Influencer Program on Social Media: The Value of one Passionate Fan
In this article Danielle Kamar provide details on how to define influencers, how to build a connection with them as a brand and how to eventually use them as a launch pad for product awareness.
Sneezers. Or as they are more commonly known, social influencers.
The popular kids on the block, so to speak. This type of social user has a high reach, as defined both by number of followers and who these followers are.
Brand ambassadors on the other hand are defined by engagement. Meet the hipsters of social media. These are the customers that willingly share positive updates about a brand on their accounts because they love it that much.
It is common practice for the two terms to be used interchangeably. However, while a social user can be both sneezer and brand ambassador, it is not a necessity.
Depending on what the company objectives are, an outreach program would focus more on one or the other, or it can even get creative and mix between both. The aim of the program would be to successfully engage and recruit these users as part of the company’s marketing mix for more organic brand awareness.
The four steps below highlight how to set up an outreach program in order to eventually utilize user activity.
The foundation of a strong outreach program is social listening. In order to know who field influencers are or who is talking positively about your brand, you need to be monitoring the social conversation. A three month period is a good time estimate for this phase.
For brand ambassadors, it is recommended to use social listening tools to help aggregate the data and pinpoint recurrent names. Some tools to consider: FollowerWonk, ManagerFlitter or Commun.It
For influencers, more research is needed. Look up hash tags related to the product sector, study who posts regularly using that hash tag and evaluate accordingly.
Social Data Gathering
Running in parallel to extensive social listening is extensive social data gathering. The information being tracked should be in part about the user and in part about their content.
The main details to take down about a user would be name, location, approximate target audience they match, profession, interest and their other social links. Any additional detail that is made available on their profile is worth adding as it will help establish a more personal connection at later stages.
In terms of posting habits, frequency of updates should be monitored in addition to type of content. Marketing guidelines come into play here. Some companies are stricter than others about associating with a profile that contains profanity or addresses thorny issues. Before moving to engagement, the final set of names might need to be reviewed by PR or Marketing depending on the organization.
Once a list is in place, it is time to establish contact. If the user has a high reach, chances are the level of interaction they receive on a daily basis is also high. Set up a contact pattern starting with regular, basic forms of engagement gradually moving towards commenting or reposting.
Here, the personal details that were tracked become useful to make the brand more relatable to the user’s day to day life. For instance, if the track sheet shows that a person’s birthday is coming up, the brand can offer their best wishes when interacting with them.
At this stage, it is less intrusive to ask for support from those who responded to the interaction but incentive will always be needed.
Brand ambassadors might be happy to contribute in exchange of exclusive invites to product launches or first buy priority. Sneezers would be more likely to ask for monetary incentive unless they are also passionate about the brand.
If the product holds its own, the sneezers and the brand ambassadors will push that message forward to their fan bases allowing for user generated awareness. As consumers rely more and more on peer reviews, an outreach program is one of the next natural steps forward for social marketing.
(Danielle Kamar is a Senior Social Media Executive at Middle East Broadcasting Center. Follow her on Twitter to get more updates on Social Media.)