The annals of influencer marketing have their share of horror stories — influencers who won’t let go of a negative point of view, and won’t stop sharing it. It doesn’t really matter how good your influencer marketing program is. Sooner or later, an influencer will shift from neutral to negative. How will you handle the situation?
In our Influencer50 client work and careers, we’ve found that most companies use 1 of 3 basic strategies when dealing with overly critical influencers:
1. Convert them. Hand down, this the best way to go. It takes lots of thought and work, over a reasonable to extended window of time.
2. Surround them with neutral or positive influencers. The idea is to balance their comments and gradually soften their position. This is about letting influencers influence each other. It introduces risk, yet can pay off. However, take care not to mix attention-craving negative influencers at the same event. They tend to feed off each other or goad each other along. Either way, the result is rarely desirable for you or the other influencers participating in your event.
3. Ignore them. This is the most foolhardy strategy. It’s used more often than you might imagine. I have seen very few cases where ignoring a negative influencer paid off. Ignoring a top influencer does nothing to neutralize their attitudes and often results in increasing — not limiting — their opportunities to discuss your company with clients, prospects and other influencers.
Whichever strategy you prefer, it’s a good idea to plan ahead on how you will handle high-profile detractors.