Are your users the influencers you really need?

In the real world, people are starting to rely more on reviews from friends and family as compared to promotions from influencers.
2 October 2018

The stakes are higher now with more people posting feedback on social meda. Source: Shutterstock

Brands know the importance of social media and social mentions. However, they usually think of influencers as the only ones whose words add up to anything.

In the real world, as mobile penetration increases, it seems as though people are starting to rely more on reviews from friends and family as compared to promotions from influencers.

It’s not that people (or brands) don’t value influencers anymore, they have an altogether separate place in the marketing strategy. However, it’s important to realize that users are gaining a lot more power in the social space these days.

So, for example, using a local influencer to announce the opening of a new restaurant would be a great way to build up anticipation among youngsters in the area — but when it actually opens, people are more likely to look for reviews and feedback from familiar faces than from those they look up to.

According to the Consumer Content Report: Influence in the Digital Age, 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is most important when deciding what brands they like and support. Nearly three times as many people said content from friends and family influence their purchase decisions compared to content from celebrities.

Obviously, brands need to go the extra mile to get users to provide positive reviews and feedback. Here are some ways you can motivate your users to cheer you on social media:

# 1 | Make a request

When you ask your customers and users politely, they’re likely to oblige — especially if you’ve provided them with a good product or service.

Restaurants, hotels, and producers of high-end consumer packaged goods often use this strategy and appeal to their customers to check-into their property on social media or post photos of themselves using the product or service.

If you’re going down this route, make sure you’re easy to find on social media. If it is a challenge, make sure you note down your social media handles clearly with your request.

# 2 | Incentivize users

Everyone likes to be rewarded for their efforts — including your users. If you’re looking to quickly ramp up positive reviews or social mentions for your product or service, incentivizing users is your best bet.

What’s more is that your incentives don’t all have to be expensive. You could, for instance, offer to feature pictures that customers upload of themselves using your products, making them famous on social media.

One tip for brands using this strategy is to make sure that your incentives are worth the effort that you’re asking your customers to make. A like requires much less effort compared to writing a review — make sure your campaign takes that into account.

# 3 | Be unique

If you’re unique, if you want reviews, social mentions, and feedback to just roll in.

When brands provide a unique product or a unique experience, it’s bound to get people talking — and they’re likely to talk on social media, sharing their thoughts, suggestions, and feedback.

Being unique isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, of course. However, for companies looking for a competitive advantage or a point of distinction in a crowded marketplace, being unique can be just the right strategy to gain the admiration of users and a leg up in the industry.