5 Ways Smart Marketers Accrue Social Influence
Columnist Katy Keim outlines steps you can use to take advantage of influencers in social media.
It’s no secret consumers have more power than ever regarding a brand’s online reputation.
The dynamic nature of social media, coupled with the consumer’s desire for a meaningful online presence, positions marketers at the center of the relationship between the brand and the consumer.
That’s why it’s imperative to identify a brand’s online influencers and determine how best to interact with these individuals, as they are going to make a large impact on a brand’s target audience through their opinion leadership and extensive social circles.
Below are five tips on how marketers can effectively interact with consumers and gain insight into what type of content drives the most consumer engagement.
Tip #1: Social Stalking Is Necessary
Marketers cultivating social influence don’t spend hours researching every person who likes or retweets their posts. Rather, they zero in on key influencers who consistently engage with their brand online.
Clearly these consumers believe in the brand and marketers have the opportunity to empower each of them with unique information and assets about the company, its products and its services.
Marketers need to take the time to dig and find these people, then determine what types of news and information they deem relevant and thus tailor their content accordingly.
Tip #2: Be Relatable
Social media is a great tool to highlight products, company news and interact with consumers. A marketer with social influence gains friends and followers not just by their association with the brand but through the content that he or she organically produces and shares.
As a marketer, you are a tangible representation of a brand, and therefore it helps forge relationships to provide a glimpse into your personal life.
This could be posting an article about one’s hometown with a small shout out or a photo from a family trip taken over the weekend. Provide consumers with a look at the face behind the company.
Tip #3: Don’t Fight Feedback
While not every comment about your brand in social media may be positive or constructive, don’t shut down or shut up when encountering negative feedback.
There are always going to be people who aren’t fans of your brand. However, it’s important to evaluate what is being said.
Even if it isn’t the feedback you expected, devoting time to listening and analyzing negative comments could provide kernels of inspiration to improve your company’s product or service, or refine how your brand engages with its key consumers.
Tip #4: Creative Content Drives Engagement
This may seem like a no-brainer but, when you get down to it, a lot of what’s shared these days isn’t especially engaging. A photo from a recent speaking engagement or media event, for example, isn’t considered creative anymore.
Good marketers use social media to highlight their brand’s personality and how it is reflected in their work environment.
Showcase an office’s breathtaking view or unique décor. Instagram a humorous shot of the new fall interns. In anticipation of a busy exciting week, one could draft a “5 reasons I can’t wait until Monday” list.
Marketers constantly need to think outside the box to provide consumers with relevant, intriguing glimpse into their work worlds.
Tip #5: Be a Connoisseur, Not A Band-Wagoner
With an array of social media platforms readily available, a marketer needs to be wary of joining every of-the-moment option.
Savvy marketers determine which platforms their consumers utilize most often and gauge the expected longevity of these platforms.
Rather than create profiles on every new platform that gains popularity, spend time selecting and carefully curating profiles on platforms most likely to reach and engage target audiences.
Once you know the platform, figure out how your customer interacts best on that platform, and tweak content appropriately. Not everything you post on Facebook would translate well to Twitter – the same goes for Instagram and Pinterest.