How to Locate & Build Relationships with the Right Social Media Influencers

by disha, posted 1 month ago
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There are no bounds to what the right influencers can facilitate for your brand when engaged with at the right instant. Arby’s discovered the power of that possibility in 2014, when they demanded that R&B star Pharrell Williams return their hat, during the Grammy’s.
pharrell_tweet

The result? Close to 85K retweets, 50K favorites and possibly millions of impressions. 

There’s no dispute regarding the effectiveness of influencer marketing, but brands continue to struggle with implementation.

If you can’t seem to find the right influencers or create working relationships with them, this post if for you.

How to search for influencers via social networks

Anybody who appears to lead conversations in your niche and has the power to drive the desired action is a potential influencer. When choosing which influencers to work with, ask yourself if they match your expectations on these three essential factors:

Relevance

Does your prospect influencer’s historic content somewhat match with your brand’s? For instance, a fitness blogger may not be of much help to a cosmetics brand, even with a strong following in the right demographic.

Reach

Large followings don’t mean anything unless they consist of your target demographics. For instance, your fashion blogger may have an audience younger than your target group, rending his/her involvement in your marketing efforts pointless.

Values

If your brand is conservative to a fault, you might not want to work with an influencer who likes to swear on social posts. Even if you did change his/her style to match yours, the history of his/her social media presence and fan expectations will leave you disappointed.

You can use manual search by important keywords (or hashtags), or use an influencer identification tool like Traackr to find your influencers.

You could also monitor people who have engaged with your brand before using a Twitter monitoring tool like Twitter Counter.

How to catch the attention of influencers on social media and initiate relationships with them

There are three ways to do this:

  1. Share influencer content regularly while @mentioning them
  2. Share content of interest to experts/influencers in your niche
  3. Feature influencers on your blog,podcast or video

You could use a social media management dashboard like DrumUp to manage the first two tactics. The tool suggests content based on keywords you set, along with @mentions and #tags that you can easily insert when scheduling posts.

Additionally, you can also add people with influence who regularly interact with your brand to Twitter lists and interact with their content on a regular basis, before you reach out to them.

Another great way of building a rapport with influencers is by inviting them to share their expertise and ideas with your community, by featuring them prominently on your blog, podcast or video.

It’s important to note that building relationships takes time, and taking a legitimate interest in an influencer and his/her work is the best way to begin. Your familiarity with their work and previous personal interactions with them will help you get a foot in the door. Once you have built that firm foundation, you can initiate a more founded working relationship with influencers.

Making formal contact

When it’s time to open a formal dialogue, you have to be tactful. Question yourself how you and your influencers can mutually benefit by working on the project you have in mind. Ensure that you understand very well why he/she is the perfect choice for that project, because infallible logic can help you win them over to your side.

You can make official contact on a social media message, if that’s the most access you have. If there’s a public email address of theirs you can use, you could send an email instead.

Right off the bat, inform the influencer about:

  • Who you are (you can make relevant past references if they apply)
  • How you got their contact information
  • What your brand does
  • Why they should work with you
  • Why they make a good fit
  • How you plan to work with them
  • What you have to offer

If you intend to offer freebies, exclusive benefits, memberships or products, this email is where you should disclose it. It’s important to get a sense of what can best motivate your influencers, because that can be drastically different based on who you’re talking to.

This is possibly where most brands fail to make progress, so you might want to consider remunerations seriously before you make your influencers an offer.

Defining expectations

Once your prospects show some interest, you have to drive the relationship into the next stage – action. An important part of initiating a new process is setting clear expectations.

How do you expect the influencer to be involved with your brand? Do you want them to attend your events and speak at them? Do you want them to co-create content with your team?

Bear in mind that influencers aren’t employees, and have their own professional and/or personal brands to work on, so you have to be accommodating and collaborative.

You don’t have to establish a concrete, exclusive relationship with the influencer. Even smaller, subtler contributions could hold value for your brand.

For instance, if they have editorial access on a blog, would they be willing to feature you and you would them? Or maybe their brand would also benefit from creating a themed podcast that speaks to both your target groups? Teaming up could really help both parties make headway with their marketing.

Nurturing the relationship

In the social media age, it’s important to maintain the warmth that face-to-face interactions have. If you can’t meet your influencers personally, ensure that you do something special for them once every while.

Sharing their content regularly, and keeping in touch via email can’t hurt and are critical in building long-term relationships.

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