So you’ve found your social media North Star, the best, brightest, most influential accounts that would be perfect to interact with and promote your brand. Now what?
You need to message these individuals, but before that comes the need to build a relationship with them. In the same way that you wouldn’t start a store with someone who said they liked your jacket, you wouldn’t propose to do business with an influencer before interacting with them. Fostering engagement with your target influencers is crucial.
We know that word of mouth is the most trusted way of driving awareness to potential customers, the same is true for influencer marketing. Twitter estimated that nearly 40% of their users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer. (source)
With social media taking “word of mouth” digital, we need to leverage these accounts to provide the human aspect of your business in order to drive leads and conversions.
Simple steps to get started with influencers:
1. Make sure to follow their accounts on the applicable platforms (i.e. forget about Google+)
2.Engage with their content:
- Like their posts regularly
- Comment on their posts strategically - even if it’s a “Love this!” or “Great content!” comment, they will see the engagement when they review their posts (which they do)
- Repost their content with credit and tagging handle
3. Be authentic with your engagement.
- Regardless if you are running a personal page or a brand-associated page, adding a human voice to the messaging provides an emotional connection that people respond to.
- Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to speak in emojis or slang to connect with your influencers. They are business- and brand-owners, and can easily spot an disingenuous ask.
Make sure that your conversations and interactions with your influencers are personal - make note of any themed content on their platforms and make sure to know both how the influencer can promote your product and how it benefits them, as it needs to be a two-way relationship. Keep the relationship going by mentioning them periodically on your feeds before and after they promote your product or content, as this benefits both parties.
Keep messaging brief and positive. Feel free to craft a number of outreach posts or emails prior to reaching out to influencers, so that you tailor each outreach message to its particular platform. As social media networks have a unique voice, make sure the messages represent both the channel and your brand.
Remember to personalize your message to them and their brand, with a clear pitch. Be sure to include how they have helped your brand, product, or service, and how a business relationship with them will benefit both parties. Ensure that the ask is clear as well, and you’re off to the races!
There are many levels of influencers that you can interact with, ranging from celebrities to what we call “local influencers” or “micro-influencers” - those people with medium-sized followings who’s engagement numbers are high because they interact and engage with their followers regularly.
Remember that recognition and interaction with a celebrity influencer can help your brand - however, potential customers are much more likely to take a recommendation from their friends and family. This translates to social media as people are most likely to follow people they view as similar to their friends and family, or the people that operate within their interests that they see as real and approachable. These local influencers can actually be a much more effective use of your social media dollars. The great aspect of Instagram that enables this idea is “recomended follows”, which are based either on likes of accounts you’ve done or those of your family and friends. It’s usually similar accounts or an extended friends chain that they recommend - and often these are the micro-influencers in their online nature.
In addition to influencer marketing, social media advertising as a trend is gaining momentum quickly - but don’t forget to do your research. Ensure your efforts and identifiables align with your marketing strategy and brand vision, and don’t forget to measure your results! A new form of outbound marketing has been identified within social advertising because you can push these ads in front of whoever you please, but in a sense of strategic play - it’s quality over quantity.
Overall, following these steps will help you reach out to your brand scions to effectively tap into your social media audience and get the best bang for your digital buck. Complement this process with staying true to your branding message and online community with helpful resources along the way!
Shanae is a guest blogger who’s role as Social Media & PR Marketing Communications Manager at Cober pairs perfectly with the innovative trend of Influencer Marketing. Shanae works with the Socialpeeks team to bring high quality and high engaging Influencer Marketing campaigns to her clients.