Finding someone who likes your product or brand enough that they talk about it positively to all in sundry is like finding the golden goose. Tons of recent studies have shown that personal recommendations and word of mouth are more credible to consumers than anything they see advertised (it makes sense that we’d take our friends word on a product over a paid ad, but in saying that, we still need advertising to get that friend aware of your company/product in the first place). Marketers spend so much of their energy hunting for these influencers, those happy customers who go out of their way to spread the good word OFF THEIR OWN BACK – no salary required! The bigger the group of friends or circle of influence of these happy customers, the better. Once you find one of these golden geese, you need to do what you can to keep them thinking of your company or product in a shiny light.
But how do you find the golden goose? Well, social media is a good help. You can now use certain programs to find who is talking favourably and constantly about your product or service or brand. Then you can determine their level of influence by discerning their number of followers and the overall reach of their postings. (Celebrities – and psuedo celebs – are good at this because they have loads of fans following their every social media move; their circle isn’t just made up of just friends and family, like most of ours.) Once you find out who these influential people who love your brand are, reach out to them. Don’t just watch them and silently thank them – instead, create a mutually beneficial relationship, a mutual admiration society, to form a win-win situation. You’ll get credible (and cheap!) advertising through them, and they’ll get to strengthen their influence with help from you. Send them new products, invite them to look behind the scenes, let them in on prospective plans and new releases.
Need an example? Manley Media recently outlined the case of Tyler Oakley, a man who became a bit of a YouTube celebrity after posting videos for a number of years. Now he has a pretty decent fan base on Twitter and Tumbler – ergo a big circle of influence. On these social networks, Tyler has mentioned his love of Taco Bell. The fast food company reached out to him, tweeting back and forth and forming a relationship. Their relationship got so strong that in 2012 Taco Bell sent Tyler to cover the MTV Music Awards on their behalf. They still talk continually, sharing each other’s influence. A great example of how a company can connect with a consumer’s large bunch of followers in a more personal way than a scatter-gun mass advertising approach.
For more advice on how to create, find and embrace your most loyal and loud customers, your apostles, your influencers, get in touch for some business coaching and advice: firstname.lastname@example.org