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The Human Side of Digital

Engaging Influencers Through Social Media

Posted on 17 Dec 2014 in NXT\ Connects | 0 comments Twitter icon Facebook icon

paulWho knew that engaging with influencers is actually a relatively old pastime?  During the night of 18-19th April 1775, Paul Revere rode to warn American colonists in Lexington and Concord that a British Army was marching to capture their revolutionary leaders and arms.  At the same time, a second rider, William Dawes, also tried to raise the alarm that very same night, but he did not know the opinion leaders in the towns outside Boston.

 

William Dawes, unfortunately, had relatively little effect for his efforts. Revere and Dawes both shouted out “The regulars are out!”, they were both ‘Alarm Riders’ but it was to whom they were talking to that made Paul Revere’s efforts successful.  Revere engaged with Opinion Leaders and resulted in rallying minutemen who took up arms against British regulars.  For the not so successful Dawes, he knocked on random doors and just annoyed strangers who turned over and went back to sleep.

So how do brands avoid ‘annoying their influencers, making them turn over and go back to sleep”?

Step 1: Define who your social media influencers are

What gives an individual the power to influence others in their social media circle? Relevance (is the content the influencers sharing relevant to your industry?), reach (how big is the influencer’s follower base and how many people could you potentially reach?) and resonance (by engaging with a valuable audience through relevant content) is the answer.

Step 2: Find your social media influencers

You first have to find the right influencers before you can start engaging with them. Consider a few key metric: number of followers, Klout score, search engine ranking. Use the tools that are available for free online such as www.klout.com, social networks of the influencers, and search engines such as Google. Search for the top blogs in the industry and those that appear as the top-rankers are the ones you want to possibly engage with.

Step 3: Start engaging

You have identified the social media influencers you want to engage with, now it is time to start a conversation:

  1. provide them with value
  2. be relevant
  3. be genuine
  4. craft good content
  5. have a compelling story
  6. be timely

Step 4: Measure & Refine

Without measurement, how do you know which influencers are valuable? Revisit the original KPI’s set out when selecting your influencer and do a few checks and balances to see if these KPI’s have been met e.g:

  • What was the reach achieved?
  • How many people are viewing your content via the various social channels that your influencer engages on
  • What was the level of engagement? How many actions were taken by your audience through sharing, linking, comments, click throughs, likes and pins?

In conclusion:

  1. Understand your influencers based on their reach, resonance and relevance to your market
  2. Discover most relevant influencers for your campaign.
  3. Gain insight into what your influencers say about your brand, products, competitors, and market.
  4. Learn where influencers are talking, what they are saying, how they feel about your topic, who influences them and more.
  5. Build relationships with the right influencers to maximize the impact on your products, brands, and business.
  6. Effectively track the success of your outreach campaign with data-rich feedback that brands and agencies can both use.

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