I’ve been diving deep into the fascinating behavioural psychology, tech innovations and social mechanisms that underpin attention, curation, trust and influence in 2016. The idea is to try and decode and demystify why, what we do – creatively enabling and empowering young people to influence and inspire each other – works so well.
We’ve also been snorkelling through the murky waters of social influencer marketing to try and shine a light on the potential pitfalls and pots of gold that this nascent sub-industry presents as it continues on its inevitable rise over the next few years. And, as is the Livity way, we’ve been involving smart, engaged young people in this exploratory process throughout. Sure enough they have pinpointed important subtleties, examples and explanations that no professional marketers or seasoned vox-poppers would have chanced upon in a thousand focus groups or data analytic reports.
We have also been looking at some of our own social channels for clues and case studies that illustrate the complexities of growing audience, earning attention and activating influence.
One of the top 5 most ‘influential’ tweets from our main agency twitter account, @livityuk according to social measurement tool Klear, was this piece of praise for an initiative by cobblers and key cutters Timpson, giving job seekers free dry cleaning for interview outfits. As brands continue to deliberate over whether to invest long term in growing their own reach and influence, versus leveraging the influence of others, it is a timely reminder that inspiring (not paying) other people to praise you will always be more powerful than singing your own praises. Timpson did a brilliant thing, but then rather than shout about it themselves, they made the act visible in an authentic, unobtrusive way, and ended up with thousands of tweets, coverage in dozens of papers and the BBC; trust-building, brand-building influence that money literally cannot buy.
As a piece of social content, it also illustrates the value of really understanding what your audience is interested in and where they perceive your authority as a voice of influence lies.
Because of who we are and what we do as a youth agency with a soul (as someone once described us), that strives to gets brands to help young people and young people to help brands, Livity’s influence spans across areas of youth, communication and social purpose, and our 11k followers are a mix of young people and those that want to understand and influence them. Sharing stories about things you love, that you believe your followers and friends will love, perfectly illustrates an insight that a young person explained to us recently, that at its best social sharing is a form of gifting, an act of caring, of friendship, even of love and that each little act of love will win love in return.