In 1610, Galileo Galilei, an Italian scientist and philosopher, helped start the Scientific Revolution, in part, by expressing his belief that the sun, not the earth, was the center of our universe. He was branded a heretic by the church and his peers for challenging widely believed—and church-sanctioned—doctrine. Through fear, ignorance, or public pressure, his peers were comfortable with the status quo, and challenging it was unthinkable. Rebel Brown, author of Defying Gravity, updates this theory: “We are humans in business and humans don’t like change, yet our markets, buyers and competitors are changing as we speak.” Business leaders and marketers tend to seek the path of least resistance and when given the choice, opt to do what’s always been done or take advantage of services offering shortcuts for jobs that require more consideration and manual work. Why do the work when others offer the tools to do that work for us? It’s easy to become complacent. Throughout history, those who have benefited most from the status quo have proven to be the most resistant to different points of view, no matter how logical or how many countering views are offered. “It’s this gravity that prevents business leaders and marketers from innovating,” argues Brown.
Today, the media, businesses, and software vendors seem stuck on the notion that social network amplification is an effective baseline for influence marketing strategies. The conversations around influence marketing have typically been debates over the accuracy of the numerical scores assigned to individuals based on their social reach and engagement or the merits of one platform over the other. Elsewhere, heated arguments erupt over whether social media engagements can, in fact, measure any form of influence at all; they’re stuck in their own gravitational pull, propelling the status quo. If we were to break free of this gravity, we’d gain the required altitude to view the trend currents and strategize how influence will eventually be used in social media marketing.
If social influence scoring platforms are the gravity preventing us from seeing the trend currents in influence marketing strategies, how do we break free?