The first session at the Community Manager Unconference was about the differences between Evangelists and Influencers, led by Katie Felten(@KatieFelten) from Hashable. She did a great job starting the conversation by explaining the main differences between these two groups. After that, the topics turned into identifying these users, ways to bring them deeper into the fold – and lastly, how employees can be utilized for both [evangelists and influencers] as well! Having been to a few UNconferences before, credit needs to go to Katie’s great discussion leadership, and also to the attendees, for the engagement.
Let’s start by defining each of these:
- Evangelists - People that love your product or service inside and out and talk about it constantly, but not because you asked them to. They might already be influential.
- Influencers - People with lots of followers. They have more visibility and a large reach, but they may only make a statement about your product or service, then move on.
How are these users identified?
- Influencers - Number of connections (Followers, Friends, etc,); Blogs or Periodicals that they author.
- Evangelists - Blogs with a small audience, generate comments; Watch the people on Twitter and Facebook and wherever else that truly love your product.
How can you get them to help?
Katie related how Hashable took a small group of evangelists and created a small private user group and gave them beta access – invited them to live events to discuss – what they were already discussing already.
Favorite Quotes and General Tips:
- Make sure that you have a plan for reaching your community. Know what your looking for and how to measure it!
- ‘No one wants 40,000 followers anymore, they want 4,000 REALLY GOOD followers!’ – Megan (@meganlarsen4)
- ‘Would this Twitter post make the news with this headline?’ – Megan (@meganlarsen4 & @SeanMcGinnis):[Image] http://ow.ly/i/tBTN
- Make Interacting as simple as you can but, be as specific as you can be with them.
- Don’t be afraid to engage and ask your community for help!
- Be sure to follow-up with your community. Even if to say, “we saw this, we will have a better reply later.”
- ‘You need to take care of those that like your brand; you also need to take care of those that don’t!’ -Therez (@TerezBaskin)
- Find 5 people a day and thank them for something!
Those users were our only hope…. NO! There is another (Group of Evangelists):
Employees! Employees LOVE to talk about what they are working on. If they aren’t socially savvy, one tip that we got from US Cellular (@USCellular):
US Cellular employees have a toolkit of premade messages that they can post to social media networks when they are proud of something!
A solid social media network for a company can be a very beneficial tool if used correctly. In order to avoid missteps when “disaster” strikes, a suggestion was offered to help role play some of the situations that occur internally so that people are prepared when an actual event occurs. Having an internal Social Media Champion (A Community Manager perhaps?) would help as well.
- Try to convert your evangelists into influencers by becoming evangelists for them!
- When your Community starts answering questions for themselves, there is no greater feeling!
What did you get out of this session? Tell us in the comments below! Please and Thank You.