Interview with Social Media Influencer – Evan Kirstel
A series of interviews on changing and emerging trends in social media.
An interview with Evan Kirstel, #1 Social Influencer in many key industries, including IoT (Internet of Things), UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), and the Smart Home.
Question: A “social influencer” concept is not new, but its role and impact in markets/industries seems to be expanding. Can you explain what this means?
Evan: Being a social influencer places an increased responsibility on being credible and being a leader that people can look to for help and guidance. Like economists, management theorists, weather forecasters, and Wall Street leaders, each has a specific role in their field and each is not just an expert but provides thought leadership to the industry. That is, the social influencer is really a thought leader. Thought leadership in content development explores the way management (C-level, full-disclosure, community and leadership), organization (uses in Web, print, etc.), distribution (via media channels and channel partners) and diffusion (common understanding and experience) uses information to ensure a common understanding. Some also argue context is more important than content. Bottom-line - the role of the social media thought leader is to provide actionable context for the right content.
Question: Are there tools you use to help gather and curate information for your own Twitter feed?
Evan: Yes, I use a wide range of sources and tools (e.g. newsletters, search bots, etc.) which help in the research process. However, not even the best AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology can replace human analysis and thinking. To some, social media is the new buzz word for marketing, and some even suggest that "marketing" is rather an outdated term. In my experience, social is just another approach to connecting with customers while each customer has their own favorite way of connecting with a provider. This means companies need traditional marketing activities like billboards, coffee cups, or even the original marketing concept, word-of-mouth. But companies also need to utilize digital channels like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and whatever will come next. But indiscriminately jumping into the latest hot-cool trend is not the best approach. Expert analysis of customer interviews will determine what channel(s) should be used and when. A communications assessment will deliver recommendations on social media channels best for your customers in developing thought leadership and using thought leaders (a.k.a. social influencers). Thought leadership should be the persistent, consistent and often thought-provoking contribution to blogs, Twitter, Facebook and industry publications and journals. One of the new tools I am using is xiQ (www.xiq.io), designed for B2B sales and marketing professionals and executives. xiQ uses a combination of patented technologies to gather massive amounts of information and data from the internet, social media, public records, and hundreds of industry-specific sources. The world’s most advanced cognitive analytics framework (IBM Watson), powering the smartest content marketing platform (xiQ) delivers time savings without compromising content quality. I will continue to explore and use this and other social media technology tools to gain new insights into the markets and industries I am involved with.
Question: Where is all this going and how can companies tap into the role of social media and technology?
Evan: Throughout my research I see that there is a strong and immediate impact of contextual communications on human interaction. I will leave you with something to ponder. In the past few years, there has been considerable growth in the use of business strategy games for management study and other problems, such as examining business applications, communications or political and social processes. Gaming entails using scenarios, games, simulations, or models to provide a background or environment in which a set of individuals can interact. The environment is almost invariably a simulation or a model of a real environment. For example, in a business game, the communication simulation model provides insights into strategy. The application of machine intelligence to communication is, indeed, leading to the development of expert systems. This applies to thought leadership in a way similar to a computer scientist facing a complex philosophical dilemma like Goedel's postulate that some propositions can neither be proved nor disproved. The criteria for understanding might be rather in the area of having the appropriate response, depending on the context or condition. For example, just because you call the fire department does not mean that your house is on fire. Just because you are hungry does not mean that you will eat stale bread. It is extremely hard to predict anything beyond one year and increasingly we cannot predict even the next month. However, planning for the future based upon unique insights, despite the constraints, is essential for the success of any technology, company or person.
Conclusion – In a future article, we will explore other ways social media impacts business, markets, industries, and global trends.