How To Recognize Ambassadors in Social Media

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A matter of context, content and synchronicity

Now, with the ubiquity of social platforms and mobile technologies, companies and organizations are investing more in social media influence marketing campaigns. The influence power of consumers forced them to adapt their approach, and focus more on the impact of the peer-to-peer recommendations, and the viral aspect of the word-of-mouth, to reach their customers.

One of the first challenges for marketers is therefore to identify potential influencers in their community, and to recognize, among them, those who reveal the best ambassadors in social media.

In my last two articles on Maximize Social Business, I identified the main types of influencers that are generally found on the various social platforms, and five critical influence in social media. The first two components of a contextual analysis, which only identify influencers and social media experts to its industry, based solely on their capital. (Read also : Social Media Influencers and Ambassadors : How To Identify Them, and The five ¨ C ¨ That Rules Social Media Influencers (or Ambassadors))

To develop an effective marketing campaign of influence in social media, marketers can no longer rely only on radiation and reach influencers. Rather, they should seek to identify among them the best ambassadors to install a favorable context and develop a relationship of trust with users and consumers. Influencers must become a transmission bell, pry the message, not only the amplifier.

The three main levels of influence in social media

As a first step, companies must determine the parameters and the specific objectives, what level of influencers or ambassadors priority should be given. And subsequently validate that they meet the four contextual aspects of the phenomenon of influence in social media.

The first level of influence that receives the most attention from marketers is obviously the influencers featured. They usually take advantage of a very large popularity and audience. They include leaders from the world of sport, public figures and media stars and show business. Sponsored, they agree to act as promotional spokespersons. But, the potential impact of these influencers featured is based primarily on the extent of their reach and resonance of their message in social networks, and can ultimately answer to the audience and objectives ridership .

At the second level, the marketing team can turn to social media experts, who already offer a greater potential for conversion to different customers. These thought leaders are already an authority figure and reference in their communities, and their reputation is widespread in social networks. Most often, it is journalists and columnists specialized or dedicated professionals, from all sectors, who have forged some credibility by an active social presence and relevant content. Of course, in their efforts to make, these ambassadors professionals ensure first to preserve their own credibility. For their full cooperation, companies will have to first earn their trust.

Finally, brands hoping to enjoy the benefits of a marketing campaign to influence in social media, will also pay special attention to spontaneous ambassadors. We should not neglect this category of potential influencers, however. According to the latest research from Nielsen, 92 % of users and consumers rely primarily on the recommendations of their peers before they make their decision.

On social networks, are the early adopters, these power users who rush at every opportunity to share their opinions spontaneously in their communities. There is often a friend, family member, or simply an acquaintance who will recommend the product (or service) because he himself tried and adopted. And it is often within their staff and their organization (including employees dedicated and satisfied customers) that companies find their most ardent supporters in social media. However, because their influence remains spontaneous, these natural ambassadors remain harder recognizable and identifiable among all users.

The four contextual aspects of influence marketing

To better understand the value of ambassadors, the company must analyze four contextual aspects of marketing influence in social media. In the process of influence, user – consumer seeks a priori to meet personal needs (a product or service they wish to take in the short or medium term). To ensure the best decision and make the best choice, it performs its own research and seek the advice of his entourage. From the outset, he is willing to be swayed by those to whom it has confidence (peers), and those which he recognizes the authority to do so (the social media experts).

A marketing campaign of influence in social media will therefore be based on a favorable context that must be established between two individuals (the influencer and influenced). This context, the essential phenomenon of influence based on the synchronicity of four components that must match the timing (timing) the specific objectives of the campaign (intents), both in terms of target audience and social presence (locations) of the influencer, and the expertise and content (topics) operated to achieve.

Topics : The fields of expertise of the influencer, and content topics operated during the campaign, must correspond to the interests of the affected center and meet their expectations. The relevance of interventions influencer plays a predominant role in the context of a marketing campaign to influence in social media.

Intents : The relationship of trust that must first develop between the company and the potential ambassador based on mutual shared intentions. Thereafter, the same relational context favorable will be easier to establish in turn between the ambassador and the consumer.

Locations : The social environment of the influencer must match the consumer. It may be the geographical context (city, country), industry, or just social platforms that can meet the influencer and influenced. The influencer must be placed at the same level as the consumer, to develop a proximity relationship with him.

Timing : The temporal context is important in the equation. As a first step, and the relationship between the company and the ambassador must develop timely. The social media expert of the sector may not necessarily be the same as year earlier. Similarly, the relationship that develops between the ambassador and the consumer must meet a certain synchronicity.

(Read also: 4 Ways Context Impacts Online Influence and Why You Should Care, by Evy Wilkins on Traackr’s Blog)

Today, to validate the context of a marketing campaign of influence in social media, business and marketing team/social media can count on new search engines and new Web applications, such as those developed by Traackr and Appinions (and Augure in Europe).

However, it is possible to make a more contextual analysis with these tools, and to estimate the value of influencers in a campaign, it will always be more difficult to determine when to initiate the conversation. In a future article, I will explain how you can also use the pyramid of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 2.0 and the adoption curve and maturity influencers, to get there.

In the meantime, I invite you to continue the debate and share your views with our readers. Based on your experience, is there other contextual analysis to consider to build a social media influence marketing campaign?

Raymond Morin
Raymond Morin contributes a monthly column on Social Media Influence. Raymond is a francophone author and speaker who has 20 years experience acting as a senior strategic consultant and coach for organizations, SMBs and independent professionals. Author of the books «Culture Web à la portée des PME» (2001) and «Comment entreprendre le virage 2.0» (2010), he has also contributed to several magazines and bloggers platforms over the years. His upcoming new book in French, entitled «Generation C et l’influence des consommateurs branchés», is prefaced by Neal Schaffer, and will be also published in English and Spanish during the next year. +Raymond Morin
Raymond Morin

@RaymondMorinV2

Consultant Médias sociaux Blogueur : Maximize Social Business, Curatti (eng.)/Le Planificateur, Virage 2.0 (fr.) Auteur : Comment entreprendre le virage 2.0
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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Raymond,

    I loved the analogy of influencers as transmission bells rather than amplifiers. Amplification is imperative for influence marketing campaigns, but outside of context amplification does not mean much. Your point about spontaneous ambassadors is where I believe the most significant missed opportunity is. It seems like brands did not figure out yet the way to identify and capitalize on the potential of this segment.

    • says

      Thanks Ron for your appreciation.
      The ¨spontaneous ambassadors¨ are probably the most difficult level of influencers to reach by the marketers and brands, because they are maybe not already engaged in social changes of mind.
      There’s still work to do. We’re maybe just in the middle of the road to connect with them.

  2. says

    I like the mention of spontaneous ambassadors. Being a consumer myself, word-of-mouth recommendations by someone around me still has greater impact on my decisions than the social influencers, sometimes. One of the reason is the question if the influencer or ambassador is somehow sponsored financially by vendor.

  3. says

    I feel a bit like the pied piper with a very small flute, but it’s growing. A generation of students, 90% of them unengaged in 18th century pedagogy. It can be put on screens, but it’s the same old…. I’m trying to champion THEIR way of learning, immersive technologies. Anything I can learn to help in this is great.

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