Finding and engaging with key influencers

Social media marketing is the undisputed success story of the early twenty first century, with businesses of all types, from local tradesmen to global financial institutions engaging with consumers in the online environment. Over the last few years, thanks to reams of studies and analyses, it is clear that some consumers are far more influential than others, and their support and advocacy has become a prime target for companies who want to dominate the online conversation.

But who are these elusive influencers, and how can you recruit them to your cause? The most influential people online, the conversation-shapers, the issue-raisers, the crowd leaders, may not hold classical positions of authority. In fact, a politician or a CEO of a multinational corporation may be far less influential than a housewife with a hit blog. Social media makes it easy to identify the influencers, as you can gauge the size of an audience, the number of likes, shares or retweets, and track down the individual influencer who could help raise your profile.

The best place to start when assessing a potential influencer is Klout, which markets itself as ‘the standard for influence,’ and specialises in giving individuals an ‘influence score’ from 1-100, allowing you to accurately audit levels of influence.

So now that you’ve found and assessed your influencer, how should you approach them? The key, as spelt out in a handy guide by imarketingclass is to know how you are going to benefit the influencer before you communicate. Do your research, identify areas in their enterprise where you could offer assistance, and present them with a personalised, targeted service which they’ll want to rave about.

Kristoff Doneit

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