Lately, I’ve been reading quite a few articles on social media “influencers” and how to use them to spread your message on the internet. So when I had the chance to put this theory to the test, during Historic Deadwood’s Mardi Gras King & Queen competition, I did.
"Successful social media marketing isn’t simply about amassing thousands of followers, but instead precisely identifying the most influential members of your audience and recognizing them for their value. By directly engaging one influencer with exclusive opportunities, special offers, and unique content, you are indirectly engaging thousands of other people who are part of this influencer’s social sphere." - Ben Straley, Mashable.
So the first order of business was to figure out who my influencers were. Well, one was a no-brainer. My fiance is a DJ for KSKY. Next, we reached out to two ladies who have a combined fan base of over 85,000 people. A couple of Playboy Bunnies who I met (and ziplined with at the Buffalo Chip) during last Rally.
Using these influencers had mixed results. KSKY’s fan base got pretty active in the voting process, which makes sense because most of them live in the area and attend Mardi Gras festivities. One of the bunnies completely ignored me (and is no longer my Facebook friend) and the other only pulled a couple of votes.
In the end what I learned from this experiment is that it really is personal interaction that gets you the most action. During the final hour of the competition I had three people personally reaching out to everyone who was online to vote. THAT is what really worked. A personal instant message with a call to action.
So using influencers can work to help increase brand awareness but if you really want people to complete a call to action, a personal interaction is the way to go.
I won’t find out officially who won the competition until next Friday, but I did take away one thing. It’s a LOT of work to try and win a social media campaign!