Nobody would argue that engagement isn’t an important tactic to reach social media marketing goals.
In reality though, many companies still have to master how to engage versus just amplify their messages. One area that is gaining recognition for effectiveness but many are still struggle with is influencer engagement.
10 Points to Create a Successful Influencer Program:
- Influencers can be a great asset when it comes to reaching your social media objectives.
- You need to understand what they are most interested in and provide them this information via social media. They can then share this – YOUR – information directly with their own followers.
- Advocates are people who love your offering – often customers or partners.
- Influencer are third parties who have influence in your market – often professionally.
- A good approach is to try and turn your influencers into your advocates and your advocates into influencers – so that they are ideally both. How do you do that? By providing an influencer program.
- Step one is to keep this advocate/influencer group informed. Make sure to provide exclusive benefits, like meetings with executives and other thought leaders, previews of upcoming technologies, or special access to events.
- Don’t try to sell to them but build trusted relationships. Generally a combination of online and offline works best.
- At least once a year, have an in-person get-together. This could be as part of a user conference or another large event, or a special event.
- In my Silicon Valley social media network, there is full agreement that a good influencer program requires a hands-on approach. Most large companies have a dedicated in-house resource to service this important group. But, if that is not possible, the program could be part of blogger relations or even PR.
- What really matters is that you engage with the influencers/advocates, and engage on what matters to them!
- If you up your influencer engagement, I have no doubt you will see a greater reach AND IMPACT of your marketing message in the future. It’s crowdsourcing to mutual benefit!
The above provides highlights of Rule 31 from Natascha Thomson’s book “42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing” where you can find more hands-on social media marketing tips and strategies.
What do you think? What are your best practices for influencer outreach?
Illustration by Dan Beard (Cosmopolitan Magazine) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons