Social media is inherently social, I know that sounds a little ridiculous, but for so long businesses thought that you could just buy a few ads in the newspaper or on television and that was enough to bring people through the doors, but not so any longer. With the rise of Social Media the almighty word or mouth reigns more supreme than ever. So the question is now how do you build a word of mouth reputation? Influence the influencers; easier said than done, I know, but it’s true if you can identify the influencers of others or a large group of others and get them on your side you can control a major source for word of mouth marketing.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association or WOMMA has a great article on the different types of influencers. Lets take a brief look at them.
Political Influencer A Political influencer is a person who works in and around persons or is a person of political importance. Many politicians and people who work around those politicians are actively engaged in social media and often there tweets and Facebook posts become the news. Just last summer a billboard showed up in Times Square that showed a large picture of President Obama wearing a certain companies’ coat. It was quickly taken down after some pressure, but just the fact that the president chose to wear that particular coat means quite a bit as far as influence goes. Think about how much weight the search engines give to thinks from .gov or .mil domains.
Academic Influencer An academic influencer is a person who is studied and learned whether through academic courses of study or from pure experience or any measure between. When I think of this type of influencer I think of a news analysts, opinion writers, and professional academics like professors, authors and lecturers. These people can be extremely influential in their respective fields because of their perceived knowledge.
Media Influencer A media influencer is a person who works in and around the media possibly a journalist or TV personality. Some good examples of this would be Oprah, Ellen, your local anchor man, journalists, etc. Mostly people who present thoughts and ideas as an occupation.
Cultural Influencer A cultural influencer is a personality or celebrity. You may have heard this group called the trend-setters, or fashionistas. These people can create influence rather than just guide it. This is why certain celebrities like Kim Kardashian have Twitter sections in their contracts.
Social Influencer A social influencer is by far the most common influencer. In fact most everyone fits into this category. This is the soccer mom, the business leaders, the local clergy these people have influence in their everyday lives. You will look more closely at a product if a good friend recommends it.
Everyone has some measure of influence; its your role a social media marketer to figure out which sort of influence they have and need to promote your business. Ford famously applied this tactic and approach to their social media efforts and it paid off. Of the three major US automakers it is the most thriving on the web.
Everyone is an influencer, how will build effective relationships online in order to spread word of mouth?