Wednesday, May 30, 2012
This week I presented the Digital Down Under, our Australian 'Subscribers, Fans, and Followers' research at Bazaarvoice's Interactive Marketing Conference in Sydney & Melbourne. The 'Ignite' conference is designed to give Bazaarvoice customers an opportunity to network with other people in the online social industry, hear from Bazaarvoice subject matter experts and to focus on best practices around Facebook and Twitter for business.
For those of you who are new to Bazaarvoice, they're an Integrated Partner of ExactTarget that bring the power of social commerce and the customer voice to the world's best brands. Put simply, their online platform enables consumers to share ratings, reviews, questions, answers, and stories about products and brands on client websites.
The location of the event was fantastic, set in the alleyways of Melbourne's CBD. But aside from the incredible venue, what suprised me the most was the 'Social Marketing 101' discussion I had with the Bazaarvoice team on how to engage with influencers online. Here are some notes I took down:
Focus on Mutual Value
Offering exclusivity in the form of advance review of research, data, and quotes can work well. What type of value you can offer really depends what your company does and your resources, but the best influencer programs generally offer some kind of alue that only that company can provide - and not just free products.
Practice Relevance & Restraint
Nothing ruins a good thing with an influencer like the tendency to send them everything! Put the itchy trigger finger away and focus on approaching the right people for what you're promoting. Remember, it's always quality over quantity with this audience, and tailored approaches will get you better results.
Trust your Instincts
From time to time, your instincts and anecdotal evidence will suggest that someone is a relevant influencer (even if Klout doesn't). Offline influence, for example, doesn't factor into all online influence results, and the only way to fill this gap is by talking and listening to the right people.
Choose the right Indicators
Here are two ways you can leverage the right indicators when identifying influencers: (1) Look at the percentage of their Twitter updates or blogposts that relate to the space you work in, and (2) Identify the number of inbound links their blog is receiving from more established sites and influeners.
At the end of the day, if you build meaningful relationships with influencers in an honest manner, people wont feel like they've been targeted via a list. Plus, you'll know it's working when the exchanges get less formal, friendlier, and more sincere. For more information, visit Bazaarvoice's blog article here, and good luck!
PS: If you want to ask me any questions directly, feel free to get in touch via Twitter (@ryan_bonnici).