Surveys have shown that around 74% of people believe recommendations from friends or acquaintances, while only about 14% believe in brand advertisement claims. Having credible people be your brand enthusiast can be extremely powerful, especially when communicated in an authentic manner — as part of a person’s normal conversation.
Let me use my friend, Kendall Kunz, a well-known entrepreneur and executive in the Seattle area, as an example.
Recently, he tweeted:
Kendall is a Lexus owner, expressing a perspective that many would agree with. So, why would Ford not contact Kendall? He is most likely not a credit risk. His Lexus is being serviced for reasons unknown. Why not at least engage and build rapport?
Here’s another tweet:
I get Nordstorm emails, most of which are not even relevant to me because they consistently send me information about women’s apparel. I think both Nordstorm and Macy’s has a chance to step up and not just get Kendall’s business for the day (or a shopping trip), but to build a ongoing rapport with Kendall. Again, it’s an opportunity for getting involved in the conversation for the brand(s). What’s the lifetime value of a customer like Kendall?
Later, Kendall tweets:
Ok, Ford is now out of the conversation and Lexus gets a big kudo from Kendall, who by the way has a lot of friends with high-end cars. You can’t buy these types of advertisements.
Finally, here’s another tweet from Kendall:
Crimson C is a lounge in Pioneer Square trying to get more visibility. It actually has a promotion for drink vouchers if you introduce the lounge to 20 friends. Kendall wasn’t aware of the promotion, but really just wanted people to stop by.
These are authentic conversations on social media. Kendall is peddling brands without even thinking about it. One man, a few examples, imagine the possibilities that are out there in social media for brands to be so much more engaging.