Using Social Media “Stars” to Boost Your Brand’s Reputation

Pay heed to that geeky guy in the corner cubicle who eats lunch alone at his desk every day. He may well be a sought-after celebrity in the virtual world. With social media functioning as a soapbox in the recent years, everyone has the potential capability to voice their ideas and opinions. Some of these voices “stick” more than others. Justin Beiber, amongst several others, is an example of a real life celebrity who got his break in the virtual world. YouTube stars, for example, have been known to capitalize on their large followings, in that they charge thousands of dollars to drive traffic and attention to a brand. People like to make their purchasing decisions based on the advice or reviews of real people.

Here is a beginner’s guide to enhancing your brand’s reputation using such opportunities.

Find thought-leaders. Research their backgrounds and interests as well as the broad backgrounds of their followers. It goes without saying; it is a waste of resources to spend time building relationships with individuals who are not relevant to your brand. That being said, be well aware of the individual’s potential other conflicts of interest with your brand. He may have a large following as a thought-leader in the field of android devices, however, on other social platforms he may also openly express his stand on controversial issues that your brand may not want to voice an opinion about.

Shortlist the most influential ones and concentrate your efforts on them. Build a relationship by commenting on their content. Engage them in conversation on multiple networks.  Ask for advice to boost their self-importance.

Take the relationship offline. Speak on the phone to give your brand a voice. Designate company contacts to do so, and have them meet these individuals for a social happy hour or dinner to build rapport. Engage with them as people, not prospects. Invite them to your events and get to know them on a personal level to establish a real relationship beyond business. Again, these so-called celebrities are “real” people who are likely to enjoy an ego-boost.

Enlist them to pitch your brand. Social Media stars tend to have more credibility than brand ambassadors relatively more earned than paid media status. Granted, they are compensated to lend their name to and endorse the brand, but a reputable star will only do so for brands they truly have confidence in, in order to avoid tarnishing their integrity. Think about it, a celebrity of any sort is a brand by him or herself. Therefore, having such celebrities who are ordinary, “real” people endorse your brand will be likely to bring forth a higher ROI than having a reality TV personality who is also a spokesperson for numerous other brands (think Kim Kardashian).

In order to stand out in this era of instant gratification, when customers can easily shift their business between brands, businesses must be proactive in taking measures to stand out. The more unconventional, the better.

 

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