Great webinar by David Amerland (@davidamerland), Linda West of Act-On, and Carly Tatum (@carlyjeane) at Dell entitled, "Influencers 2.0: ROI of the Influencer" presented by Social Media Today (#smtlive).
The key takeaway from the webinar -- provide a great customer experience (#cx) to engage your influencers (a.k.a., raving fans).
We live in an age of advocacy. Word-of-mouth and referral marketing grows more powerful as social media grows.
An increase in brand advocacy is one of the most important benefits of social media. Content is shared, comments are made and awareness and attention is gained. You just want to ensure that what's being said about you, and your brand, is positive not negative.
Do this by being relevant, being reliable, being responsive and being real.
Fail to do any of the four and you'll be called out in social media and lose the trust of influencers, customers and prospects.
Marketing induced customer-to-customer word-of-mouth generates more than two times the sales of paid advertising.
Why do consumers write about brands online?
- 64% offer advice
- 61% praise a brand
- 52% criticize a brand
- 51% share contents produced by a brand
Influencers and raving fans can seriously drive a brand message.
Influencers and raving fans are gatekeepers for information of value.
They help increase visibility in social media and search thereby saving time, effort and directing the attention of prospective customers.
Reach out to influencers to gain their trust, ensure alignment of values, goals and aspirations.
This is part of the personalization of business. Social media is about establishing mutually beneficial relationships with people. Use it to establish a relationship with influencers and raving fans.
Reach out to build trust through dialog.
Encourage and empower your employees to engage with influencers and raving fans. The more people within your firm that an influencer or raving fan has positive connections with, the more trust is gained.
Social influencers help attract visitors to your website.
You can track revenue by looking at referred social traffic and then seeing which ones convert to leads and sales.
Dell identifies an influencer as an individual, trendsetter or tastemaker with a signficant following among their target. Someone who's often quoted in the media. Someone who's statements result in action. A thought-leader in an industry vertical.
Dell works to:
- Identify influencers
- Engage with them at events so they have an in-person connection.
- Give them early access to products ("product seeding") as well as access to company executives.
- Maintain an ongoing relationship.
- Track the amount of advocacy the influencer provides over the course of the relationship.
Dell strives to have sufficient transparency for a customer to interact with the company on a personal versus corporate level by identifying the people within Dell who will be able to provide the most value to the customer.
Carly recommends engaging influencers from the outside in using customer feedback and from the inside out using influencer dialog.
The key is empowering employees to engage with influencers, customers and raving fans as real people rather than corporate spokespersons.