In today’s always connected world, social influencers wield immense amount of power. Through their large follower-base on social networks, they can create and sustain an opinion and make or change decisions online. From e-commerce perspective, it is simply unimaginable to ignore this phenomenon and no holistic social media marketing strategy can do without a plan to reach out to social influencers and driving word-of-mouth advertising and social commerce for their store.
Characteristic of Social Influencers:
Before you target social influencers, it is important to understand them first. For this, let’s look at a few key characteristics of social influencers:
- Social influencers are real people with real following and real influence
- Social influencers interact passionately and are vocal about their opinions. By virtue of this, they are also listened and looked up to often in their circle of influence
- Social influencers write reviews about your products, comment on the buying experience on your site and share your promotional deals. They are active creators of user-generated content for your brand
Content generated by social influencers is the most visible form of power they wield in terms of generating traffic for your website. For ShopSocially customers, 76% of social traffic is generated by 22% of social sharing of content by these influencers. This is close to the number suggested in Gartner study which states that 20% of the influencers drive 74% of buying decisions online!
Identifying Social Influencers:
Facebook social profile provides us with some useful parameters which can be used for identifying social influencers on your site:
- Age, gender, location, Facebook interest graph – helps you segregate users as per your desired target segments
- Number of Facebook friends – gives you a good hint of popularity and reach of the user
- Number of purchases shared via desktop and mobile – indicating propensity of generating social referrals for your brand
- Number of clicks and sales happening through social referrals – demonstrates the tangible value of social referrals
Often number of Facebook friends gives you a good indication of user’s popularity, it is important to evaluate this in combination with other social popularity metrics like engagement level for content created by the user, frequency of content creation, etc. Also, it is important to analyze the personality match with your brand – a soccer crazy teen is definitely not a social influencer if you are selling baby products!
Engaging Social Influencers:
Once you have identified social influencers, a sustained influencer engagement is necessary for a continuous push towards realizing your social commerce objectives. Below are a few strategies which can allow you achieve this sustained engagement:
Provide an Easy Interface for Content Creation:
By nature, social influencers are content contributors. But it always helps to make their job easy by allowing them a ready interface to create meaningful and positive content about your brand. ShopSocially apps like Share-a-Purchase and Social SEO provides a ready one-click template for their social content creators to write a positive review and create a valuable social referral.
Reward Social Influencers for Sharing:
Offering a small incentive can significantly alter the rate at which social influencers would share positive reviews. Not only do they feel rewarded, but they also convert better into paying customers as they feel they have “earned” the incentive. And as they share their positive buying experience with your site, they create further more customers for your brand. Here’s how a small incentive can trigger social sharing for your brand:
Curate Social Referrals back to Your Site:
Social referrals created by these social influencers are your valuable brand assets. Besides influencing future users and converting them into customers, they significantly increase the SEO rank and increase the social discovery chances of your website. Shopping Community and Product Stories apps of ShopSocially allows you to curate these precious social referrals into one page and post them on your website, product pages and even on your Facebook page. Here’s an example of Shopping Community created out of curated social referrals: Social influencers are your conduits for communities of like-minded people who can all be your potential customers. Through one individual, you can deliver an informed opinion and communicate brand messages to large, trusted audience.
Social influencers are word-of-mouth marketing engines for brand. They help you build positive brand awareness, authenticate your store to their followers and magnify your marketing efforts manifold!