March 17, 2015
/ by Suruchi Sharma
74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.
90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 33% trust ads.
The above statistics clearly indicate that social media influences purchase decisions, impacts opinions about brands, and thus influences brand personality. So, to be relevant in today’s world, where social conversations are happening at the speed of light, you need to engage with the right people – your influencers! These are the people who are talking about brands and are sharing intel around industries/trends to watch out for. Their opinions matter and they have the potential to become loyalists of your brands, thus driving real results for your marketing activities.
Who are my influencers? How do I identify them? How do I engage with them effectively?
If any of the above questions have ever flashed in your mind and kept you pondering over the possible answers, you are at the right place! In this blog, we will take a 3 step approach to spearhead your influencer outreach in the right direction. So, don’t just stand there, move ahead and tread the influencer engagement journey.
1. Identify your influencers
This is a crucial step and you need to be super-focussed! Ask yourself – Am I looking at influencers who have a huge follower base or influencers who talk about my brand often (volume of tweets, posts, etc.) or both? Then what follows is how much time I need to devote to each set of people? An influencer may not have a huge following, but might have a very niche follower base, which can be twice as valuable.
With Viralheat, you can quickly capture influencer insights by creating topic profiles with specific keywords you are interested in. The platform offers you the ability to draw rich insights about your influencers, both by impact (the number of followers) and volume (the number of tweets shared on topics of your interest). Accordingly, you can bucket them in different groups/lists (based on topics, interest areas, etc.) and devise an action strategy according to your marketing goals. Prioritize the lists based on who you think will have the most impact on your business objectives.
2. Engage with your influencers
After identifying your influencers, the next step is to engage with them both proactively and reactively. In this era of information abundance, “time” and “attention” are in extremely short supply. So, in order to capture the attention of your influencers, you not only need to entice them with engaging content, but also ensure that the content relates to their areas of interest. Marketing and social automation tools such as Viralheat, can help you engage with your influencers using automated publishing templates and workflow management capabilities. E.g. In case you are planning on a product launch or promoting a great piece of content, you can share this information with the influencer lists identified by you. Being proactive goes a long way!
3. Work towards a long term relationship
Your focus should be on strengthening relationships with your influencers rather than worrying about making a sales deal happen. As they say “engagement is a continuous process”, there is no magic bullet! The simplest approach is to establish periodic touch points with your influencers over time. Follow them on social channels, engage with their content, and when you deem apt send out a personalized, crisp message/email describing your business/brand. Result: A continuous, long term relationship where conversations are two way and are much more engaged.
Tip – The three steps discussed above are cyclical and brands should continuously keep track of their influencers and engage with them effectively. To dive deeper into how your business can benefit from influencers, here is a free download of “The Importance of Influencers – How brands of all sizes can benefit from identifying influencers.”
References: Influencer Marketing: Stats and Quotes You Need to Know
Photo Credits: Jeff Sheldon
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