Online Influencers and Brand Advocates use Social Media (Warning: Sometimes that’s Bad)

This report from Yahoo was sent to me from Steve Wilhelm entitled Influential Consumers Can Be Reached Through Search, Social Media and Communication Tools.

It indicates that there is a unique role appearing on the web that influences others. Coincendtly, they are using Social Media tools to influence others.

Who are these advocates?

“Of the 2,297 respondents surveyed for the study, a particular group stood apart attitudinally and behaviorally, considered to be “Brand Advocates.” Brand Advocates are adventurous opinion leaders and social influencers who are slightly younger, more educated and affluent, and spend more time online than non-advocates. They represent approximately 36 percent of the online purchasers surveyed…”

The report also indcates that these influential advocates talk about brands online and they use Social Media tools to transmit their opinions

“…instant messaging, chat, community, photo sites and blogging, Brand Advocates are able to influence their vast online social circle.

I can’t agree more, as just a few minutes ago I just advocated Pandora. Robert Scoble keeps on driving home the point that the word of mouth network is very efficient. He’s right, as news about events in Paris at Les Blogs exploded online and impacted folks here in California within minutes.

Warning: This article sure shows that these influencers could potentially have a positive impact on one’s brand, but the report fails to mention the horrible and negative impacts that influencers can have. For example do a search on “Dell Support” and for many months, this was the third displayed result, even above the official Dell site. Or check out this IGN editor who decides to give Hitachi (my former employer) a message.