Austin, TX based research company Software Advice asked social media users and marketers across the US to answer surveys about social media influence and advocacy.
It found that a few influencers were responsible for most of the influence across the web.
These influencers are powerful. If a minority of five to ten percent of influencers can agree on a cause, they can then convince the majority of us to move towards adoption -- or purchase.
46 percent of marketers struggle to predict the preferences and behaviour of social media influencers, yet they feel that advocacy based marketing does resonate with influencers.
Discovering other areas of interest across social feeds -- such as Mary Jo Foley's enthusiasm for beer -- will help brands to connect more effectively.Marketers struggle to find and communicate with advocates. 46 percent of marketers find this a challenge. However, over 40 percent of Influencers are extremely comfortable about being contacted by brands.
Predictive analysis - data mining to uncover patterns and connections from seemingly unstructured data -- can give great insight into user behaviour. Furthermore, this insight can be utilise to predict how users will be likely to behave in the future.
Bing used predictive analysis to forecast the Scottish independence vote amongst others and smart marketers are using predictive analysis to proactively anticipate what their customers want.
The findings suggest that marketers who do use predictive analytics tools to help them find the right influencers and identify potential brand advocates could have a competitive advantage.
But with a plethora of predictive analysis tools from Adobe to IBM and even Mashable, the challenge for marketers is which tool -- at which price point -- to choose for their business.