love to hear from you.

Now and then I’m asked how all the associations and institutes join together, so let me finish here by listing those bodies that work closely with AMEC to make up what’s informally known as The Conclave:

Cafe

Cision webinar on social business

Cision

The Cision webinar on 8th November was dedicated to social business and I was delighted to be the guest of Jay Krall, Cision’s media research supremo.

The webinar was wide ranging – from the definition of social business to the personal traits of those who will lead the transition, from influence flows to PR measurement.

I’ve known Jay since we started following each other online several years ago now, and he took part in an Influence Scorecard workshop I ran in New York in 2010. His contributions were invaluable then, and London is better off for having persuaded Jay to upsticks from Chicago. And if ever there was a guy with the most fabulous radio voice…

The webinar is now available on Soundcloud.


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ZMOT

ROI and ZMOT – depends on the question you’re asking

ZMOT eBookIt’s just over five weeks since our page on ROI went live, and I got grilled on the topic during Social Media Week. Overwhelmingly, the feedback can be categorised with just one keyword, or one acronym to be precise – ZMOT.

The truth – well perhaps a fraction of it at least

For those unfamiliar with these four letters, they stand for Zero Moment Of Truth, an e-book Google published in 2011.

The follow-up ZMOT Handbook (available at the same URL) summarises the main cause for consideration here. In Section 4.2, Join The Attribution Revolution, the Handbook asks: “What do people see that makes them want to buy?”

The question is answered with reference to Google’s multi-channel attribution capabilities:

Unlike channel-specific measurements, multi-channel attribution doesn’t spit out binary results — paid search or display. It jumps silos to analyze how channels work together. At last, you can tell the CMO how your email, SEO and social campaigns helped a sale that got “closed” by paid search.

As more attribution technology has rolled out, adoption has passed a tipping point. We predict that over the next few years, attribution will become standard procedure in digital marketing departments in the mid-market and above.

Such capability is immensely powerful, of that we are in no doubt. Indeed, we help clients define, set-up and manage multi-channel attribution. But here’s two reasons why ZMOT does not contradict our assertions here.

Dublin Samuel Beckett Bridge

Influence – the use and abuse of the word in social media

The AMEC European Summit is taking place this week in Dublin. It’s a really vibrant event, a credit to AMEC’s Barry Leggetter and the delegates’ enthusiasm. (Actually, perhaps it’s a little less vibrant this morning after the visit last night to the Guiness brewery!)

I’m here representing the CIPR in a couple of sessions, and this morning I’m speaking in my own capacity… my slidestack is embedded here.

It’s an old theme of mine, the misrepresentation of the idea of influence, and the stack I presented on the topic back in March 2010 has now been viewed some thirteen and a half thousand times – Influence, the bullshit, best practice and promise. It’s now 2012 and I feel that we’re starting to make some progress towards addressing the complexity of the business of influence. Onwards and upwards.


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The Business of Influence

Q&A with Influencer Marketing Review

This is the third installment of our ‘Q&A with the Review’ series in which we talk with prominent members of the influencer marketing community about their work and thoughts on the industry. Amanda Maksymiw and Duncan Brown helped us get the series started, and now we’re grateful that Philip Sheldrake, author of The Business of Influence, is joining us for our third Q&A. 

IMR: Thanks so much for joining us, Philip. And congratulations on the book. We know that’s no easy feat.

Philip: Thanks for the invitation to chat here. And thanks for having my book cover on IMR’s homepage 🙂

IMR: Oh yeah. It’s probably about time we change the image, huh.  

You’ve stated in the book and elsewhere that “the business of influence is broken.” What do you mean by that exactly? Some might think there wasn’t much of a “business of influence” in the first place. 

Philip: A definition of influence: you have been influenced when you do something you wouldn’t otherwise have done, or think something you wouldn’t otherwise have thought. There’s influence in everything an organization does, and sometimes in what it doesn’t do, and yet despite this we often apportion responsibility for influence to marketing and PR departments. The 2012 organization looks incredibly similar to the 1992 organization, which is crazy when you consider the impact of social media and related information technologies.

Social graph

The complexity of influence is a challenge – and an opportunity

If media is interesting because it facilitates communication, then communication is most interesting when it facilitates influence.

You have been influenced when you think something you wouldn’t otherwise have thought, or do something you wouldn’t otherwise have done. Simple as, although you wouldn’t think it now that influence is the hot word.

Guardian Media Network

Originally written for The Guardian Media Network.

The capacity to change hearts, minds and deeds is considered the mark of the great communicator, the compelling personality, the charismatic politician, and ultimately no one wants to communicate without influence; that wouldn’t be a good use of the communicator’s time and energy, or indeed that of those on the receiving end.

The focus on making sure you’re influenced back is vital too. Individuals (and organisations) that best absorb the zeitgeist are heuristically more able to respond in ways their audiences (stakeholders) might well appreciate.

Influence is complex, and I mean that in the full “complexity science” sense of the word. Complexity is the phenomena that emerge from a collection of interacting objects. The interacting objects could be molecules of air and the phenomenon the weather. It could be vehicles and the phenomenon the traffic.