Social media marketing is full of great opportunities for large corporations and small businesses. Using free tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and most recently, Tout has allowed companies to engaging with targeted audiences to bring them through the buying cycle (in B2C or B2B segment).
Within the target audiences on social media platforms, they are “influencers” that appear and should be monitored in real time. These “influencers” are social media marketers best friends and at the same time, worst enemy. In short, influencers can make or break your social media strategy and here are some of the ways:
- Influencers can validate statements made on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with a “Like”, RT, and or a Thumbs Up
- Influencers can be an alternative hub for information regarding positive experiences with the company’s product or service
- Influencers can shape the views (positively) of others who may of have a negative experience with the company’s product or service
- Influencers can post negative comments on the company’s Facebook Page or twit about poor experiences
- Influencers can build their own social media presence to contradict a company’s core branding message
- Influencers can turn one tiny issue into an on-going grudge which can be viral if not handled according.
Not convinced yet about the power of influencers? I highly recommend reading, “Sometimes PR/Agency People are Awesome” posted by Scott Stratten from UnMarketing. I won’t ruin it for you by trying to write a summary of the post however; it is a look at a best practice in terms of reaching out to an influencer and how an influencer can have an impact on a social media strategy and a product.
For those who are relatively new to social media, identifying influencers is an on-going process in which there is a systematic approach that can be used, specifically:
- Monitor the frequency a specific individual post a comment on a Facebook Page, tweets or blogs
- Find how much social capital the individual possesses with tools such as Klout, PeerIndex and Empire Avenue
- Follow and engage the individual on his or her preferred social network(s)
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