‘Influencers’ are members of your industry (and often members of your social community) who have considerable ‘social authority’ and command natural respect from those around them. These people commonly have vocal opinions which, when nurtured and managed strategically, can be of great benefit to your business. Locating influencers is a proactive activity: you need to make a concerted effort to find and nurture them.
When nurtured correctly, influencers can contribute to the achievement of your overall business goals. Influencers have the potential to provide you with the following (including business goals):
- Verbal recommendations, which increase referrals (increasing sales)
- Mentions of your brand on their blog, website or social profiles (increasing awareness)
- Backlinks to your website (increasing search engine results)
- Social media shares/Retweets (increasing awareness)
Influencers can be identified executing the following strategies:
- Use your content keywords determined in Step 6 to search for blog posts using Google, Yahoo! and social media search engines like SocialMention. Examine the blog post and the authors of the blog posts – if the authors have many followers on Twitter, have many comments on their blog and hold a general sense of authority, they may be a suitable influencer.
- Use your content keywords to search Twitter for new potential followers. If they discuss your content keywords (or anything else similar to your industry) they may be a suitable influencer.
- Use a tool such as FollowerWonk (www.followerwonk.com) to search your current Twitter network and identify influencers.
- Look offline for influencers, and follow them online.
Use the following online tools to help you determine influencer score:
Influencers can be nurtured by executing the following strategies:
- Firstly, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (if applicable)
- Reach out to them on Twitter. Retweet their Tweets and say things such as:
- I liked your post on XYZ. Particularly… etc.
- Thanks for your post on XYZ. <Ask question>
- Comment on their blog posts
- Share their blog posts, give them respect when sharing
Influencers should be treated with care and respect – when nurtured correctly, they can become beaming advocates for your brand. However, they could become your biggest nightmare if treated incorrectly.
- Remember to build a relationship with influencers first. You will need to give before you receive anything from them.
- Treat the person as if you met them at a cocktail party. Build rapport, give value, be a friend.
- Make it obvious that you have taken the time to read through their website and understand their offering. Ask them questions or create a discussion around something they have said.