Finding Your Advocates using Social Media

This week, Brian Nicoletti explores a new way to leverage social media to attract customers – reach out to people respected and followed in your marketing niche!  AsburyPop’s very first sponsor, Maryanna’s Iced Tea, is one of Brian’s examples.

A big challenge all marketers face is how to get their product discovered by their core audience. Traditional advertising in magazines, on television and radio is still a wise option, but can be a weight on the bottom line. Social media marketing may save a few bucks at the end of the quarter, but the time dedicated to maintaining your presence is just as valuable in the end.

A proven strategy that can get your product in front of a built in audience is leveraging the connections of “power users.” In a nutshell, you reach out to someone in your niche with a large number of connections and encourage them to offer feedback or comments on your material. These actions are seen by that person’s network, and those that are interested are likely to interact as well.

A great example of this strategy in action is Lynn Scheurell, a spiritual business coach and member of my website, SelfGrowth.com. One of the tools she uses in her business is a technique called Face Reading – she can look at facial features to see how people view the world, how they perceive information, are they emotional based, are they analytical, it tells what their challenges. Literally, she can look at a picture of someone and analyze it.

After setting up her presence on Facebook, Lynn began producing a series of videos offering free two-minute readings for bloggers and names in her niche. The concept was so interesting to them that they shared it with their followers and the requests for readings and consultations came flooding in.

I realize this example is an extreme niche market, but the strategy can be the same for a product with a larger audience as well – case in point: MaryAnna’s Tea!

This local beverage company based in Point Pleasant used a similar method of leveraging the built in audience of bloggers to spread the word about their bottled drinks. It started with use of twitter to get connected with @JerseyBites, who posted about the tea; from there, MaryAnn sent free samples of her product to tea bloggers and beverage reviewers. The response from these audiences was positive and lead to many sales – all from word-of-mouth advertising on social media.

VoxPopNJ interviewed MaryAnn Rollano back in September – Maryanna’s Iced Tea was the first sponsor for AsburyPop!

Lets look at the key takeaways from these examples:

  • Have a system in place to close sales outside of social media – In both of the above examples, social media was used to raise awareness of an existing product, not to conduct online retail. Before the marketing starts, make sure your product is in place and you have a working method to close business.
  • Convert the influential users in your niche to your advocates – The groups feature of Facebook and Linkedin make it very simple for you to find a pre-existing market of potential customers, and the voices of influence who can do your best marketing for you. If there are no groups that you can find, start your own!
Finally, I must advise that you use this strategy ethically. Above all, your social media marketing strategy first needs to be about building relationships with other users. Don’t come on strong with a request for a blog to be made about you, start by leaving comments and getting on the author’s radar. You want responses to be genuine and natural, and that’s something that gets results!

About the Author:

Brian Nicoletti is the co-creator of SelfGrowthMarketing.com – an Internet Marketing boot camp for businesses in the Self Improvement industry. His training programs cover social media marketing, email list building, search engine optimization, and e-book creation and marketing. If you are interested in a personalized social media game plan for your business, drop him a line.

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