When I went to San Diego last month for Social Media Marketing World, my colleague (actually he’s one of my bosses at Social Media Examiner) had this super cool standing desk, called the X-stand. I expressed that I liked it, he let me use it for a day, I ended up liking it even more, he gave me a promo code, and I ended up buying one for myself. Cool story, and now I have a cool standing desk.
Here’s an example of one of my typical daily setups using my new desk:
Now…how does this relate to our topic?
Let’s dissect what happened above and think a little more deeply about it. First, my colleague had a solution to something I had been looking for, for quite awhile. He had a standing desk. I know that standing desks are really good for circulation and overall wellness, and I’d been wanting one for many months. Someone I knew and trusted had a product that I was searching for, and I was able to demo it on the spot.
What happened as a result? I bought the product. Oh! And I’ve also now engaged enough with X-Stand online that I got a personal email from the owner because she noticed that I’m also from Oklahoma and she thought it was cool that we both had that tie. And she thanked me for all of my tags on Instagram. And THAT expanded their online community.
Is all influencer marketing that easy?
Pssshhh….NO! My experience with X-Stand was completely serendipitous. BUT it’s a bulls-eye for the brand. (and no, this is not a sponsored blog post…again, this was all 100% pure happenstance)
How can you apply this to your own social media strategy?
First off, begin by engaging (genuinely, not in a spammy manner) with people who appear to be a good fit for your brand. Would they honestly benefit from what you have to offer? Would theiraudience be interested in it? Does it fit into their lifestyle? Do they engage often with their own community? These are some questions that you’ll want to consider initially.
Next, you’ll want to consider what it might look like for these individuals to represent your brand. Don’t think too much about how large their followership is, because people are more likely to trust someone who has less-than celebrity status. Do they share the same values and beliefs as portrayed by your brand? Do they already have a strong and engaged online community? Be specifically wary of accounts that appear to be buying followers…these aren’t a good fit for any influencer effort because their fan base isn’t even real!
If you truly want to grow your online community into something that is tight-knit and intimate, it’s important to delve in and pinpoint exactly what kind of followers/brand advocates you want. Vetting of this caliber takes time and research, but in the end it pays off when your community is constantly interacting with each other in positive ways.
Once you have these ideal characteristics defined, you’ll be able to naturally enjoy engaging online with individuals who fit into this niche. These can eventually turn into devoted ambassadors for your brand, so it’s important to keep that kind of mindset. Perhaps in the near future, they’ll be posting photos with your product all over Instagram!
Now that we’ve walked through what influencer marketing can do for you, what questions do you have about building your own online community? Please feel free to leave any questions/comments below!