Social Influence? Say what …?

As a business owner, you should know that marketing trends come and go. There was a time when families huddled around radios to listen to the news and perked up as a local company snuck in a plug about their new product or service. A time when TV advertising was THE way to get your product or service out to the world. There was, of course, print advertising – starting with black-and-white newspaper ads and graduating to full-page, full-color spreads in local magazines. The wave of social media marketing is currently one of the most prevalent forms of advertising, walking hand-in-hand with Influencer Marketing.

Through all the changes in the marketing and advertising world, one thing has been ever present. Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Just as all other trends evolved, so has Word-of-Mouth. That brings me to Social Influence. A breed all its own.

Ok, so you’ve heard of social media marketing, yes? If you haven’t, you can read about it here. Social Media Marketing has become a huge part of every company’s marketing plan. Social media in itself has taken the world by storm! (Spoken like a true millennial). But, maybe that just isn’t enough anymore.

What if someone thought to combine the power of Social Media Marketing with the power of Word-of-Mouth/Influencer Marketing. Well, then you would have Social Influence and you would be unstoppable.

Let me tell you why – consumers trust the opinions of their friends over any other source and what better way to reach your friends than through social media?

Let me put it in real terms for you. You’re opening a food truck. Your concept is awesome and your food is unbeatable. You know it, but you need everyone else in your town to know it too.

 

Pink food truck

 

So, you post on Facebook about all the fresh, local ingredients you use. You post pictures and boost the post to increase your reach. That is Social Media Marketing. Sure, people will see it, but how do you know what kind of ROI you are getting on a boosted post? How many people are clicking that post? And how many people see it and forget it?

Next, you invite Jane in to try some of the new menu items. Jane is an old friend and since she lives in the area and is connected with a lot of people, you think she will be a good person to spread the word. Jane loves everything! You ask her to tell her friends. She has a busy week and runs into a friend or two where she mentions your new food truck. That is Word-of-Mouth. Word-of-Mouth is awesome, but, again, where is the ROI measurement? How many people did Jane tell before she got distracted with soccer practice and meal planning? How many of those people told their friends?

Now what? (Hint: Combine those two concepts)

You sign up for FlipperSmack. Why? Because on FlipperSmack you can use keywords to find people like Jane who live in your area and like to eat fresh, organic food. Through the platform, you find Lucy. Like Jane, Lucy is well connected in town and runs a blog all about food! (BINGO!) Now that you know that people like Lucy are out there, you create a campaign. In the campaign, you outline exactly what you are willing to offer an influencer and what you would like from them in return.

(Spoiler Alert: This is where Social Media and Word-of-Mouth Marketing join and make an unstoppable team)

Instead of you posting about Lucy’s visit or you asking Lucy to tell her friends, you create a campaign. The campaign says, I will buy you lunch and in turn, I am asking you to post a review on your social media sites and offer a discount code to your followers. Just like that, you have harnessed the power of Social Media AND Word-of-Mouth. #winning

Social Influence. Catch the wave before your competitors do.

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