Today on Twitter Mack Collier saw me doing what I do best – Enabling an Influencer.
This is a Community Manager’s most important function. It’s not marketing, advertising, nor social media, it’s just plain old fashioned expressing yourself about a product that you believe in. It is word of mouth & the power is phenomenal. You can’t buy it & you can’t force it.
Mack expressed his thoughts in our Twitter conversation:
I love social media, but embracing and empowering evangelists in an authentic way is a marketing must for companies
Here are some steps:
1. Identify your influencers (evangelists, advocates, etc)
- They’re the ones that LOVE your product & tell everyone
- They’re actively talking about it & are helping everyone
2. Make contact – this is the part that requires tact
- Interact with them on the platform (wherever they are at)
- online at social networking sites, forums, blogs, etc
- in real life (that’s what started this Twitter conversation – I saw a dslr camera discussion happening informally at a conference & I took my Nikon D80 over & joined in)
- Quietly contact them in the appropriate way for that site
- Have strategies & express them clearly
- Most important – identify yourself & affiliation with the company
- Provide complimentary product for review
3. Engage & enable them
- Give them purpose by having them build out the identified strategies
- ask their opinion on projects, ideas & planning
- provide them with resources & let them run with it – their energy & ambition will amaze you!
- the more they are involved, the more they will internalize the process & strive to make it succeed
- Give them access to a private communication area so they can discuss topics amongst other enablers
- Provide encouragement & thank them
This process starts small & builds. My experience has been on both sides of the fence. I recall having lists of ideas. And now I encourage others to provide me with lists of ideas. My influencers are at a number of levels… (and that’s probably another blog post).
This post assumes that your company has a Community Manager type of position. Would you like to hear ideas on how to convince your company that you should start engaging evangelists for your company? Please let me know what would be helpful to you.