social-influencers

Influencer marketing is more than just another trend in digital media. It continues to gain popularity because it's powerful and its impact reflects on the bottom line of your business. In fact, a report by SocialChorus reveals that

posts by influencers receive 16 times higher engagement than paid and owned media .

Influencers are consumers who believe in your brand. They play a key role in increasing brand awareness, and improving a brand's image and reputation. Here are five tips to help you connect with influencers in your niche.

Create Influencer Personas

Before you reach out to influencers on social media, it's important to understand the right fit for your business. Creating an influencer persona will give your efforts a clear direction and help you understand the triggers of action. The influencer persona must address a few key questions listed below:

  • In what space of subject must the influencer have expertise?
  • How large a following must the influencer have?
  • What motivates the influencer to talk about a particular brand?
  • What problems does the influencer face and how can your business help solve those problems?
  • Which are their preferred sources of information?

Identify Influencers In Your Space

Once you know the kind of person you're looking for, it's only a matter of matching profiles against requirements. You could use tools like Followerwonk and Klout to sort influencers by location, reach, and social score.

When identifying influencers, keep in mind the three R's: Reach (based on size of following), Relevance (based on the subjects they are experts in and discuss on social media) and Resonance (based on the response they tend to receive).

Get Familiar With Their Work

Before you actually reach out to an influencer be sure to familiarize yourself with their work.

More often than not, people with a large following on social media are known for certain beliefs and opinions they hold. Recognizing this will also help you come with talking points for when you actually start a conversation with them.

Get a sense of what drives them, what they appreciate and what they don't. All this information will prove to be extremely useful in establishing and nurturing a relationship with the person.

Interact With Them Actively

A good way to break the ice with an influencer is to comment or raise questions based on their work. Follow them on multiple platforms where they publish their work, show your appreciation for a good article they've written, or ask a question if you think a particular point they're making therein requires further explanation.

Whatever you do, be genuine. In most cases, influencers are also subject matter experts and there's generally a big take away in the work they publish.

Also remember to share their work through your social outlets, and when you do so always reference them in the post.

Build A Lasting Relationship

Establishing a relationship with an influencer is not a one-time effort; it's an on-going process that requires you to be committed to the message you want to send across.

Influencer marketing is not about spamming an individual's inbox with requests to review your product or mention your business in a blog post, or tweet. Although that's a desirable outcome, it's not the primary objective.

What you must instead aim to do is identify a person who genuinely stands to benefit from your offering, and who can in turn share their experience with others looking for a similar solution.

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* Images adapted from Florian F. (Flowtography), On Location in Los Angeles, Stf.O

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