You have been working hard and finally, you feel like you have a strong social strategy. You’re feeling ready to work on interactions, but how do you decide who to interact with? The answer is customers and influencers. You know who your customers are, but now you’re asking yourself: what exactly is an influencer? Today we will discuss what makes a real influencer as well as how to identify social influencers so that your time and money spent on influencer campaigns are well spent.
How to Identify Social Influencers
An Influencer is someone who is considered an authority in a particular topic. They talk (or tweet, or post) and people listen…and click…and buy. They are trusted people on social media. Influencers can spread you message to a very targeted audience.
What exactly is an Influencer and how do you approach them?
An Influencer is a person who has a significant impact on a niche area such as organic foods, dating services, medical devices, and revolutionary software. An Influencer may also be associated with consumer groups, or industry and trade associations. An influencer can be, but is not necessarily someone with a large social media following. That can easily be faked. An influencer has a targeted, engaged audience that converts.
More Followers Does Not An Influencer Make
One common misconception regarding influencers is that the more followers they have, the more influence they wield. What really matters is an influencer’s level of engagement, and Domain Authority – or how well a website ranks on search engines. Someone with 1 million followers or fans may seem influential, but if those followers are fake or not engaged and they do not convert, they aren’t truly influencers. You are better off working with someone with a following of 1-10k followers who actually convert. You need to look at the entire package. Social media reach, website traffic, and most importantly – engagement and conversions.
The same principle applies to Twitter-Instagram-Facebook — it’s not the number of followers an Influencer has but rather the highest engagement rates an account has that will have the most influence on amplifying your content and increasing your chances of achieving a call to action (ROI).
Questions to ask yourself when looking at Social Media Influencers
- How active are they?
- How often are they posting?
- Do they reply to comments?
- What is their engagement rate?
- What social networks do they get the most engagement in?
- Do people ask them questions?
- How many retweets are they getting & who is retweeting them?
- What is their website traffic & where is their audience?
- What is their average time on page?
How to Approach an Influencer: First Establish a Relationship
When focusing on choosing an Influencer, make sure they are enthusiastic about your area of interest, and above all, don’t contact an Influencer without first attempting to establish a relationship by following them, helping them and sharing their content.
Social media is a give and take. If you want to work with an influencer, show them that you want to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
When you start, start with smaller influencers. They will be more open to collaborations, will charge you less for those partnerships, and because they are smaller will put great focus into your agreed upon
This is just like real life. You don’t just walk up to someone and ask for a favor. You first introduce yourself, make small chat, maybe do them a favor and then you can ask for a partnership.
Tools to Find Influencers
The functionalities of these tools are incredibly simplified to fit just this topic and are a good place to get started, but remember to ask for analytics from their social media accounts so you can be certain they don’t have inflated numbers.
Buzzsumo allows you to search influencers on Twitter, filter those results, and export them as CVS or XLS so you can grind and get some more work on them.
Followerwonk comes to you from the people at Moz (an awesome resource). The search engine allows you to identify influencers and sort them.
Keyhole works alongside hashtags. It helps you to identify influencers as related to hashtags. You can see top conversations and content.
Traackr is a premium category of service that is billed as an influencer marketing and analytics platform, Traackr helps you discover influencers, get social media insights, and figure out how best to connect. Features include an influencer search engine, profiles, dynamic lists, share of voice reporting, sentiment analysis, and trending content. PR, communications, and marketing pros use this service.
Kred: A product of PeopleBrowsr, Kred is a paid influencer measurement tool that promises to help marketers identify, prioritize, and engage influencers. It offers a rewards service that will connect marketers with influencers, as well as audience engagement analysis, influencer leader boards, and email marketing. KredStory is a consumer application for curating and sharing on social networks and analyzing your own social media activities; it also offers each user a Kred score.
What to Do Once You Have Chosen Influencer Tools
Once you’ve selected your tool (or tools), you can get down to the nitty-gritty.
1. Identify the influencers that have the biggest reach (most followers).
2. Compare: compare influencers with the most engaged followers – do any of these overlap? Are any of these already in your social circles?
3. Identify those influencers that are not currently interacting with your brand – this is where your opportunity lies.
Connect With Influencers
Now you have your targets and you need to get to work. it’s time to work on your message, strategy, ROI measurement, and brand KPI. Take time to review the content that your target influencers respond to, what time gets you the most interaction and what topics pique their interest.
Give a Little, Get a Lot
People tend to like gifts and bribes. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but if they get a little something from you they will be more likely to interact and amplify your message. I’m not talking about dollar bribes or gifting bribes. People on social media are looking to get the same exact thing you are: social influence. Engage with their posts, amplify their message, and take part in conversations to increase the chance that they will reciprocate. Create lists when possible and add these influencers to your content calendars.
Give a Lot, Take a Little
Instead of “gimme, gimme, gimme” it’s “give, give, give”. Yes, I know it sounds redundant to the above paragraph, but content, access, engagement will get you noticed and will get you love. Make sure to post unique, fun, relatable, shareable content that serves your community (and your target community of influencers). Make it easy for them to share your content.
Social media does not only exist on social. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people via email, linkedIn, etc in order to make connections. Are you a winery looking to grow their reach, message your sales reps and ask them to share your social stats with their clients…but make a promise (and follow through) on reciprocal likes, follows, and content amplification.
Maybe you’re a restaurant in town. Stop by the jewelry shop next door. Offer to create a discount for anyone that shows a receipt from their shop on the same day. Then collaborate to blast this out on social media. you will both benefit.
The opportunities are endless – it just takes a little creativity and reaching out.