Incredibly persuasive and valuable, personal recommendations maintain a powerful role in marketing. Customers are still more inclined to buy in to supporting endorsements from someone they admire than they are to paid advertising alone.
Back in the day, we’d merely call it “word-of-mouth.” We can even now, but with the times a-changin’ as they tend to do, the means have evolved. In this modern, digital realm, audiences interact with both brands and celebrities directly—online, via social and mobile media.
Twitter, just one of many such channels, cites astounding impact: “Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.”
And while there’s a “2.7x increase in purchase intent when users are exposed to Tweets from brands,” expect a “5.2x increase in purchase intent when users are exposed to both brand and influencer Tweets.”
We think it’s safe to say that the importance of targeting these decision drivers cannot be understated.
So, who are they? Social media influencers are people who sway audiences’ opinions, simply by recommending (or, gulp, disparaging) a product or brand, on social media. Like an inspirational Mary Lou Retton on that legendary 1984 Wheaties box, actual celebrities (athletes, actors and musicians) step up to prominent cyberspace platforms.
But there’s another type too—the digital stars—regular folks who have amassed substantial social media followings and wield their judgments over them. They include bloggers, vloggers (video bloggers) and other content creators.
Their opinions spread like wildfire, and that can be good news for you, if you integrate social media influencer engagement into your marketing plan. Here are some easy guidelines we suggest you stick to:
Meet your trusted match.
The right social media influencers aren’t the same for every brand or niche audience. Make sure the thought leaders you select are relevant to your brand or product and the market segments for which you’re aiming, and that their reach would be far, wide and effective.
Go straight to the source.
By collaborating with social media influencers to craft or bolster content posted on their own social media channels, you can piggyback on to their vast follower base. This method opens up possibilities for speaking to audiences and segmenting messaging that might otherwise be closed or difficult to penetrate.
Build buzz—and trust—on your own channels.
Procure social media influencers to appear in content that will be shared or cross-promoted on your own social media channels. In addition to the instant attention, your follower base and ongoing online reach may very well swell too.
Always, always be yourself.
As only a single part of your comprehensive campaign and reputation, social media influencer marketing campaigns should stay true to—and build on—your overarching brand image and messaging.
There’s so much more to consider on this subject. We’d love to help identify and connect with your influencers, and hone and achieve your mutually beneficial goals, by using spot-on tools. Engage Lynn Kaniper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.466.9187, ext. 117 today.