Sunday, March 11, 2012

Steps To Increasing Brand Awareness

"Even before the social media revolution we knew that increased engagement with a brand will increase customer loyalty, value and advocacy."

How do you increase engagement? Get people talking about the brand; get people to share the brand;

How do you get people to talk about the brand? Get important people to talk about the brand. Get important people to share the brand.


How do you get to important people? Find out who is influencing the most. Go to klout and make friends with them. Then become loyal to them. Share their content; discuss their content in the form of comments; ride their coattails cut don’t be conspicuous or shallow. Be sincere. They will notice. It’s human nature to observe who likes you, and who has your best at heart.
How do you increase customer loyalty? Lay the groundwork by connecting with influencers. This may take some time. It is not an overnight sensation. Let’s see, choose an influencer. Follow his work. Ask questions about the things they are most passionate about, see if there is a connection. If so, have discussions about those passions, remember it is all about the influencers and not about you.

Make them the star, so you can get some of their star power. Once the influencer trusts you, they will begin to slowly retweet you, and or show up on your page and leave comments. This is a step by step process. First trust must be established, once trust is established, the influencer will lurk in the background without leaving comments. The influencer will not even share your work yet because he isn’t all in yet. It’s an exclusive club that the influencer belongs to, you’re an outsider trying to get in along with all the other outsiders. Similar to getting to the inner circle of an A-Lister in Hollywood, the steps to getting in the inner circle are: trust, patience, wait some more, then the influence will act. Again, this may take weeks, or even months, depending on how busy the influencer is. To expedite the process, find out what the influencer likes, and tweet about it, or more specifically, talk about it on their page.

Read what Bill Kalma,vice president of technical services at Model Metrics, writing at Mashable, had to say about the relationship consumers expect from brands: "Consumers have high expectations for the products they use. It is no longer enough for systems and applications to be functional; they must also be intuitive, self-serving, and even fun to use — no matter the task."
--Bill Kalma, vice president of technical services at Model Metrics, writing at Mashable

In a way, you are using the influencer to gain power and respect for your brand. The influencer will bring the customers because they listen to what the influencer has to say. Influencers are used to expedite reach and growth. It is a non-economical investment other than time. Similar to commenting on five relevant blogs per day, this is the SEO of social media marketing.

Right now, executives are looking for a scale to measure the reach and growth of social media metrics. But this does not exist in social media marketing. The commerce is influence, the method is using influencers to impact reach and growth. Only through the use of influence can a brand be positively or negatively impacted. Beauticians have known long ago that word of mouth is more powerful than any $1000 advertising. If a beautician does good work, people will see that person’s hairdo and ask who does their hair? That, is reach and growth at its best.

Beauticians use influencers everyday, it’s their customers. When a customer walks out of that salon with a fly hair style, everyone pays attention. People notice the woman who has a sharp hair style, they compliment her, and want to know who does her hair. I know, people always complimented me when I would leave my hair stylist, they wanted to know if she was taking anymore clients, where she was located, etc. They were excited to find out the information that I had. I was an influencer, unwittingly.

Social media marketing is the same way. It is measured by the depth of influencers who are involved with the promotion of your products and services. One word from a Wayne Sutton, Guy Kawasaki, etc. will bring tons of people, all because they said it was so. The problem is, these guys are not paid spokesmen and they may have a problem being approached as such. That’s why you engage the influencer in a back door method, so as to get their buy-in about you personally, before any products are introduced.

This is an actionable business intelligence model that works. Social media gurus such as Dan Zarella has been saying that this is the way to do business in the social media world. It’s about the customer, the people and sharing the things and providing the things that hold value and benefit in their lives. It’s about how will this product improve my life, save me money, make my job easier, how can it help me. WIIFM is more alive than ever before with social media marketing.