As a business, one of the most effective ways to gain traction and visibility is through a strategically planned marketing and/or public relations campaign. But did you know that your customers can be just as effective?

Customers can be more influential than ever these days, thanks to social networks and the internet. In fact, the average customer has a reach of 42 people for each positive experience or engagement with your company online. That means if you have only 200 customers who are brand advocates, you have a potential customer reach of 8,400!

Each time a customer talks about or engages with your company among their peers, their social value and influence rises, and some of these customers have more influence than others. The customers who play, spend and engage with your company the most are called your “social whales”, and their influence can increase your total revenue by 20-40%.

The key to leveraging your social whales and influential customers is first finding out who they are. Thankfully, customer data is easy to manage these days with big data analytics platforms, giving you an overview of who your customers are and what they’re doing. Some big data solutions even offer real-time customer data and predictive analytics so that you can gauge potential sales and revenue. Companies who use a big data analytics platform can gain 23 times more customers than those who don’t.

Once you’ve determined who your influential customers are, it’s time to start targeting and integrating them into your overall marketing strategy. The possibilities here are endless: mobile-focused ads, visual social media marketing campaigns, email marketing and so on. Staying within current marketing trends and your targeted audience is key to increasing overall engagement.

Take a look at the Infographic below, created by predictive-analytics and big data platform Ninja Metrics, highlighting what and who influential customers are, and more tips to increase customer influence. Who are your most influential customers?