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Social Media Influencers: Marketing to Customers through Customers

Written by: Steph Ferrer
January 30, 2017 • 6-minute read

Social Media Influencers Marketing to Customers through Customers

According to a study by Launch Metrics released last year, 93% of professionals consider social media influencers to be an effective marketing channel. Social media influencers—content creators who cultivate personal followings in a variety of interests—are often more trusted by consumers, who see them as unattached to corporations; and with the rise of ad blockers, their native content is also more likely to reach consumers’ eyes.

This is the face of influencer marketing: consumers guiding consumers; customers trusting fellow customers.

An influencer in this sense might be a mainstream celebrity or a niche thought leader; they might use several minutes of video, or they might just drop a product name in an image caption—what’s important is that they are speaking as consumers to fellow consumers, familiar with the needs and priorities of the people they’re talking to.

To consumers, influencers are not strangers. They’re familiar faces or friendly voices they’ve encountered time and again on the Web. To become an influencer, one has to build a network based on trust and mutual interests. These influencers take time to build their relationships with their followers by interacting and engaging with them and taking the time to actually hear them out and reach out to them.

Identify Your Influencers

Enlisting the aid of influencers works much the same way. Nurturing your relationship with your network can help you gain their trust and forge a friendship in the virtual realm. Knowing your target influencer, their audience, and their way of engaging that audience is critical.

In the entire influencer marketing process, getting the right person for the role is quite possibly the single most important decision you’ll make. To know exactly who to tap into and make an influencer, you can use both tools and your judgment to identify your influencers. You can use BuzzSumo to try and find influencers based on keywords. This approach also lets you filter results by location, and their platform/s. You can take into consideration the reach of their posts, shares, and email open rate and clicks. Of course, an alignment of values and character shouldn’t be ignored. The best partnerships between brand and ambassador are founded on an intersection of audiences and values.

Knowing your possible influencers also allows you to personalize the way you communicate with them. It always pays off to be a friendly figure, but even more precious to these social media movers and shakers is the respect you show when you take the time to understand their personal brands.

Furthermore, when you find an influencer that matches up with your company’s branding, you also save yourself a lot of work. Be it through blogging, streaming, or community management, a good social media influencer knows how to get their fans involved, and they bring this expertise with them. Leaving much of the engagement tactics to your prospective ambassador is usually beneficial for both sides.

From Critique to Commendation

Securing social media influence doesn’t always rely on high-profile characters. If you keep your social eyes and ears attuned to your audience, you’ll easily spot opportunities to convert your customers into promoters.

For instance, if you see a bad review of your product by a blogger, you can reply to them privately and apologize to them, and offer them something from your brand to make it up to them. Once they are satisfied with what you have offered them, there’s a high chance they will share that wonderful experience with their followers, and make them think that your brand really does care for its consumers.

 responding to negative reviews

how to respond to negative feedback

You can also go further by nurturing the people who are already satisfied with your product or service. Don’t be afraid to engage with them on social media. For example, if one person tweets about your brand saying that they’re happy with it, you can thank them for it and ask them about their experiences with it. This will lend your brand a human appeal that will indicate to them that you’re trying to have a real connection with them.

In-House Influence

You can also start internally in building your social media influence. Turn your employees into your own endorsers by allowing them to feel the full support of your brand to them, and show them that you also take their thoughts and feelings into consideration when making market research. They should be the voice of your brand that will reach out to other people, sharing their experiences with your brand to prospects. Get your employees to be the number one advocates of your brand, and let them show it off to their connections on social media.

Social media influence will not only improve the way your brand is seen by consumers, it will also help get you qualified leads since you’ll be forging connections with people who are genuinely interested in your brand and actually like and use your product or service. They’re more likely to buy from you again or use your service again, and recommend your brand to their friends and family.

Creating and building your influence on social media takes a lot of time, effort, and patience but the rewards you’ll reap will be worth it. If you'd like to know how to improve your page, we'd love to discuss this further.

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Steph Ferrer
Steph Ferrer
Stephanie Ferrer is a Social Media Associate at StraightArrow Corporation. On days this Potterhead/full-time geek doesn’t have her nose in a book or making artwork, you can usually find her in movie theaters or binge-watching films and TV series. She hasn’t been everywhere in the world yet, but it’s on her list. She also thinks the world would be better if everything were made of ice cream.



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