Two follow-up emails and a phone call later, and still nothing. You’d think this company doesn’t even want to sell me their product. The frustration has thinking to myself, “Geez, if only they knew that I am an influencer and one raving Facebook or Instagram post from me, and their stunningly beautiful artwork would fly off the shelf.”
Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. It’s a sentiment shared by many digital influencers who have been wooed by brands, pampered by PR firms, and hounded by hoards of email spammers…all in the hopes of getting a good word from them.
Thanks to social media, there are two lines: influencers and non-influencers, and brands have invested heavily in identifying who those influencers are and what they are saying (good, bad or ugly) about them. And while it’s true that digital influencers hold sway over a larger audience, that’s not a good way to run a business. Everyone matters, influencer or not!
The reality is everyone is an influencer. This has always been true and it’s truer more now than ever. Do I listen to the recommendations of my fellow digital influencers? Yes, absolutely, but I also trust my best friend from high school who works as a teacher and doesn’t participate in the digital influence game. And now that you mention it, a good word from a fellow customer standing in front of an in-store display can sway my opinion one way or the other.
It comes down to this simple fact: if we love something, we tell people about it. We rant and rave, and almost wait for opportunities to share our new favorite find. And of course, if we hate something (or the lack of service associated with that something), we also share that. We are a social sharing world (and have been since well before the advent of social media).
So what does this mean for brands, big and small?
Create a product worthy of word-of-mouth! Start with something spectacular! Yes, viral marketing goes a long way to getting your product noticed by a lot of people quickly, but you know the other thing that is guaranteed to get your product noticed? Quality.
Pay attention to the details! Get the customer service flow right, from the initial customer contact via your website to the final product or service delivery. It’s much easier to impress them every step of the way instead of trying to monitor and properly address deficiencies when they aren’t happy (influencer or not).
Treat everyone with the influencer gloves! Assume everyone has the ability to bring you more customers (because they do)! The numbers change, but the result is the same: happy customers beget more happy customers, and frustrated/disappointed/angry ones make a big PR mess for you to clean up.
Remember the six degrees rule! Don’t think that just because someone doesn’t have influence that they don’t know someone who does. Thanks to our uber interconnected world if your service is bad enough, word will get out (whether or not you were working with an influencer).