What is an influencer and what is their purpose?
The Influencer Next Door
Anyone and everyone can be an influencer. In fact, every day, influencers may change depending on the topic at hand. Research, listen and identify people who have relevant, interesting and timely ways to communicate with their audience.
The Evolution Of The 800 Pound Gorilla
The popularity of a celebrity doesn't matter anymore unless you are referring to their Twitter followers or their number of likes they can get on Facebook. Creating a following on social is of more value that simply being popular in today's culture. Creating good content will produce a solid following. If you put content with value into the social world, people will take notice. If you are constantly putting nonsense out there such as random thoughts or self-promotion, people will stop paying attention to you and your following will lessen. No one pays attention unless what you say is important.
Listening Equals Influence
Listening gives your customers a voice. Social is a way to allow your customers to communicate what they feel about your product. This interaction will allow you to understand better your brand and its users. Be available for your audience, and they'll want to work with your business because you've given them valuable information. They will know that you care about what they think. Influencers are no longer celebrities, but instead they are bloggers, YouTubers, and social media personalities. Influencers care about what their audience thinks, and it shows in their success. This proves that influencers can be anyone capable of listening and knowing what customers want.
Choosing The Right Influencer
It is vitally important that you be very careful when trying to find an influencer for your brand. A good influencer is one that can make others switch to your brand. This is more important than the number of followers. Interaction is very important. Your influencer must have the right audience. Your business will fall on deaf ears if the followers of your influencer are not interested in your products. The influencer must have genuine feelings about your brand and what you offer. They are representing your business, so they must feel the same way about it that you do.
Managing Your Social Brand And Optimizing Your Score
Social is now on the forefront and is not a passing trend. Businesses are using these outlets to gain customers and promote their products. There are tools that can be used to make sure that it is working for your business. Utilizing social media analytics will allow you to see your influence on your audience in numbers. These reports will measure your influence by tracking your activity, your audience, and your authority. Optimizing your score will ultimately improve your ranking on social media. This will also validate the quality of your followers. Following people with high ratings will indeed improve your rating.
Engaging Your Influencers
There are many strategies for ultimate influencer engagement. Invite blog and forum moderators in help get people talking on your site. Get different influencers to guest post on your blog to allow you to get exposure to new audiences. Give your followers a members-only area, so they feel like they are exclusive, and give them breaking news on your product and industry. There may be an opportunity where you can hire an influencer. They may have knowledge about your industry that you don't have. Acknowledge opinions in your blog, as it can allow customers to know that you are listening to what they have to say.
Post photos of loyal customers. This can draw in more potential customers. Recommend similar products in your industry to your followers. Influencers can help to make a valid list for you. Get testimonials from your influencers. Contributions show an audience that you care. Give select influencers a blog column on your blog. They will draw in an additional following. Show appreciation to your influences by hosting an even to celebrate their dedication to your product.
Things To Refrain From
Ignoring the audience will not get you the promotion that you are seeking. Take a look at who the influencer represents. If it isn't your demographic, then pass on them. Don't tell an influencer what to say about your brand. If your brand is as great as you think it is, then let them experience it, then they'll talk about it the way they want to. Telling an influencer what to say, when to say it and how to say it will make them not want to promote your business. Don't seek to build an influence, but instead seek to build a relationship with your influencer. This will give them pressure-free incentive to help promote your business.
The Conversation Is The Platform
Know your business goals when using social media. Although it's free, there is a lot of work that goes into having a social platform. Clearly understand your business goals before treading the social media waters. Know where your audience is on social. Older women are a large segment on Facebook while younger women are a larger segment on Pinterest. To reach the younger male crowd, in general, video platforms such as YouTube, Metacafe or Vimeo are where you can find them. The professional and business-to-business crowd is usually on LinkedIn. Knowing where to find your target audience will tell you where your business needs to be on social.
And lastly, know the content that your audience relates to. They may be more likely to respond to a blog post, a tweet, a video or a Facebook post. Stay where your audience views their relevant content. Always be aware of your resources. If your audience relates more to video or photography, then you'll need to have a good resource for these. If your audience is more likely to read a blog post, then make sure you have a competent writer on staff to provide these.