‘Influencer' is a buzzword that seems to be on the tip of every marketing professionals tongue. An influencer is someone who has made it big in the world wide web of social and has great authority over their following. As a result, the more influential a person (or brand), the greater their online reputation.
Search engines such as Google factor social media influence into their search engine rankings. Consequently, there is a pressure on businesses to seek out social influencers to engage with their brand. By doing so, their brand will experience an increase in awareness, online reputation, page rank and potential customers.
So, influencers are full of knowledge and social know-how, which their followers like to tap into. These influencers have the potential for you or your business to chase your online dreams. Once you connect to your influencers you will succeed at becoming a social success through generated word-of-mouth marketing.
As the old adage goes: “you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” This perception to success should be applied to the world of social media. If you want to become an online success, you need to post like an influencer.
Here are three steps to creating relationships with influencers and succeed at being a social success:
1. Define and find your social media influencers
To define somebody as a social media influencer, you must be able to understand what gives them the power and influence over their individual circle of followers. Usually, in business marketing, influencers are people who affect a sale but are typically removed from the actual purchase.
An influencer may be a blogger, journalist, brand advocate, academic, industry analyst, professional advisor or a celebrity. Here are the important attributes you must consider when searching for an influencer:
Expertise: how much of your subject matter is the individual an expert in?
Market reach: what is the number of people (or followers) the individual has the ability to connect with?
Relevance: is the content they're actively sharing (or promoting) relevant to your business?
Engagement: is the content shared being engaged with? If not, their following may be phony.
Klout: what is their Klout score? Klout ranks users on their online social influence. The higher the Klout score, the greater the influence
Another consideration is how their website ranks on search engines. If the website ranks highly on the result pages, the website is deemed influential enough and will receive lots of traffic. Social media and SEO work together, therefore a high social media ranking will help influence their website performance.
Once you know what sort of influencer you're seeking, you can begin to identify such key figures by searching keywords on social media and search engines.
2. Engage with social media influencers
So, you have your list of influencers and whom you want to target. Now it's time to approach them, engage with them, and start conversation. Twitter is a great and impersonal way of doing this. Start by providing something valuable to them. Interaction and engagement from their following is something every influencer craves.
Aim to provide insights on the post they have shared. If the influencer has a blog, share their content on Twitter and mention them. Once the relationship is built, they will begin to share your content back. Then you can begin to ask for opportunity, a link back to your website, a guest speaker at your event, or insight to a post on your blog.
3. Maintain relationships with social media influencers
The hardest bit is over, right? Wrong. Maintaining those relationships and keeping on top of things is the hardest step. A great way to do this is by utilising Twitter lists. This tool allows you to segment different types of influencers, and keep on track of what they're talking about. When you have time go through and comment on what they're sharing, or mention them in a post that may be of interest to them.