2012 will be known as the year when the social web went visual. Pinterest is the fastest growing network of 2012 with a growth of 4,377% in just six months. Growth on this platform continues: Pinterest grew from 20 million to 30 million unique users in July 2012.
Instagram’s sale to Facebook for $1B underscores the interest in an image centric social web. The photo sharing app boasts 100 million users and is becoming engrained in our culture. New York Fashion Week recently introduced a digital tower that displays Instagram users’ photos from the event.
This has given birth to the visual influencer – people whose images and pinboards have attracted a large following. Last week, we used this idea to reach and amplify our IBM client’s important role powering the US Open. Visual influencers received a guided tour of IBM’s impressive cloud, data, and analytics infrastructure as well as the Game Changer Interactive Wall developed by Ogilvy New York & Hush Studios, Inc. for IBM. Influencers included Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, digital and lifestyle influencer Steven Rojas, and world-class photographer Sam Horine, who gave IBM a combined Instagram audience of over 202,000 followers. One photo alone received 2,548 likes on Instagram.
Visual content is becoming a critical component of the social web, and opens up a whole new channel to amplify and engage.
Here are three quick tips on selecting influencers. Something to keep in mind; it’s not just about who has the biggest following. It’s also about who has the most relevant voice intertwined with the goals of the brand.
- Must be active on the Web in the context of your brand.
- Have the ability to reach a large audience but also have high levels of engagement. Observe the conversations that take place. Are the conversations back-and-forth with fans/followers or is the person merely talking at their audience?
- Be sure the influencer will impact positive sentiment that matches the brand’s audience.