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13 Jul 2010
by Amy |  SMM & ORM, Social Strategy1 on Social Media Monitoring, Strategy  | No Comments 

Influencer engagement programs

For years, word of mouth (WOM) has been the gold standard of marketing. With the tsunami that is social media, however, WOM has morphed into something much more powerful. Now, when Annalisa falls in love with a new product, she tweets, she blogs, she tells anyone who’s listening online just how hella good the product is. If you want to leverage that same power for your brand, check out these frequently asked questions about how to do it through influencer engagement programs:

Who are influencers?

The online influencer is anyone with the credibility to advocate for your brand. It might be a stay-at-home mom who blogs for 1,000 readers or an industry expert with scores of Fortune 500 followers on Twitter.

What is influencer engagement?

This strategy fosters the deep connections that transform a customer into a card-carrying brand fan. The goal is to encourage virtual word of mouth advertising. But it’s not just about creating brand loyalists, it’s also about utilizing the insight these consumers offer. For instance, an influencer engagement programs might include forums for product feedback that will be carefully considered by the development team.

Why do I need an influencer engagement program?

Quite simply, the numbers are starting to reveal just how pervasive the online influencer is. For example, Brian Solis re-caps a study which found that about 40% of consumers who established an online connection with a brand “usually” recommended that brand to others while nearly 23% “always” recommended the brand. If you don’t give your customers the opportunity to engage, the competition will.

What does an influence engagement program look like?

There’s no one-size-fits-all program when it comes to nurturing an online influencer. The look and feel of a program has everything to do with the audience you’re trying to engage. For example, Bob’s Bison Burgers might encourage customers to share burger recipes on an online community. An influencer engagement program for a computer software firm might include a question-and-answer session that allows industry bloggers to dialogue with the product development team.

Your brand’s online influencers are out there just waiting to be engaged. Contact Social Strategy1 to find out how an influencer engagement program can deliver for you.

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