Influencers and Advocates #FTW
Think of influencers and advocates as your best friends.
Everybody needs a best friend—that person you can count on no matter what. They celebrate your accomplishments, stick by you when times are tough, and aren’t afraid to tell you when it’s time to step up your game.
You may be drawn to them on the playground for their cool fashion or outgoing personality. You may not even realize you could count on them until you hear them speaking up for you from the back of the class. But once you’ve met, you’ve started a relationship to last a lifetime.
Finding influencers and advocates is a bit like finding a best friend for your brand.
Consumers rely on the advice and recommendations of influencers they trust online, and marketers are responding by investing in influencer marketing campaigns.
Social listening—the practice of seriously monitoring and analyzing your brand channels for mentions of you and your competitors—is a great way to discover the folks who already love you and the folks you want to love you. When you uncover the niche influencers who may directly relate to your product, you’ve uncovered a new way to tell your brand’s story.
But first, like any great BFF relationship, you need to get to know each other.
- Who are they? What are their passions and interests?
- How do their passions and interests overlap with your value, mission, or messaging?
- Are they aware of you and your brand or product? How do they feel about it?
- Why do they love you? (Or why could they love you?)
Once you understand your influencers and what role they might play for your brand, the first step could be simply following their profile on Instagram or retweeting a clever or insightful tweet from them. Whatever it is, it should be a welcoming and appropriate way to get on their radar.
You may also realize you need to do more work—perhaps your research makes you realize you’re not creating the right conversations online. You may need to update your brand image.
Either way, smartly seeking out and cultivating relationships with influencers and advocates will help you build a community together.