How to Get Influencers to Advocate for Your Brand

By Kristy Sammis, Cat Lincoln, Stefania Pomponi, Jenny Ng, Edita Gassmann Rodriguez, Judy Zhou

It’s the holy grail for word-of-mouth marketing: One day, you wake up, grab your phone, and check Twitter, and there are 20 or 50 or even 100 mentions by super-influential people waxing rhapsodic over your brand. No really, it happens! And once in a while it’s pure chance, but usually it’s because you’ve put in the time to build your base, feed your following, and paid it forward.

Here are five steps to help you make it more likely:

  • Have a great product. People only rave to their friends about stuff that works. Make sure you fulfill a need, and clearly demonstrate how your product does that. And if you’re getting feedback that something is broken, listen and fix it! Nothing can make people like, want, care about, or download something that simply doesn’t work.

  • Provide dazzling customer service. People love to complain on social media channels about bad experiences with companies. Fortunately, you can see them, respond immediately and apologetically, and do what you can to make it right, in public, where everyone can see your efforts. Changing someone’s mind can earn you many more people’s hearts!

  • Say thank you. It’s not all bad out there! Sometimes people post pictures to Instagram to show how wonderful a product is. Make sure you have listening tools in place so you can catch all your mentions, and make sure to reply and thank people who say nice things about you. Chances are, they’ll come back with more sweetness!

  • Remember that it’s not just about you. Make sure you’re celebrating other people and brands in your social accounts. The rule of thumb is one-third/one-third/one-third — one-third about you, one-third about your followers, and one-third about other stuff. Keep it topical, timely, and fun. For example, a fashion brand could retweet the announcement of the trendiest color palette for the season, with a link to a Pinterest board with ideas for how to wear it.

  • Be generous. People love to get a little something on the side — a 20 percent coupon code for their birthday, free shipping when they sign up for your newsletter, a gift with purchase if they spend more than $50. The thought definitely counts!