Fri, 21st Dec 2012 / 10:42
With social media being one of the key drivers in any company’s PR and marketing initiatives, defining key influencers in different channels will enable you to reach a greater audience more quickly and efficiently. Build a relationship with them to expand your reach and they will talk to their audience about your company and use their social platforms to generate conversation about your brand to help you achieve your goal of viral growth.
SilverDoor’s own experience with key influencers
Through our Twitter activity, we stumbled upon a very active marketing blogger who became a key influencer in our various social media channels. We began interacting regularly with Marketing Chap because of his tweets about the marketing industry and quickly became active commenters within his community. This began the influencer-brand relationship.
You have to think about who is best equipped to amplify your message and when you have identified that specific person, work on incentivising and activating their interaction with your brand: identify, incentivise, activate (IIA). Marketing Chap’s feedback consists of real interactions which involve his Twitter followers and connections on LinkedIn. He is the ‘power middle’ between our content and our reach. While the number of people we reach through him may be smaller than through an influencer working for a big marketing magazine, what matters more is that our conversion rate is higher. He has over 11,000 followers and manages to create authentic relationships with each individual. These small groups normally have a loyal following who will willingly act as brand collaborators. A heads up – unlike brand ambassadors, influencers will normally expect some kind of social currency in return.
In order for this influencer-brand relationship to work…
…you should interact with your influencer on a regular basis, exchanging valuable, reliable content. We continuously tweet Marketing Chap not just because of his role as an influencer, but because his blogs are always relevant and interesting. We have observed how he engages with other followers: he always replies to every tweet he gets with valuable comments and he retweets any mentions. His followers increase at a steady pace because his interactions are real and not generic corporate interactions.
Our latest example
Marketing Chap’s tweeting about our current Bad Elves campaign gave way to interesting findings after an analysis of our audience overview and visits. These findings state that some of our peak visitor times coincide with his tweets about our campaign. But it also goes beyond the campaign. When he mentioned several members of our marketing team on his blog, it led to an immediate increase in number of Twitter followers by at least a third in the few hours after he published it. This was the moment we realised the power of his networking; he generated publicity and awareness about us throughout his followers. This is one of the great benefits that an influencer brings to a brand. Sometimes it’s about who you know, not what you know.
Let’s not forget social currency though
Marketing Chap inspired one of our blog posts about recruiting through social media, as he had just created a community called “Good Egg” that helps people in marketing find a job and vice versa. Because we mentioned him, he tweeted about it and this blog post became one of our most read.
We take influencers for granted sometimes, but we don’t realise the importance of the role they play. One of my friends works for a large corporation and she messaged me the other day commenting on the fact that Marketing Chap had retweeted me and responded to my tweets. It seems normal to me to interact with him, it’s never a chore, and I was surprised at how great his reach was on Twitter.
But how does an influencer aid social media return on investment (ROI)? Clicks and impressions can’t be used as a form of ROI measurement in the online world. It’s mostly recognised through social interactions and media value, which should increase. In addition, by managing direct relationships with these influencers, brands should be able to expand their reach and bring down the cost of social marketing. As a result of this influencer-brand relationship, we haven’t had to promote any of our posts in our social platforms. We are, as the title states, friends with benefits.