12.04.18

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Online)

KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC

In 1936, Dale Carnegie published an incredibly valuable and influential best selling self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People and an adaptation book of the same title focused on the digital age to capitalize on creating a vibrant digital and connected network.

If there’s one marketing trend that’s had a good run in 2018, it’s the rise and prevalence of social media influencers. If you’re not familiar, this term refers to people who curate robust online personas and develop a significant fan base and audience as a result. In other words, they are the trendsetters (“merchants of cool”), and consumers of all stripes tend to look to them for inspiration and direction on everything from music to nutrition.

So, what does this mean for you? You can learn from their online game and apply it to your marketing strategy. Here are 4 key themes from the influencer culture to take note:

Branding matters

Instagram is all about the visual appeal by design. That’s why influencers have sleek graphics and video that commands attention. The most popular accounts, like Beyoncé, get millions of likes, story views, etc. But don’t get so invested in these indicators that you lose sight of consistency. What you push out needs to be on-brand, too. For example, if your brand is playful, you’ll want to accompany images with light-hearted captions that invite engagement. More than anything, authenticity resonates with consumers.

Be open to collaboration

Brands no longer operate in silos in today’s world. Everyone—from visual artists to motivational speakers—is collaborating to gain a more significant following or reach in return for reciprocity. The key is to find a complementary brand. For example, it makes sense that brands like Spotify and Hulu would align because both products appeal to a similar demographic.

Stay current on trends

Influencers are usually the first to embrace a new functionality within the app—so-called early adopters. So, naturally, if you want to come across as plugged in online, you need to put in the time to understand the changing landscape.

Take it to the next level

You can’t put all your eggs in the proverbial basket that is social media for many reasons. Don’t forget about Face time! Events are a great way to connect with your consumer base and get access to inside knowledge. Plus, they can build trust and inspire confidence.

By the way, one of our valued partners SCORE has an upcoming workshop, “Marketing to Millennials” on Dec. 11where can help you better understand this generation of digital natives—and how to reach them better online. Learn more here.

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