active listening

Student Posts

Respecting Influencers to Maximize Engagement

By Joey Jaraczewski (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter)

“There is great content on the Internet. But holy mother of cheeses, the Internet is not made out of content… the Net offers us a common place where we can be who we are, with others wh
o delight in our differences.”
www.newclues.cluetrain.com

As 2017 warms up on the West Coast (and finishes off another record-setting winter of storms on the East Coast), I am flying back to Eugene from LAX. This past weekend, I made the acquaintance of many socially-active and food-informed young people at Natural Products Expo West, the largest gathering of natural foods brands in the world. In marketing terms, these individuals are called “social influencers.” Folks like @diningwithdevyn and @alessandrataryn speak to audiences of 10,000 to 20,000 about how they incorporate branded products into their plant-based lifestyle.

My prediction is that 2017 is going to be the Year of the Influencer for startup brand marketing. In the food and beverage space, startup brands are building influencer and ambassador programs by the truckload. The savvy among us use a targeted, personal approach to engage with influencers. The rabid among us leave the door to ambassadorship wide open through online forms and general invitations. Regardless of approach, the mindset of marketers is universal: leverage exist social networks to enhance your brand.

This understanding is a bit one-sided in benefit. I ask myself, what is the mindset of the influencer? As Sean Thornberry pointed out a few days ago, there is a lot of money and status to be made by blowing up a personal brand through influencer programs. There is also a lot of adventure to be had as well. Still, this piece by seasoned brand ambassador Tara Folk indicates that the ambassador just wants to represent the brand and themselves professionally and honestly. This brings us to a fundamental truth that marketers must remember:

Celebrate your ambassadors.

The socially influential people that your brand engages with for ambassadorship are just that: socially influential people who want to engage with your brand. They have influence over their community because they do their thing and follow what they believe in. Because of this, they have found freedom.

The best brands among us will respect and cherish independence. The best brands build relationships of solidarity with ambassadors whose actions, activities, and dreams naturally resonate with what the brand stands for. My shining example is Lululemon, who catapulted to stardom by supporting the efforts of 1600 select yogis. Lululemon knew these influencers as people, and gave them the resources to enhance their own personal brands. As Lulu ambassador and community organizer Tyrone Beverly puts it, “[Lululemon]’s agenda is to support your agenda.” I think that is a pretty radical idea, and one with a ROI that can go bananas.

Be you, and be you forever. Everything else is just noise. Stay up and stay with it!

Joey J | CEO | Sohr Performance + Nutrition

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Student Posts

Listen More. Talk Less.

By: Rhea Gates Twitter: @RheakaiGates   Social. Media. Crisis. Three words no PR professional can hear or utter without an inevitable cringe. Unfortunately, social media firestorms are becoming regular news during our lifetime. You can hardly look at a television, computer or cell phone screen without being bombarded by the latest organizational blunder followed by new hashtags and passionate multi-platform…read more
Twitter Summary

Crisis Communication on Social media

By Sijie Li and Henry Cromett On Tuesday, April 28th, we had a good discussion about the relationship between social media and crisis communication. Once we got into the lecture, we learned that what active listening is and the importance of active listening on social media responding to customers. Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person to…read more