5 Tips for Leveraging Influencers in Real Time
Word travels fast on the Internet, and if you don’t jump on the opportunity to enter a trending conversation, you’ll be left behind, struggling to keep up.
For breaking news, special events or trending topics, your brand needs to own the conversation and establish authority on the subject. But how?
Influencers can put your brand in front of the right audience and help you mobilize them. With a real-time influencer program, you’ll have an arsenal of third-party advocates to call upon when an occasion arises.
Here are five tips to remember when implementing your real-time influencer plan:
1. Target influencers flying under the radar
A real-time influencer program doesn’t start when an event hits. You need to prepare in advance by compiling a list of potential brand advocates.
The best brand allies aren’t always the ones with the most followers. Use your media database to identify the influencers with high engagement rates and those who are already talking about the topic. Look for the ones who can compel their audience to action.
Plus, you are more likely to get a response from an up-and-coming influencer than from a well-established influencer, since you won’t be competing with as many other brands vying for the influencer’s attention.
2. Save time by segmenting your list
When a real-time opportunity arises, there’s no time to waste. If you’re struggling to sort through your contact list to find the perfect influencer for the occasion, you’ll miss your chance to own the conversation.
Be ready at a moment’s notice by sorting and segmenting your list ahead of time. Segment based on location, audience demographics, topic and more.
This way, it will be easy to identify which influencer is the right one to call on in the moment. For example, if the real-time conversation only involves retirees in your city, look for a local influencer whose audience is primarily made up of people who are over age 65.
3. Have a game plan
It’s not enough to enter a conversation and hope for the best. You need to have a unique angle on the situation and an end goal for your efforts.
Think about what you want out of the real-time opportunity. Do you want to offer a new perspective, increase brand awareness or compel your audience to action?
When asking an influencer to align with your brand, be sure to share your game plan with them. Stress the urgency of the situation and their role within it.
4. Monitor for new opportunities
With social listening software, you can stay up to date on all conversations relevant to your brand. Track what’s being said about your brand and what’s going on in your industry.
During a real-time event, tracking the conversation is especially important. See who is involved, how their opinions align with your brand’s and the impact your influencer is having on the conversation.
Monitoring can also help you identify new opportunities. You may, for example, find another influencer whose opinions align with yours and could further help your brand’s position.
5. Don’t forget to follow up
Influencer relations is an ongoing process, not a one-off tactic. In order to continue collaborating with an influencer, you need to maintain the relationship.
After an influencer has advocated for your brand, make sure you thank them. Continue to check in with them to remain top of mind. Stay on their radar by commenting on their posts, sharing their work and showing an interest in what they are doing.
There’s always a chance a topic could trend again. This way, when you reach out again, it won’t feel like a cold call.
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Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.