Social influence marketing is consistently cranking out jaw-dropping results across the boards and generally kicking digital advertising's metaphorical butt.

Scrappy startups like Trendy Butler have successfully used it as a cost-efficient way to establish a presence in the industry; major brands like Becca Cosmetics are partnering with influencers to authentically connect with their customers and create new, slam-dunk products based on user feedback.

You might imagine that the social influence scenario takes place solely online. An influencer creates content online, their fans follow online, and will buy whatever that influencer is talking about...also online. And for those of us who feel that face-to-face human connection is dying--this only adds to our fears. However, a new and rapidly growing startup called SURKUS is changing the way we think about social influencer marketing by getting folks out of the house and interacting with one another.

On the consumer side SURKUS is an app that lets its users (called SURKUSgoers) obtain access to the hottest local events and venues in their cities. On the business side, it enables companies to bypass traditional marketing sources to tap into hyper-targeted fans and users for events and activations. So basically, its like social influencer marketing--but in person.

People don't go to events to see people they like, but rather, people they want to BE like. When you're throwing an event, you have to make it so awesome that people WANT to post about it. If you don't create the right mood, you're not going to get the result you want. Part of creating that mood is having the right people there--and this is where casting your event can come into play.

Through its app, SURKUS passes advertising and promotional dollars to "influencers" by incentivizing users to attend exclusive events at must-see venues. These people are "cast" for certain events based on their user profile and preferences (hence, creating the right vibe for your party). Using a proprietary algorithm which collects relevant data from each SURKUSgoer, the system aggregates content from all social media feeds. SURKUSgoers are identified, qualified, recruited, and confirmed with invitations incentivizing them to attend. Ultimately, this connects businesses with the masses to cast their ideal crowds. These ideal crowds then post to their networks of the same (or similar) demographic.

For example, Esteral Restaurant inside The Beverly Hills Sofitel Hotel were seeking a cost effective way to boost their social media presence with LA influencers. SURKUS was utilized to cast stylish thought leaders and influencers within the Beverly Hills geolocation (who were also foodies with a strong organic social reach). SURKUS used its data to identify required users--all of whom were more than happy to enjoy a beautiful meal with new friends and post on social media.

Similarly, when the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and Rolls Royce needed to cast models for their annual exotic fashion runway signature event and gain as much exposure as possible for the event. With only a few hours notice, SURKUS to identified and cast the perfect looks and were easily able to filter professional runway models with at least 100k social reach. On top of that, SURKUS was able to staff the back of the house as well as atmosphere and energy enhancement models.

Creating human connections is always the most powerful way to persuade anyone to act. So from now on, when you're thinking about social influence--you might challenge yourself to think outside the internet.

Published on: May 26, 2016
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