I’m at The NewComm Forum with a wide variety of interesting people who span the social web, including Tim Westergren of Pandora (on the day of a huge Pandora and Facebook announcement, nonetheless) and Dave Carroll of the infamous United Breaks Guitars. Today has been the day of conversations about the influencer: who they are, why they are important, and how to cultivate them.
I had a great conversation with Barbara French of Tekrati and (formerly) Influencer50 about understanding the layers of influencer identification. We both agree on the importance of identifying and cultivating relationships with not only the most influential of your followers but also the second, third and fourth tiers. This extended group, who could potentially be considered brand advocates (a distinction best left to another post), has the potential to drive significant growth in your organization.
A few great examples of well-cultivated influencer groups:
- Maker’s Mark promotes brand advocates by inviting them into an Ambassador program which gives them personalized business cards and assigns their name to a cask in the distillery
- We’ve all heard of the recent Nestle fiasco on Facebook. Some Greenpeace advocates attacked Dove’s Facebook page at the same time, but Dove’s cultivated supporters rose up and backed the brand, with very little involvement from Dove itself
Do you have any good examples to share?