Brits who wanted the U.K. to remain in the E.U. are scratching their heads now. How could so many of their compatriots be persuaded to vote leave? Naturally, those in the leave camp are equally perplexed at the actions of the ‘remainers’. Well, psychology offers one answer: social influence. Social influence, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology, is ‘any process whereby a person’s attitudes, opinions, beliefs, or behavior are altered or controlled by others’. Now, to harness and focus this powerful force, Agora Holdings (OTC: AGHI) offers FRAME. FRAME is the lens through which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can see and be seen by their customers and target markets, and, like any lens, FRAME has the power to magnify.
There is no doubt that our purchasing decisions are shaped by traditional media, by social media and by our peers. Equally influential on our purchasing decisions are the opinions of our heroes. That’s the reason that brand spoke-persons and celebrity endorsements are so widely employed in advertising campaigns. Social influence occurs at different levels. At the most personal level, there is the influence of our peers, which was limited to just a small circle of friends and family with whom we interacted physically. Now, because of the internet, ‘peer pressure’ is greatly more extensive. At the most public level is the influence exerted by the traditional media channels of print, radio and television. This is all changing with the advent of social media, which combines elements of the personal and the public.
Through social media platforms, which offer a confluence of the traditional channels of mass media and personal interaction, a rich menu of possibilities arise. Customers can all be brand spoke persons. Working in conjunction with celebrity endorsements, customers’ tweets and posts can make or break a brand. Now, customers can respond and talk directly to a movie star, politician or other public figure through a post or tweet, find out what their opinion on a subject is, and see if their likes and dislikes gel with their own. And our peers no longer have to be those we have met physically. They could be living thousands of miles away from us. We meet them in chat rooms, in forums and on social media platforms. As a result, marketing messages are easier and less costly. A tweet doesn’t require the formal and technical apparatus of a traditional promotional event.
The power of social influence is not to be underestimated. The website internships.com saw their public profile boosted immeasurably in 2011 after Charlie Sheen tweeted he was looking for an intern. The tweet received 95,333 clicks in the first hour. The reach of the tweet was astoundingly extensive with applications, which eventually totaled 82,148, coming in from 181 countries.
In addition, clever marketers like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) have been exploiting social influence even before social media platforms became quite so ubiquitous. Over the close to 200 years P&G has given us Gillette, Tide, Vicks and a hundred other products, the company has learned a thing or two about how consumers behave. In 2001, it launched a marketing division to explore the potential of ‘word of mouth’ marketing, which was the turn of the century moniker for social influence marketing. Tremor, as it was called, targeted teens with the objective of determining to what extent gossip influenced purchasing decisions.
Tremor discovered how trends developed and categorized the hundreds of thousands of teens who joined their network into Trend Setters and Trend Spreaders. Trend Setters are those who like to differentiate themselves from others. Typically, when too many others copy their style, they will abandon it and seek further means of differentiation. Trend Spreaders, on the other hand, adopt a style to signal their inclusion. All too often, it signals quite the opposite. Nevertheless, for marketers, these are the most valuable.
FRAME from Agora Holdings offers a platform to take the marketing efforts of SMEs to a much higher level. The platform was enhanced earlier this year and is particularly optimized for public relations (PR) and investor relations (IR) agencies. FRAME’s unique technology allows companies to use a single dashboard to publish brand-relevant messages to all of an organization’s corporate social media accounts. This enables the company to build campaigns in a faster, more efficient, and easier way. FRAME also features several advanced functions such as engagement and customer care tools, measurement of campaign success via social media performance and comprehensive reporting, which provides insight into how many times content is reposted by monitoring social media mentions and brand-related conversations.
For more information, visit www.agoraholdingsinc.com
Let us hear your thoughts: Agora Holdings, Inc. Message Board