A new service has launched that allows brands to take a unique approach in how they rank their customers online. While services such as Klout attempt to rank people in terms of their social influence (number of followers, retweetability etc), ShopIgniter’s new commerce platform takes it one step further by analysing which of your customers are using their social networks most effectively to promote your products and services by word of mouth.
It extends influence measurement by looking at how specialist their influence is. So while a particular consumer might typically rank low in the more standardised way of measuring influence, they might actually be very active in sharing product recommendations, which is driving brand awareness and sales.
An industry first
ShopIgniter claims that it has the first measurement process of its kind that effectively allows brands to rank their companies in terms of both social importance and commerce influence. The product is fairly extensive in that it goes beyond being just a measurement tool for consumers and also looks at how popular certain products or services are becoming online, allowing brands to tailor their online shops in reflection of this.
It’s an interesting concept, as it recognises the fact that brands have less and less control over their own brand or products, as everything is increasingly vulnerable to the online sentiment and conversation.
Matt Compton, CEO of ShopIgniter says “At the end of the day, our retail and brand customers care most about leveraging the social web to create deeper connections with customers, deliver merchandising and promotions, which increase brand affinity and purchase consideration, and ultimately drive revenue.”
The right way to target?
This shows a completely new way of businesses targeting their customers, but is it necessarily the right way? It creates a slightly uneven playing field, in that the customers that happen to be social media savvy are given preferential treatment above other customers who might not be as adept in this area.
It acts a bit like an exclusive club and brands that want to introduce something like this, should also consider how they continue to reach and measure their customers that might not be using these channels to communicate, at least as much as the ‘influencers’.
Commerce influence is a new concept for brands to handle, when it comes to adapting it to social media. Product freebies or incentives are not a new thing when you consider celebrity endorsement or perks, but it’s now adapting based on social technologies. It’s creating a completely new landscape for companies and it requires adjusting their thinking if it’s to work.
As well as commerce influence being about rewarding those that using their social networks effectively, it should also strongly focus on how those customers without the same influence can be encouraged to build word of mouth in their own networks and are provided with the tools to do so.