Influencers. Creators. Mavens. Nodes. They all are the same concept. They hold a lot of Klout on social media. Influencers are the key to any social media campaign. They are the backbone to any strategy and/ or campaign. Through influencers it is easy to spread a message. You see this all the time with the Kardashian’s, Ashton Kutcher or any big name celebrity. Brands will continuously send them free clothing, make up and products in hopes that the celebs will tweet, Instagram, Facebook, blog about the brand. Think about it, it’s free marketing. Well sort of.
After spending years researching and analyzing and planning my dissertation, I realized, influencers were the most important part of social media. This is true whether your brand is domestic or global. Hit one, two or five influencers with a certain message, and ask them for help. Let’s face it. They are people, too. And they once were where you are today.
Although influencers are important, your non influencer target market is equally as important. Make sure when you contact your influencers you also have a separate message for your various segments in your target audience. It is important to have several explicit messages with the same implicit meanings and call to action for both influencers and all segments in your audience. However, remember your influencer message is very different from your “other” target message. The message to your influencer should be customized, whereas to your segments it should be more general.
How do you connect with influencers? Well it doesn’t start right when you want something. This is a long approach that you need to plan in advance. Since you’ve been on social media for a while and one of the first steps of creating a social media plan is to follow influencers you should be well under way. It’s important to understand, that unless you are giving back to the influencer then there is only a little bit of a chance for you to actually get the influencers attention. How do you give back you ask? Through retweets, shares and the most important for social capital- backlinks.
Once you have been connecting and interacting with your influencers, then and only then, it will be appropriate for you to ask for some help spreading your message. So what’s the first thing to do on social media, as soon as you set up any site? You got it, follow influencers. And as I always say:
1.) Influencers can be competitors. You really just want to see people that are big in the field on social media. What are they saying, what are they not saying?
2.) Influencers don’t need to have 10’s of thousands of likes or followers. In fact, the influencers with that many likes will most likely not respond than the Influencers with just a few thousand Influencers. Influencers are influencers, just make sure they have a following and have engagement.
3.) Target both “big” and “little” influencers. Big influencers are good for getting information, little influencers help spread your word. As I mentioned, if you have influencers with less followers than it is more realistic they will help spread your message.
4.) The Influencer with a lot of followers, doesn’t necessarily have Klout. Look to see how much interactions they have and how active they are on social media. Followers does not equal engagement. And you want engagement.
Google your topic. Literally, type in [Your topic] influencers to follow on [pick a social media app]. For example, social media influencers to follow. Make that list of followers and start engaging with them. Stay tuned to my next blog to find out more ways to find influencers!