Amazing 3 Step Guide To Social Media Influencers

 In TIPS AND HOW TO'S

Updated October 2, 2017.

Are you looking for some guidance about working with influencers that you can use today, you’re in luck.

The idea is to get industry influencers to recommend your business and products to their audiences.

This video explains the concept in super simple terms:

Now:

You’ve got to study your customers and why they make the decisions they do.  

If your business is B2B (business to business) be sure to identify consultants involved in their buying process.  

They’re a critical component in the “decision making journey” that your buyers go through.

But whether you are a B2B or B2C (business to consumer),  you should develop a customer avatar or buyer persona.

Be sure to include details around who the customer is and what factors help them make the purchase.

#1:  Find & identify influencers that are right for you

Who do your customers go to for advice?

Once you know this, you’re half way there.

You can find  influencers quickly in a couple of places…

>>Tip: Start with high ranking blogs and websites

When looking for influencers, try doing several Google searches on industry-specific topics.

These are topics that those in the industry write about.

Be sure to look beyond the the first page of the search results though!  

That’s because big company content and ads push organic results for influencers further down in search results.

For example, let’s say I am searching for “enterprise storage” influencers in the technology industry.  

Two well known influencers are found several pages down in the search results.

The first is Stephen Foskett:

Finding influencers with Google

Another is Robin Harris of Storage Mojo:

Finding industry influencers

Both of these guys are substantial voices in the enterprise technology space, particularly storage, so I’d definitely want to know them.

The problem?

Neither shows up in search results until the fourth page but both are consultants and influential to buyers in this space.

So be willing to drill down a few pages in the search results!  

But it get’s better:

You can try changing your search query from “enterprise storage” to “enterprise storage bloggers” and this pops up on the first page:

how to find influencers

As you can see, a couple of influencers come up right away, including Robin Harris of StorageMojo.

>>Tip: Look for social media leaders in your industry niche

You’ll now want to look beyond blogs and websites to social media channels.

Some influencers are more active there than on their own blogs.

Take a careful look at social media accounts of people who seem to have sizable audiences within your niche.

There are a number of platforms that are popular and where you can find influencers including Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and others.

eMarketer published some findings on this and found that Instagram is becoming the preferred channel.

But your audience might be different.

Be sure to know WHERE your customers congregate online and you’ll likely find influencers there.

Look at their metrics (audience size, social engagement: likes, shares, and comments) and determine how much impact these social media influencers have.

>Tip: Take a look at your competitors on their social channels and follow them.

Also be sure to “turn on”notifications on Facebook and Twitter so you can stay up to date.

When you do this you’ll know immediately when someone posts an update on those channels.

Another option is to use online apps like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.

These apps allow you to monitor Twitter for keywords, users, hashtags and others.

Now:

It is important not to neglect less well known influencers and who may not have large followings on social media channels.

Why?  These folks can be very influential without having large social media numbers.

Here’s an example:

On Twitter @Activewin is an account managed by Bob Stein.

His account has a mere 800+ followers (not very big), but you must research further to discover Bob is the director of Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh!     

Many CTOs seek out Bob’s advice about technology products and services, and not just in the Pittsburgh area.

Bob is very influential.

He also blogs on the University’s web site.

Lesson: Don’t rely on surface metrics like “reach” alone.

Be sure to look for relevance and resonance (engagement with the audience).  

Also, look to see what the influencer does for a living and where he or she works.  It can be revealing.

#2:  Establish a strong relationship with the influencers

Begin with influencers who are already familiar with you and your company, if possible.

These people are the “low hanging fruit” that can help you quickly.

If not, follow the formula below. It will take little longer and you have to be persistent but it works.

Here it is:

Support the influencer’s content by following them and amplifying it. There are several ways to do this:

  • Promote their posts on YOUR company social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  Be sure to comment on it in addition to sharing it so you show some thoughtfulness as to why you are sharing their content.
  • Link to their blog posts or videos  in YOUR company blog posts or on your company About page (statistically the second most trafficked page on most sites).
  • Encourage other influencers you know and have good relationships with to share the content through their social media channels.
  • If you have budget, use paid advertising to drive traffic to the influencer’s article.  Be sure it is a post you feel strongly about and takes a position that you and your brand believe in.

One more thing … be genuine about the content you are sharing and promoting.

No matter what, don’t promote content you don’t believe in.  Others will sense it.

#3: Leverage and grow your brand

Develop relationships with your industry influencers.

Work with them to launch, broadcast and even evangelize your product or  service. 

By leveraging influencers, your brand can quickly and effectively establish itself as a market leader.

Be sure to evaluate the potential of both B2C  and B2B blogs.

You can do both depending on the product and circumstances.

For example:

If you have a business laptop computer marketed through B2B methods, you can also market that laptop through B2C influencers.

B-to-Bs who want to amplify their current marketing efforts through influencer marketing should start with their content.

Quality content provides value.

The two main ways for B2Bs to amplify their message include:

  • Arrange to publish your content on an influencer’s blog and social network. Be sure to amplify these posts.
  • “Native advertising”  is a way to amplify select content. These native ads should read like an traditional article or blog post.  Don’t write these as advertisements!  They must read like any other organic post. This will ensure that the native content is actually read by the largest audience possible.

Wrapping up:

These are the main steps…

  • Identify the leading industry influencers in your space or niche.
  • Establish strong relationships with them
  • Broadcast and amplify your content (and your brand) via the influencers

Now:

What about automation? Is it possible to automate working with influencers?

Automated solutions are limited and not able to do much more than identify influencers and that is only the starting point of influencer marketing.

The real work – and the fun – comes by building relationships.

You should have in mind that this is a process that requires time.  

It’s like building friendships and that isn’t done quickly, especially not on a large scale, and quickly.

 

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