Think about all of the people that influence the things you talk about, consider and even purchase. They range from your friends to “experts” to pundits and even to detractors of a brand.
We call this the Influencer Ecosystem. All those sources work together to impact the perceptions and buying behaviors of entire audiences. The Influencer Ecosystem comprises the instigators and shapers of word of mouth. It is important for every brand to know who is in its ecosystem, what is driving them, and how to successfully interact with them.
- Brand Fans: the most potent and influential advocates a brand can have; Brand Fans are excited to talk about and share their love for a brand
- Industry Eminents: influencers and thought leaders who have broad reach and impact over the perceptions and buying decisions of a category or industry
- Peer Influencers: everyday people who have gained social credibility through their networks and have voiced particular interest or passion for a product, brand or category
- Determined Detractors: people who – for whatever reason – criticize, attack or are just vocal about their dislike for a brand
Truly successful and sustainable word-of-mouth programs engage each element of the Influence Ecosystem in ways that are relevant, compelling and ultimately sharable – both online and offline.