How to Develop Relationships with Social Media Influencers
6 Steps to Finding, Contacting, and Building Relationships with Social Media Influencers.
Ok. For those of you who don’t know what the term “Social Media Influencer” means exactly I will start by breaking it down in layman’s terms. A social media influencer can be anyone with a large social media following who has the ability to affect other people’s thinking in the online community. This includes bloggers, people with large followings on Instagram or Twitter, journalists, academics, and brand advocates.
Now more than ever social media influencers play a big part in how people are doing business and I was recently asked “why do you think that is?” Well, I will tell you why- it’s because we trust these people. We admire their style, we envy their beautiful photos from their vacation to an island we hadn’t yet heard of, we agree with their taste, and in a way we want to emulate them. They are the new celebrities in a sense- yet they are relatable so we start to believe that if we buy the same products that they do or get our morning lattes at the same trendy coffee shops as them, that we too can be as “cool” as they are.
For example: If I want to buy an outfit for a dinner party, I get out my phone, go on instagram and pull up my favorite fashion bloggers profile for inspiration; I myself have even bought items that they have plugged on certain posts which is proof that this type of marketing WORKS. An additional example would be a rave review of a restaurant on a popular food blogger’s website; if I were to google a restaurant and see a post from a trendy blogger whom I trusted telling me how delicious the food is I’d likely be motivated to give the restaurant a try. We trust these people because we feel as if they are “just like us”; it’s like when you read negative movie review yet your friend whose opinion you value tells you that the film was terrific- who are you going to believe?
So how do you find these people? And once you’ve found them how do you go about connecting with them?
WebPR™ is here to help. Here are 6 simple steps to finding influencers and developing a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Step 1. Find potential influencers to reach out to. This can be done in a few different ways and you will need to decide which is best for your specific business. Here are some ideas.
- A google search – probably the most obvious source, this can be a bit time consuming but still effective.
- Search instagram. If you have a new clothing line or online boutique it would be smart to get on instagram and search the hashtag “#OOTD” which stands for Outfit of the Day and create a list of people who you would want to reach out to for potential gifting.
- Find Influencer networks that relate to your company.
- Join an influencer marketplace a great example is www.tapinfluence.com
- Do a search on an influencer database such as www.cision.com
Step 2. Focus on influencers who fit YOUR brand. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are doing this in order to market YOUR business. Just because someone has a large following doesn’t necessarily mean that their followers will be interested in your product. For instance, people follow personal trainers on social media for fitness tips- so if you have a protein shake product or a fitness wear line- THOSE are the influencers you want. Know your target audience.
Step 3. Decide on an approach. Ask yourself, what EXACTLY do you want from this person? Be sure to be clear about your expectations. There are 3 approaches to marketing when it comes to influencers- marketing TO them, marketing THROUGH them, and marketing WITH them
Step 4. REACH OUT! Send them an email with your business proposal which clearly explains who you are and what you do while remembering to be warm and inviting.
Step 5. Build Relationships! It is so much more effective if the influencer is consistently raving about your company or your service. Check back with them to make sure their experience with your product impressed them and thank them for their post.
Step 6. Once you have built a solid relationship with your initial network of influencers ask them to make introductions to other influencers that they know! This will help your network grow, never forget the power of a friendly introduction.
Check out our other WebPR™ blog posts for more insights on content marketing, social media branding, and web presence management.
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