What is your ROI (Return on Influence)?

I was fortunate enough to listen to Brian Solis speak last month. He was sharing his views on the role of influencer marketing and how “pay to play” as he put it – think Kim Kardashian – is losing its worth in the business. We are becoming far more savvy buyers and don’t fall so easily for the slick, Mad Men style advertising or the blatant “sponsored” post.

We are a generation of four stars plus and third-party reviews. How many times have you wrangled over booking a hotel or holiday experience because you get fixated on the one really bad review that was left in the last three months or so?

Brian spoke about the ROI of Social. Not the Return on Investment but your Return on Influence. What he meant by this was how you should not care so much about how many followers you have, but how much they engage with you and your content.

Each follower is a micro-influencer in their own right within their network. You must therefore earn their influence in order for them to share your content into their own network. Thereby validating what you have written/said into their own trusted network. And then it starts all over again. Each Like, Comment, Share or Retweet is the ROI you should be seeking. This is how posts go viral, they got moved quickly, almost simultaneously by 100s upon 100s of micro influencers and so on and so on. Social is a living ecosystem that never sleeps.

Make your social presence relevant

Granted, you need good content to share into your network in the first place – that is for another blog. However, what you can develop immediately is the relevance of your network. Yet, when speaking with the majority of organisations, most seem to build their networks around their peers internally or peers in their networks.

Sales especially seem to connect with other sales people, but not their clients or prospects. These are the micro influencers you want to be engaging with. Finance Directors will tend to connect with other Finance Directors; IT Directors to IT Directors; HR Directors to HR Directors – you get the picture.  You want your existing buyers to act as influencers to your future buyers by validating you and your content into their own networks.

Now is the time to start thinking about your own Return on Influence.


  1. I’ve found the best and often most difficult aspect of connecting with influencers is to be able to speak to them on their level. Some people can do this fairly quickly, but there can be a lot to consider. What angle are we looking for, what are our priorities, and obviously, how is our pitch or presentation being received? Interesting topic!