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“It’s not just who you know, but who knows you.” – Mitch Joel

Social media influencer identification software has one glaring flaw across many different analytics tools. Today’s tools focus too much on the what and not enough on the who.

I was doing some client work the other night and found I needed to build a list of influencers for YouTube. I turned to the usual stalwart software tools for identifying influencers. What did I find? Lots of ways to identify top videos, most liked videos, videos with the highest number of views, etc. I found lots of information about the what, the media itself.

What I didn’t find was the who. Who made these videos? What channels do they operate?

Last year, I was working on a similar project on Pinterest. I found plenty of top pins, but very little information on who owned those pins in the various influencer marketing tools.

Why don’t we focus on the creator, rather than the content? We still have too narrow a perspective as marketers. We focus on the biggest numbers – hey, this video got 1,000,000 views! – and not who can consistently create success, who we need to partner with for sustained growth.

If we want our influencer programs to shine, to demonstrate the business-developing power our marketing and sales needs, we must adjust our focus from flash-in-the-pan “viral” hits to long-term talent identification.


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