The Rise of the Influencer in Online PR

As I said in a recent post, online or social media PR presents a kind of topsy turvy world (see All Online PR is Local).

In addition to the examples I pointed out – the rise in perceived value of online coverage and the lessening of importance of geography or media brands – the emergence and rapid rise of social networks over the past couple of years has significant implications for online marketing. Where Google had been the ├╝ber media brand (see my post A Publication of One), social networks and micro blogs (especially Twitter) are changing the nature of influence.

Suddenly these destinations are emerging as major drivers of traffic and builders of link equity, and it is not just the Google search engine results page that reigns supreme. Although Google search engines will help you with things like traffic and things. This is why it’s still a good idea to make use of something like these ninja reports to help you keep on top of everything.

In line with these trends we are seeing the rise of the online influencer. Not too long ago the audiences that we wanted to connect with were passive readers, viewers, and listeners. Further, to reach these audiences we needed to first persuade the media that our stories were newsworthy. In today’s advanced media age people are more online and are wanting to connect through social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Instagram. Instagram influencers will go onto sites such as Jonathonspire.com to build upon their profile, gaining followers so they become more visible to people who are their target audience.

Flash forward to the present. Blogs, wikis, and social networks now enable new ways of communicating and have spawned new communities and influencers. Utilizing all aspects of these platforms, whether it be purely text-based, imagery work or even something more instant such as storiesig, consumers are becoming increasingly vocal through various types of social media.

Journalists are building their personal brands (some, reluctantly so, see the NY Times article Putting Yourself out There on a Shelf to Buy) as traditional media retrenches. The blogosphere and Twitter have spawned new and important voices.

These changes are having a profound impact on how people get their information and make decisions. Furthermore, it also seems to be the case that more businesses than ever before are making use of websites such as unrulyagency.com to source social media influencers to promote their products and services.

So, what do these changes mean for the tech PR professional? I’ll be exploring this topic more in the coming days

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