Influencers and power posters are where it’s at for marketing mavens. If you want to go stellar with social media, you must identify those fans and followers who do more than just click and comment on your business’s Facebook page or Twitter feed. Brand influencers are the big pushers in marketing; even Amazon knows that. In fact, Amazon recently launched its Influencer Program for “social media influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content.” That, my dear reader, is exactly what a good influencer is all about, connecting their audience with your brand. But where do you find your own influencers?
How to Identify Influencers
First of all, you’ve got to go where the influencers are. Where is that exactly? The top two social media platforms catering to influencer marketing are:
No shock there, and more so these social media services are twice as likely to indulge in influencer behavior. From Facebook Pages connecting businesses with the individual profiles, to Instagram’s new one-minute long video capabilities, these two programs have marketing in the bag. However, don’t count out other social media platforms, especially YouTube and possibly Twitter. Influencers are hanging out everywhere trying to find their own power platform.
Finding Your Power Posters
Start the process of finding your power posters, those individuals who are posting frequently, as well as interacting with other commenters. These are the followers who not only comment often, but are more likely to support your brand by communicating positively with others. They’ll stick up for your business when other posters are bashing it, and these posters are more likely to share your page with their own network. These are your power posters and they are close cousins to influencers. By interacting with power posters in the same manner as influencers, you’ll be able to transform these followers into super fans aka brand influencers with heart.
Connecting with Outside Influencers
Yet, that’s not enough. In order to take full advantage of the marketing prowess that influencers offer you need to go a step further. Jump out of the social media sand box and into a marketing tool box, such as BuzzSumo. This is a service that helps you organize your SEO campaigns and marketing strategies. More importantly for your influencer needs, BuzzSumo finds your key influencers based on your brand and business type.
This tool leads you right to the online door of brand influencers that will promote your content effectively. Search for your outside influencers according to their authority, reach, and engagement using BuzzSumo. Then you can combine other tools via the service with your influencer marketing strategy to create a powerhouse of online promotion.
Another tool to add to your box is Followerwonk, which is a Moz app that analyzes Twitter. As the name suggests, Followerwonk finds influencers on Twitter that are best suited for your business needs. You then get the opportunity to connect with these influencers for the next step, putting your influencers to work.
Maintaining Influence of Power Posters
It’s obvious that influencers aka power posters are important to online marketing. According to a recent report by Linqia, 94 percent of marketers recognized the power of influencers in 2016. As a result marketing teams are ramping up budgets to prioritize influencer marketing. This is paramount to keeping your influencers satisfied. The reality is influencers understand their power, and in order to utilize their force for your brand, they expect a little something-something in return.
After all, influencers get into the business of marketing in order to build their own business, which may be marketing or some other project, such as a fashion line or beauty blog. To get something from an influencer you must give of your brand. You must recognize reciprocity. However, if you want to develop a long-term relationship with your influencers you’ve got to do more than shower them with praise or gifts.
As with any relationship the foundation is built on respect and trust, and this starts by recognizing your influencers as individuals. Here’s how to kick-start that online exchange:
- Learn more about your influencers than what they offer by reading their conversations on social media, checking out all of their social media profiles, and reading, actually reading, their blog and website content. The more you know, the better you’ll be at connecting with them on a personal level.
- Make sure the influencer is aligned with what your brand represents. The influencer in question may have super star selling power, but if, for example, they are affiliated with other brands that are outside of your ethical zone, then, hey, it’s just not going to work out in the long run. In fact, the influencer’s associations could actually harm your own brand, which is the exact opposite of what you want in an influencer’s reach.
Once you have developed a friendly connection with the influencer, it’s time to take that next step. Don’t start out by asking for their influencer power. Instead offer the influencer something they value, based on what you learned about them.
- Does the influencer want to grow their own business, and if so, can you do a collaboration via an ad on each of your social media pages?
- Would your influencer be interested in free products in exchange for an honest review on their YouTube channel?
- Are you hosting an event in a city where your influencer lives? Imagine it now, everyone at your event snapping pics and creating videos to share on their social media feeds for the ultimate in influencer outreach.
Once you have found an influence marketer, your work is not done. You’ll want to find more individuals with the same brand-pushing power. Think you have the formula figured out? Well, here’s the truth. You’ll need to approach each influencer in an authentic way, which means what works for one influencer relationship won’t do for another. However, over time you will be able to fine-tune your influencer-finder intuition.