Do you know who your key Influencers are?
The first steps to consider in using social media to support your WOM marketing programme is to deploy a social media tracking and analysis tool that will allow you to identify key influencers you may want to consider engaging with to support campaign. Influencers may be in the form of bloggers in your industry sector, bloggers who talk about products and services similar to those your organisation offers, bloggers who have an extensive and influential following, Twitter users (outside our community) that can be tracked for this purpose, journalists and so on. Consider both internal influencers to your community and external influencers outside of your community.
Devise an individual strategy to engage with each Influencer:
The next step is to devise an engagement strategy. How can these influencers support your campaign, and how will you engage with each individual to maximise your chances of obtaining the support for your campaign you need? These are some of the questions you may want to answer. The focus of your engagement strategy should always be to build individual and effective relationship, and in turn showing support for the influencer. Remember any relationship is a two-way process. A single strategy to be adopted across the board may not work for your campaign so be very careful with adopting this approach. WOM is about quality, not quantity. You may want to consider sending one of your products to the individual to try out, for example.
Track and measure your success:
You need to be able to track the success of your WOM influencer campaign by ensuring you have a suitable tool that will allow you to measure sentiment, comments and conversations (impact and volume) taking place following your successful engagement. You will be interested in measuring the impact of their mention, comment or conversations by carefully analysing the reach achieved. Your social media analysis tool will allow you to obtain the insight you need here.
Maintain the relationship:
Now you now know who your influencers are, what their authority levels are, you’ve successfully engaged and have tracked the impact of your efforts, but the process does not end here. You need to have a clear strategy with clear actions and touch points in place to maintain the relationship. The same rules you would apply to maintaining a relationship with your brand loyalists and brand advocates in the form of customers, would apply here. Ensure you nurture and grow the relationship to increase the strength of that relationship through time and trust in your brand, its products and services.
Social Media is all about WOM and can deliver great results for the marketer. When a clearly defined strategy is adopted with clear guidelines, processes and a tailored approach, it will yield great results.