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How to build a strategy for social influence in 8 steps 0

Posted on January 18, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

social influence

  • 78% of people say companies’ social media posts impact their purchase decisions
  • 71% are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals
  • 25% of social media users have purchased a product after sharing it or marking it as a Favorite on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (source: Digital Information World; an infographic from invesp is below)

These facts show social influence plays an important role in our purchase decisions.

Social influence is a reason companies turn to social media. But, to get desired results, there has to be a strategy: A roadmap with guiding principles that defines a plan, actions and measurements to achieve success.

Is social influence a reason your business is in social media? Do you have a strategy?

Here’s how to build a business strategy for social influence in 8 steps.

  1. DO RESEARCH TO IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS: Find out who is talking about your brand, industry or key topics. Start with social listening tools like HootSuite, or Topsy using keywords. Look at their website rank, audience and links through Alexa: influence with Klout; measure the size of the social network followings. Assemble a list of dozen or more potential influencers to begin building key influencer relationships.
  2. ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS BASED ON SHARED VALUES: Whether you pay influencers or rewards them with your own products and services, the basis of the relationship has to begin with shared values. Kim Kardashian is reported to get $25,000 a tweet for Armani. I guest post on websites of colleagues like Mark Schaefer’s {Grow} and Mike Moran’s, Biznology blogs to increase outreach. There’s a big difference in the currency but, in both cases, there is a similarity in that the relationships are based on shared values.
  3. DON’T USE INFLUENCERS TO SELL BUT TO TEACH SOMETHING NEW: Influencers are deeply involved in their community, whether it’s a school district or friends who share similar interests in cooking or working on their cars. Influencers arrange their lives to collect information about things they’re passionate about. Their community relies on them to be the first to find out about the things in which they’re most interested.
  4. PUBLISH OR PERISH: Relevant content is the key ingredient to any social influence program. Your audience expects it on a regular basis. Don’t disappoint them. Publish regularly behind a schedule with sufficient resources. Create a Content Calendar to guide, direct and manage this key task. As examples, HubSpot has a good template and CoShedule is a more recent service that prolific bloggers recommend.
  5. CONTRIBUTE A MIX OF CONTENT TO THE CONVERSATION: Content is anything but a singular asset. It can cover a range from: blog posts, images, videos, reviews, testimonials, surveys, newsletters, case studies, how-to-tips, ebooks, product in use or demonstrations to you get the idea. If you need more ideas, here are 101 different types of content.
  6. BE THERE WITH CUSTOMER CARE AND SERVICE: If your social influence program is working, your product or service may not for some of your customers. They will use your community to talk about a product that malfunctioned or didn’t work properly for them; or maybe just to sound off. You have to be prepared for these events and have guidelines for managing unruly conversations. Here are some tips to deal with angry customers in social media.
  7. MEASURE PROGRESS AND BE FLEXIBLE TO CHANGE: Every strategy requires a measurement plan with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to guide success. A social influence program is both within and without your control so there is always going to be an element of the unexpected. If you listen for it and are flexible to change, it’s likely to work to your advantage.
  8. DON’T EXPECT ANY SHORT CUTS: Social influence is a good use of social media, especially in an integrated marketing mix where specific channels have focused business requirements. A key benefit to a social influence initiative is that your business is earning audience trust. When something is earned, it tends to last longer. But there is rarely a shortcut to earning anything.

Are you in social media for social influence purposes? Do these steps help with your strategy? Do you need more help in developing your social influencer strategy?

Social media influence

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    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, search and data-driven results.



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