86% of Fortune 500 companies report that communities provide insight into customer needs. These insights can impact product roadmaps, influence customer service guidelines, and help marketers understand their audience better. Building a community around a topic relevant to your brand can be an extremely powerful tool that marketers can easily leverage. Within these communities influencers are often the ones leading the conversations and encouraging new members to join. If you are focused on building a community around your brand, then these are the steps you MUST be taking to integrate influencers into your strategy.
1. Understand what motivates your community
What will bring your community together the most? What one truth does your community truly believe in? Discovering and amplifying this common thread can help you build a stronger, more tight-knit community. For example, if your community is united by looking for best practices on a specific discipline, then work with an influencer who sets those best practices. Engaging the industry experts to highlight the underlying motivations of the community will give the community more validity and provide the members with value.
2. Host a chat with an influencer
Wherever your community lives online, find a way to host a live chat with an influencer in the space. Not only is this a great way to activate your community around a live online event, but is is also a great way to recruit new community members as well. Influencers want to grow their own communities. By offering them time directly in front of your community, your influencers get the opportunity to gain new members of their own community. Partnering with trusted influencers in the space is the best way for brands to get their message in front of the right audience.
3. Ask an influencer to host a community event
Online communities can be a force to reckon with, but online connections can not replace face-to-face interactions. Hosting a community event is a great way for community members to take their engagement to the next step by meeting and networking with others in the community. By asking an influential member of the community to host this event not only do you spark the interest of your community with the opportunity to meet an influencer, but you also show social proof that this is an event they won’t want to miss. Grow your community by inviting community members to bring a friend or coworker to the event as well. The more the merrier!
4. Grow your community through influential members
Identify members of your community who have an impactful social footprint and reach out to them to help grow your community. Engage with these people in personal and genuine ways to build a relationship with them overtime. For tips on how to reach out and build relationships with influencers reference the Marketer's Guide to Mastering Influencer Engagement. Learning proper outreach tactics will ensure you start your influencer relationship off on the right foot every time.
Understanding how influencers can help social marketers engage with and build communities online is one use case for influencer marketing. To see fourteen more use cases check out the 15 Influencer Marketing Flashcards. These flashcards will walk you through step-by-step ways that influencers can help all of your current marketing initiatives. From event planning to strategic product alliances, influencers are the key to unlocking your brand's full potential.