Engaging influencers on social media

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Please note this is not my work but is shared in the interests of community awareness,




A social media influencer is someone who talks positively about your brand and products on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest or any other social media platform. He or she can be anyone from a mom on Facebook who likes to mention her favorite products to a big-name blogger in your industry.

Getting the right people excited and talking about your brand is one of the best ways to improve brand recognition,

expand your customer base, and ultimately drive more sales. Word of mouth has always been the most trusted way for a potential customer to hear about your product. Social media makes word of mouth digital.

Maintaining a database of your influencers that includes the size of their networks and other demographic information is a great way to create instant outreach lists for new product

launches, news and deals. It takes some legwork, but will have an immediate payoff whenever you want to get your message out quickly. New tools make it easier than ever to find these influencersbut how do you bring them into your circle and get them talking positively about you? Below are 6 tips for doing just that.

Who are Social Media Influencers? Why are They so Important?

Use Google searches and Twitter searches to find people who are already interested in your industry, or in your target demographic. People talking about your brand and your competitors brands are your first tier of influencers, but remember to look outside those areas. A company that makes interior decor might also want to check out fashion blogs, DIY blogs and construction blogs look for interesting overlaps. You can use tools like Klout and Kred to determine who has the biggest reach, but even someone with a small network may have a lot of influence. Social network management tools like Sysomos Heartbeat make it easy to talk to many of them at once.

Big-name influencers are great to get, so by all means work on bringing the movers and shakers in your industry into your network, but dont forget the up-and-comers, who will have more incentive to be the first to mention something new and cool. If you identify must-have influencers, their competitors will probably be valuable too.

You can also follow your current network to other influencers. A rule of thumb to build a good Twitter network is to follow ten new people every day. Some of them may not turn out to be particularly helpful influencers, but some of them will follow you back, and some of those will turn into influencers for you.

Find Influencers Inside and Outside of the Box1

A rule of thumb to build a good Twitter network is to follow ten new people every day.



People are probably already talking about your brand and other brands in your industry. Similarly, your best influencers may already be in your networkpeople who pay attention to your social media presence and know who you are.

Tools like Sysomos Heartbeat can help you identify these conversations so you can add the influencers to your social networks and begin reaching out to them.

While it can be incredibly beneficial to get a mention from a celebrity, customers are actually most influenced by what their friends and family do and like, followed by people they consider like themtheir friends-of-friends network, and people with similar demographics. Your network is probably already full of people who can be minor influencers by speaking to their friends and family about your product. Well discuss how to get them talking a little later, but for now, dont discount the local influencers in your network.

Everyone likes to feel special and in-the-knowto be that friend whos always able to recommend the next new thing. And social media influencers are no exception. Your outreach strategy should include tactics for recognizing and rewarding important players in your social media circle. Consider creating an influencer network whose members get first crack at special content, deals, offers and news as well as free demos of your product or service. You can also tap particularly dedicated influencers for feedback about new products or servicesbrand loyalists will love to feel like theyve had an impact.

Asking your followers to re-tweet or Like something you post for a contest entry or coupon is a good way to get a lot of quick mentionsjust be aware that most of these people may fade away after the initial excitement. If you want to keep them engaged, keep giving them topical, timely rewards and information.

Big social media blitzes are good for sharing big news, but the strategy shouldnt end after the first burst of interest.

Use Measurement to Cultivate from Within

Recognize and Reward Your Influencer



Customers are most influenced by what their friends and family do and like.

Give your influencers first crack at special content, deals, offers and news.




Everyone likes the one-on-one touch. Engaging a social influencer, especially one with a big readership, is a lot like reaching out to a reporter or journalistbut there are a few differences to keep in mind. For instance, influencers are deeply passionate about their topics and probably know more about your market than you do. They will ask tough questions, and you have to be prepared to answer them.

Learn about their interests and engage with them on their turf and on their terms. A social media monitoring tool with historical archives will not only inform you about what topics these influencers posted or commented on

but will also tell you how long they have been discussing the topics. Be patient and tactful: It takes time to build relationships to the point where you can start putting your product in front of these influencers and ask them to promote it.

Remember, influence online is a two-way street. Your influencers have helped you out by talking you upkeep the relationship going by giving them a mention. For example, try picking three to ten influencers a week to mention on your blog or other social media platform. Feature influencers with a range of reachesyour smaller influencers will be thrilled to be mentioned with the big names.

Influencer behavior on Twitter doesnt look the same as on Facebook, Google+, Quora, or any of a hundred blogs and social platforms. Twitters reach is at its best with short, pithy updates that can be re-tweeted. Update your Twitter feed no more than once an hour (except to carry on conversations), and no less than once every business day.

Facebook users update less often and influencers are much less likely to share something purely commercial, for fear of losing readers. Facebook is a great place for games and shareable experiences, and especially socially conscious initiatives like donation programs. Dr. Peppers Tuition Giveaway is a great example that combines

a contest with a shareable social goodeveryone knows someone with a college student in the family.

Other social media sites reward different tactics. On many blogs and discussion platforms, becoming part of the dialog is the best way to engage users. Dont forget to cross-pollinate. Share great blog posts (with your comments) on your Twitter feed, and share a great Facebook photo on Pinterest.

Be Personal

Tailor the Tactic to the Platform



Pick three to ten influencers a week to mention on your blog or other social media platform.

Update your Twitter feed no more than once an hour, and no less than once every business day.




Being an integral part of the social media conversation in your industry is a great way to get influencers talking about you organically. JetBlue on Twitter is a particularly good example of thisthe airline is an engaging presence in the conversation between frequent flyers and other travel companies. Its Twitter updates are youthful and cheeky, just like its brand, and JetBlue is not afraid to say something a little sassy to its competitors.

That sort of personality isnt right for every brand, but every brand can benefit from being part of the conversation. Share industry news, your reaction to it, and what you think it means for the future. If a competitor does something impressive, give it a compliment. Be gracious or snarky on your social channels, but dont shy away from having an opinion. Thats what keeps people thinking and talking about you.

Keep Up with the Social Media Conversation6

Dont shy away from having an opinion. Thats what keeps people thinking and talking about you.

The social media conversationand even the platform where its happeningis constantly evolving. So are your influencers. Just like in the old days, theres no substitute for good relationships to drive sales. Use measurement tools to keep your pool

of influencers fresh, understand how theyre talking about you, and continue to grow your network.

Watching who your influencers are and how they are talking about your brand and your industry can give you valuable information that can affect

all marketing initiatives, and even the future of your company. Engaging with social media influencers takes time and attention, but it can pay huge dividends in highly credible buzz about your brand, increased sales, and new customers and customer segments.

Influence is Always Changing



Sysomos, a Marketwire company, brings business intelligence to social media, providing instant and unlimited access to all social media conversations to quickly see whats happening, why its happening, and whos driving the conversations.

Through the use of contextual text analytics and data mining technology, Sysomos collects data from blogs, Twitter, social networks, forums, video sites and major news sources.

Our products give you the ability to quickly discover the tone of the conversations and identify sentiment by gender, age and location.

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