Ever notice when people you follow on social media give a shout out to a product, or do an unboxing, or a product review? Those people are usually being compensated because they are influencers (influencer is a term for word of mouth marketing on social media). I am going to share a relevant influencer story about my daughter then wrap it up with an influencer strategy for real estate.
My daughter started getting approached by brands when her Instagram and YouTube accounts jumped up over 10k subscribers. Her manager hooked up most of them. His other insanely famous dancers like Twitch (Ellen Show), Miles (Blackish) and many others have social media profiles with hundreds of thousands of followers. Thanks Nelson, for getting @sparkleslund hooked up!
What we learned as her profile grew to 20k and 30k is that the percentage of followers that engage in her posts started to drop. I call them casual fans. But her core fan base and earlier fan base became more loyal as months and years of following her deepened the relationship.
Now Alexandra is in college at Syracuse University (Newhouse School of Communications and Whittman School of Business dual degree program). She will be dancing for the Division 1 dance team (There are no scholarships for dancers – a future rant). She continues to opportunities to earn compensation for her social media presence.
If you read about digestive health, you may know that a shot of apple cider vinegar is super good for you. Unfortunately, it tastes horrible and there is little chance that you can get a kid to drink it. The vinegar helps the bacteria in your gut and is a source of probiotics and prebiotics.
I somehow encountered a product called goli’. They package the apple cider vinegar in a gummy bear that tastes fine and provides all of the benefits of drinking the apple cider vinegar. I sent a link to the product to @sparkleslund with a love note that said – you may want to try this. Putting her marketing and communications mind to work, she found out that goli’ has an influencer program, and her social media presence qualified her for free product and compensation. She hooked it up.
How golí failed
As a supportive dad, and someone who understands the value of a healthy gut, I clicked the goli’ affiliate link on @sparkleslund’s Instagram profile. I ordered a bunch. Hopefully I will get healthy and my daughter will get some benefit. That was 3 or 4 days ago.
My shipment has not arrived.
I have not gotten my product yet. But I did get a marketing email from golí.
First fail – they emailed me before I have gotten the product that I ordered. Tells me that their systems are not connected. Their marketing department is spraying and praying. They are not looking at the customer journey.
Second fail – I connected to their product through an influencer. Their systems did not know that, which has two problems. First, they missed the opportunity to keep me connected to my influencer, to remind me that this product was recommended by someone that I trust enough to follow their advice. They also do not connect purchases from the email link back to the influencer. In other words, if I respond to the email and purchase more, the affiliate gets screwed out of a commission. They could have instead sent the click to an influencer cobranded reorder page using SendGrid (their bulk email tool).
Third fail – They had a great opportunity here to say something like – your product is coming soon. Here is what to expect when it arrives and the benefits that you will enjoy. You may want to connect to our social media profiles to learn more about this and other products from golí that will improve your health, yadda yadda.
Influencer Strategy for Real Estate
In real estate, word-of-mouth marketing is everything. With consumers, it drives repeat and referral business. Technology used by top producing brokers, agents, and teams influences others to use products. From where I sit at WAV Group and RE Technology, influencer strategies are not yet well developed in the real estate industry and that is a new opportunity for marketers.
Market research and engagement
Developing consumer influencers is pretty easy. First thing you need to do is check your customer list and see if you have influencers that you have done business with already. If not, find the influencers in the communities that you sell in. Start following them on social media and engaging with their content. After a while, when the influencer begins to recognize your consistent and authentic interest in their content, invite them for a coffee or send them a housewarming gift or something. Your goal is to invite them to push out some real estate content and tell their following of thousands that you are a great Realtor®, or to follow your page or whatever,
Consumer outreach (Tech Firms)
The second strategy is more related to technology firms. Have a discussion during the sales process with top producing agents, teams, and brokers about how you can recognize them (give discounts or pay cash) for helping you market your product. This may include quotes in press releases, participation on webinars, shout outs from the stage at industry conferences, or whatever. Your successful, happy customers are the very best form of marketing. When Gary Keller, for example, gives your product a shout out in his opening remarks at Family Reunion, you can literally watch product adoption climb in near real time. Influencers are market movers.
Top Agents, Teams, Brokers (MLS and AoR)
If you are an MLS or AoR – you can also use influencers. Make sure that your top agents, teams, and brokers are on the inside to help you launch new products or drive adoption of existing products. Leverage them for product feedback and case studies! Same is true for brokers using top agents and teams to build credibility for new product launches.
WAV Group Communications can help you establish your influencer marketing strategy and make sure that you do not stub your toe like golí. Contact Victor Lund, Kevin Hawkins, Myra Jolivet, David Gumpper, or Marilyn Wilson.