Happy New Year, goodhealth and much success in 2012!
In our previous blog posts we’ve been discussing the value and composition of a wholly owned branded Community to build loyalty and drive incremental revenue. We’ve examined “our 3 legged stool” being comprised of the brand, customers/markets and influencers. In today’s post we’ll review the exceptional importance of “Influencers” in the community.
Here’s what we look for in our research. Influencers are individuals or organizations having a positive effect on your brand’s reputation and sales efforts. Therefore assisting in the retention of existing customers, sourcing new customers and driving bottom line profits. Influencers fall into 2 simple groups. First, influencers can be your brand advocates sourced within your customer portfolio. These brand advocates carry positive sentiments and experiences associate with your product or service. The second group are influencers falling into your product/service categories. Also included in this categorical approach are influencers having some relevance to your product.
As an example, one of our B2B clients incorporated this strategy as we identified influencers related specifically to their service offering, business networking, and influencers associated with there members businesses interests…sales management, innovation, sustainability and business leadership to name just a few.
In identifying influencers there are a number of sophisticated activities to take into consideration. We leverage the appropriate social tools and research to: monitor brand, competitive, category and sentiment conversations, identify influencers with Reach, Relevance and Resonance, and primary research identifying the markets passions/interests. An important activity associated with any influencer strategy is to build and outreach program that solicits these important people for participation and engagement within your community. Performing these activities at an advanced social marketing level is essential. Please remember from our first installment on community the importance of having a holistic social media marketing strategic plan and associated activities to monetize your social media investments. You have to have a plan. Influencer identification is a significant part of the strategy.
Influencers are exceptionally important as they help to drive engagement, awareness of your brand, content, enhancing your Social SEO, delivery of a value exchange and an exceptional experience for your customers and markets. They have a significant impact on moving your social media activities from a push to a pull environment. Stay consistent in identifying new influencers, building a reciprocal relationship and being creative in your ideation. You’ll see a significant increase in engagement and revenue from their inclusion. We welcome your comments, questions or experience in the importance of an influencer strategy.