Cash­ing

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

Some com­pa­nies put a lot of ef­fort into their so­cial net­work­ing pres­ences, but un­til now haven’t been able to re­ceive di­rect re­ward for it. It’s also diff icult to sep­a­rate the real inf lu­encers online from the blowhards who buy fol­low­ers. Webflu­en­tial is a start-up that wants to change that by re­ward­ing inf lu­encers on so­cial net­works and help­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tors to con­nect with them.

The lines be­tween tra­di­tional PR and mar­ket­ing have blurred in the online world and it’s also be­come more dif­fi­cult to tell who the real inf lu­encers are online. Go to big f lashy events right now and you’re as likely to bump into a fa­mous ra­dio DJ with hun­dreds of thou­sands of Twit­ter fol­low­ers as well as a blog­ger with hun­dreds of fol­low­ers who is none­the­less a leg­end in their own bath time. And do the num­bers mat­ter? Surely qual­ity is more im­por­tant than quan­tity?

Th­ese are vex­ing times for the cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions fra­ter­nity – and the peo­ple at Webflu­en­tial know it, which is why they’ve de­vel­oped a plat­form that aims to dis­tin­guish the web wannabes from the le­git­i­mate celebri­ties.

Fin­week sat down with Webflu­en­tial founders Mike Shar­man and Mur­ray Legg to un­pack the ser­vice, which has al­ready picked up in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion in its f irst few weeks out in the wild.

Shar­man says that the plat­form hopes to ap­peal to both inf lu­encers and the com­pa­nies who want to reach them. With Webflu­en­tial you can pay peo­ple to tweet, al­though there’s more to it than that.

Com­pa­nies pay to use Webflu­en­tial where they can man­age cam­paigns and events and iden­tify the right inf lu­encers to work with on th­ese. The sys­tem even fa­cil­i­tates invit­ing peo­ple to an event and han­dles the RSVPs.

Once a cam­paign has been es­tab­lished, the sys­tem helps com­mu­ni­ca­tors iden­tify the right inf lu­encers to work with. The inf lu­encers them­selves need to sign up for the ser­vice

Mike Shar­man Mur­ray Legg

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