In the previous post in this series, Scaling Social Media with Infinite Touches, we talked about brand evangelists (don’t call them ambassadors) and a bit about our Infinite Touches™ process. Let’s take a look at how you can find brand evangelists.
Finding Social Media Brand Evangelists
As we’ve seen in this series of posts, social media can scale by creating a web of relationships mediated by your most fanatical fans. And that’s great because research shows that people really listen to friends when making buying decisions.
In a June 2010 Harris Interactive poll, 71 percent claimed reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence. Similarly, a Nielsen study found 90 percent of consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.
The stats about evangelists are even better: They write more than twice as many posts about brands and forward between two and three times more of other people’s online communications. They are also are 50 percent more likely to create a post that influences a purchase.  Wow!
So if you want to multiply your business’ social media efforts, forget about Facebook page likes or numbers of Twitter followers or even numbers of pins on Pinterest and focus on the people your company delights. Figure out how to enable them to spread the joy and you’ll be able to scale social media no matter how big you become.
To do this, you need to not only reach your loyal fans, but you must deputize them and enable them to find and develop other loyal fans, whom you need to enable to find even more fans, and on and on. How are you going to find your brand evangelists? You can start by doing the following:
- Google “I love [your product, organization]” — If you’ve got the nerve, and want to know your enemy, also Google “I hate [your product, organization]”
- Google Blog Search your product, organization — You can use Google Blog Search or other blog monitoring tools
- Search Twitter and Facebook — Twitter’s search has gotten a lot better. Facebook search is OK.
- Set up Google Alerts and Twitter Alerts — Google Alerts can send you daily updates based on your keywords. You can set up and save a keyword search on Twitter but you’ll need to manually run it. You can set up automated alerts using TweetBeep.
- Use Sentiment Analysis — Tools like the free Social Mention or Salesforce.com’s expensive Radian6 can help find people who are saying nice things about you
This last technique – sentiment analysis – involves automated determination of the meaning of social media posts. The best we can say about this evolving field is that it can be interesting, if not definitive. This video of a presentation by Kate Niederhoffer, ex-Nielsen BuzzMetrics and principal of Knowable Research is a good introduction to the concepts and limitations of sentiment analysis. It’s long, but well-worth watching.
However you do it, the first step in assembling an Infinite Touches network of brand evangelists is to find some likely candidates. We talk about how to activate this network in the next post.
Next up: Infinite Touches—Activating Social Media Brand Evangelists
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What Others Are Saying
“Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies
“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)
“Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances
 Harris Interactive’s Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Tweets: bit.ly/HRurjY
 Nielsen’s Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most: bit.ly/s1oxsS
 Social Media Examiner’s 9 Reasons Your Company Should Use Brand Advocates: New Research: bit.ly/IZelVm
 Google Blog Search: bit.ly/dy7s5O
 Google Alerts: bit.ly/3fbcHD
 TweetBeep: bit.ly/dduOQK