Whether you are a non-profit organization or a multi-billion dollar corporation, you have a brand. You created the brand to give your products and services an identity… Now that brand has shifted to become a relationship between consumers and brands. In fact, brands are being shaped by consumers and potential consumers.
As a brand steward or brand manager, it is your role to recognize that consumers and their buying decisions are being influenced by a variety of people and/or media through conversations with them, both online and off.
Social Influence Marketing is about employing social media and social influencers to achieve the marketing and business needs of an organization.
As brands are being defined in real-time by an increasingly vocal audience, brand management will require greater transparency, access and response to connect with consumers. Fluent, a report recently published by Razorfish, touches on the need for Social Influence Marketing. Here are the few takeaways from the report … there are over a dozen good implications for any brand, no matter what industry or size:
- Brands must socialize with consumers. It won’t be enough for brands to craft powerful messages and push them through different media channels. They will need to participate directly in conversations with consumers and provide more meaningful value exchanges.
- Brands must develop a credible social voice. Regardless of the industry, brands will need to focus on developing credible voices. These voices will need to be more engaging, personal, humble, authentic and participatory than traditional advertising messages.
- Brands must provide a return on emotion to their consumers. Social media is a great tool for building brand relationships in which both the brand and the consumer reap equal returns. This goes back to my post on measuring the value of engagement with your consumer and what the ROI of social media means to your brand.
- Brands must know the effect of influencers throughout the marketing funnel. It is essential to know how influence changes in each stage of the marketing funnel. That information should drive when to focus on which influencers and how to surface content from those influencers on corporate-owned digital properties.
- Consumers look for brands that help them connect. People naturally gravitate toward brand categories that can help them converse and connect with others, such as music and entertainment, food and beverages, gadgets, arts, non-profits and causes.
Look at it this way:
71% of respondents share product and service recommendations in the social media-sphere at least once every few months.