I can definitely see the attraction for brands to use so called 'influencers' particularly if they (the brand) operate in highly regulated industries, because by aligning themselves to the niche 'wannabe' celebrity influencer is not only good for cuedos, it also helps them to get messages across that they would normally be allowed to do.
In simple language, an influencer is someone whose story you are prepared to listen to, and maybe act upon, something we all do every day in real life - example;
Jenny from marketing comes back from the sandwich shop that's just opened down the road, she tells you it looks really cool, and here's the sandwich she just bought, so you decide to take a trip in your lunch hour and buy a similar sandwich - now all you have to do is multiply that story on social media and that sandwich shop just got some very cheap, indirect, and yet highly relatable marketing from Jenny.
Brands can also tap into existing micro-communities by partnering with niche influencers. The best of these have a clear vision or personality that is perceived as authentic and trustworthy at a time when Instagram is flooded with manufactured fake followers.
I don't know if your on Twitter, or Instaglam but if you are you will have seen all the spammy messages from all around the world with promises of building your 'follower' base for pennies, "We can take your followers to 100k people in a week" is the promise, and many people get caught out on both sides of this false and corrupt approach;
- Your feeding ego by 'buying followers' especially if your engagement levels stay the same, and your not only wasting your money, but most definitely your time.
- Your committing fraud by accepting 'paid' promotional campaigns by a brand because your profiles show you have 100's of thousands of followers, and you know they are all fake.
- There are those that say the brand, company, or agency who is paying you to do this without any due diligence and social listening capabilities deserve to be ripped off.
Social Selling is about being authentic, and growing 'followers' is not something that can be bought, it has to be earned.
Employee advocacy strategies seem to scare the pants off those in the C-Suite, mainly because they feel they're not in control of what the employee can/can't say.
Well, let me tell you that's just a huge insult to your people, and a complete waste of an amazing opportunity for your company, especially when the C-Suite are included as part of the 'employee advocacy program'.
Many companies rely solely on their marketing teams to create content. However the most successful content marketing campaigns require a team effort.
From managers and quality analysts to technical support and sales teams, getting the entire organisation to contribute to content has many benefits.
Who better to tell a company’s story than its employees? Team members are far more capable than any external marketing agency. When team members generate content, they themselves become the face of the company, and consumers often find it easier to relate to a real person than a company entity.
"Matching content with a face helps brands gain consumer trust".
Employee Advocacy strategies can unleash so many 'Superpowers' for a company, but just remember if not done within the right framework, and supported by skill based training from experts it can also go very badly wrong.
Micro-communities act like a backstage pass or an Amex Centurion card by “making people feel special”, says Forrester’s Kodali. Private messaging and communities have the potential to boost customers’ brand empathy, which has a direct impact on brand loyalty, adds Jared Watson, assistant professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business.