Tag Archives: Influencer Marketing

4 Things You Can Do to Engage Influencers Online Right Now

Influencer marketing should be a part of every marketer’s strategy in boosting their brands credibility and reaching new audiences. If you’ve kept up with our blog to this point, you know we’ve talked about this before (and if you haven’t, subscribe below so you stop missing out!). While locking down an influencer may take some fancier maneuvering (See: Reciprocal Relationships: The Key to Influencer Partnerships that Work for the lowdown here), keeping a consistent eye on the high-profile players in your target market and building awareness with them over time, is foundational.   

Keeping a consistent eye on the high-profile players in your target market and building awareness with them over time, is foundational. Click To Tweet

Engage with their social media accounts
Yes, following the individuals you are seeking to build relationships is important. However, most of the pool of people we call influencers often maintain thousands of followers, and without further action they certainly won’t notice you. Consistently liking favoriting, sharing, or retweeting (respective to the platform, or course) their content – especially their original content- still goes a long way. Over time, this shows that you care about their perspective, and they are more likely to respond to your questions, comments, and other requests in the future.

Dig In: How Do I Build an Influencer List?

Follow, share, and (most importantly) engage with their blogs and articles
As above, consistently engaging with an influencer’s original work doesn’t go unnoticed if you keep at it. Commenting on blogs gives you the opportunity to personally ask questions and establish your own credibility and that you are worth speaking to. Hint – don’t just say “nice post” or “Agree” – add to the conversation! Doing your best to make sure your followers also see their content, can help further build a relationship, so make sure to reference and mention their work and share your own insights!

Join the discussion in their webinars and Tweetchats!
Participating in discussion forums is a good way to personally interact with influencers. Selecting those events that the hosts present as Q&A sessions are a particularly good idea to attend. Most influencers have a preferred platform they work with, but it’s always a good idea to make a habit of scanning Reddit, LinkedIn groups related to your industry, and developer forums are all great options to keep an eye on and in your to-do list. Tweetchats are great for this as well. These are essentially made for direct contact with influencers, and further, allow you to showcase your thoughts to a wider audience at the same time!

Dig In: Building a Social Media Plan – Content is King

Contact them directly
Sometimes simply reaching out can be the most effective! If you take this approach, make sure to have something to present so you spark their interest and can reciprocate their time with your valuable insights. Further, demonstrating that you’re willing to communicate and linking to your content or content stream gives them an idea of how to best approach you with content and opportunities that may interest you or further your relationship.

Ready for more?
Looking for more ways to build your influencer marketing strategy? Check out our blog here and stay tuned for more content by subscribing to our newsletter below as we delve into our series about why influencers matter and explore different ways to target them.

By Tyler Trainer

How Do I Build an Influencer List?

How many times have you been mindlessly digging through social media purgatory with no direction looking for someone who might, maybe, possibly, kinda sorta be called an influencer? Us, too – until we found some amazing platforms that did a lot of that work for us!

Followerwonk
One of our favorite tactics is targeting influencers based on their Social Authority. The best tool for that is Followerwonk, which finds a Twitter account’s Social Authority. “But wait,” you ask, “what is Social Authority?” Social Authority is an influencer metric from Followerwonk (a child firm of Moz) that calculates the level of engagement a user’s Twitter account receives. While Followerwonk won’t tell us exactly how Social Authority is calculated, we know it has multiple components. These include metrics such as the number of followers the account has; their Social Authority numbers; and the percentage of likes, impressions, and clicks they receive, to name a few. The most important aspect, however, focuses on the number of retweets the user earns. Further, the number of retweets cross-measured by the recency of those tweets that are shared is especially important. They emphasize this specifically in their algorithm because the size of a user’s audience and their engagement is a true test of their influence on the Twitter platform, and retweets are consistently the best way to determine if people are listening.

Pros:
Followerwonk provides a simple and user-friendly tool to track influencers from their Twitter profiles. The way it works is pretty intuitive, especially when you understand the significance of Social Authority. After you visit the site, start with the Search Bios tab.

When you enter your search query (we will take “B2B Marketing” in this example), select “Search Twitter Profiles” and enter the industry in which you are looking to search for users. When your results pop up, filter your results by ‘Social Authority’ – as we’ve done below:

From here, you can choose whether the most or least influential profiles show up first and organize your search around these and other metrics. Targeting these users will give you the most engagement if they promote you or a client’s content. Additionally, you can filter by other important factors such as followers, tweets, etc. This method is generally how we like to start an influencer list, but the social authority metric is not exactly perfect for finding all your influencers.

Cons:
Followerwonk is a good start, but should we rest on the Social Authority metric alone? Not quite. Although Social Authority is a strong marker for the influence a person holds within Twitter, it is inherently incapable of accounting for a person’s title or true status outside the platform. For example, if the CEO of a large healthcare organization doesn’t have a Twitter account or doesn’t tweet often, their social authority score would very likely be low and not come up as noteworthy in a search. However, this obviously doesn’t mean the CEO isn’t an extremely influential person. This is the case for many influential decision makers across many spaces: their social authority may not be high, but their actual influence in their organization or in the industry can still be massive.

Targeting influencers to grow your social authority score is always an important standard every account should hold themselves to for the inherent good it represents, but your search for influencers can and should encompass much more than solely social media influence. Social media can also be used as a way to keep up with the conversation in relevant spaces in order to better align your products and services to your customers in fast-changing industries.

Your search for influencers can and should encompass much more than solely social media influence. Click To Tweet

Let’s say your company mainly sells its products and services to healthcare organizations. It would be extremely important to target decision makers at these healthcare organizations in order to keep your company in the loop on what these people are talking about. Anyone who is a potential partner or customer should be labeled as important to your client. In this case, you would need to conduct searches for the social media profiles of the top hospitals and clinics, i.e. looking for the CEO of Aetna, the CEO of Blue Shield, and more. These people may not have a strong influencer score but are still very important to target nonetheless.

Right Relevance
Right Relevance is a free or paid social tool that can be used to find influencers for pretty much any topic or keyword. This allows you to view their area of influencer and find their top followers under that topic. The platform allows you to discover conversations involving influencers under any topic and provide an interface to interact with them. Right Relevance offers a premium version, Right Relevance Pro, which allows you to access the same features as the free version, but also adds some intriguing functions, such as:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Save topics of interest as feeds
NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Save articles, video for reading/sharing later
NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Deep graph-based analytics for topical distribution of following as friends, and topical influence measurement and visualization

Pros:
You can access Right Relevance or Right Relevance Pro through its website, or use it as a plug-in on Hootsuite (my preferred method). You can also sort and filer by relevance, time, location, influencers and topic score. Sorting by time and location can be especially helpful if you’re searching for influencers at a specific tradeshow or conference. The free version works well, but we did upgrade to Right Relevance Pro when we were searching for influencers for our client OVH US around our VMworld social campaign. Right Relevance also lets you search for popular articles and shows you which articles each influencer has shared. Knowing which types of news your influencer cares about can help you develop a pitch or anecdote when you start engaging with them.

Right Relevance in Action
We used a few searches for influencers using various search terms: “VMworld,” “private cloud,” “public cloud,” and “hybrid cloud,” along with Followerwonk, to cross-reference our findings. All told, we followed the 65 people who were discussing these topics and had high influencer rankings.

We added them to a list on Twitter (which we also made a column on Hootsuite for) called “VMworld 2017” so we would be able to easily monitor their conversations in real-time.

Cons:
Right Relevance is usually pretty good about being able to separate business accounts from individual accounts, but I still found myself having to sift through all the accounts before selecting the relevant influencers. It also is not really clear how Right Relevance determines an influencer score, and whether there is a weighted value to criteria that you would think matters more (i.e. shares, followers, etc). The last major fault would have to be the plug-in version on Hootsuite; it just wasn’t as easy to use as going directly to the RR website, despite the convenience of it being right there in the customizable platform.

Remember: Verify Your Finds!
Sometimes you just have to do things the old-fashioned way (i.e. verification through manual search). By continuing your searches to relevant conferences in the industry and sorting through the list of speakers, you might be able to uncover some people you may have never found on social media, but are still influential. Yeah, we know it’s a boring and painstakingly long process! But it’s always worth the extra effort to verify your influencers. We’ve commonly come across a well-respected industry analyst or journalist who appear to not be active on Twitter – but are still considered a top influencer.
Anyone who has tried building an influencer list knows that while the project is an important one, it can be quite a difficult process. These quick tips should not only make your results more impactful, but should also make your job a little easier – and who wouldn’t want that?

By Tyler Trainer,  Katrina Cameron, and Nathan Zaragosa

Reciprocal Relationships: The Key to Influencer Partnerships that Work

“Influencers are an important factor in spreading brand awareness and increasing content visibility

What is an influencer?
Influencers are industry experts that maintain engaged followings in their niche. These individuals are highly sought after, for both their insight and the promotional ability for brands and ideas. A savvy marketer can utilize an influencer’s large reach and high engagement rates to promote their own or a client’s visibility and thought leadership. This transfer of credibility can help secure coverage, build an audience, and elevate industry authority.

So, how do you get their attention?
If you work in digital marketing, there is a pretty good chance you’ve made your share of attempts at influencer marketing. Some well-known strategies often comprise of a few common steps, including:

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Engagement with social media accounts, specifically retweeting and sharing posts that promote their original content
NO FOLD ICON 15x15  Following, sharing, and (most importantly), engaging with their blogs, articles, and webinars
NO FOLD ICON 15x15   And joining discussion forums that they lead Q&A sessions in (Reddit, LinkedIn Groups, and Developer Forums are all good options)

These are all worthwhile and necessary steps you should take in order to keep attention on you or your client over time, and we will go into further detail on these tactics in another blog soon.  But when so many people are adopting the same strategies, what can you do to truly stand out?

Dig In: Running a Tweetchat- Best Practices for Success

How can I break through the noise?
One of the best ways to get your targeted influencer to work with you is to offer something of value in return. Organizing a unique and creative effort to promote an influencer’s thought leadership provides a good opportunity to present the value your reciprocal relationship can offer. Let’s take a look at a 10Fold case study to illustrate our point.

Former 10Fold client Silver Spring Networks wanted to run a tweetchat to provide opportunities to connect with and engage followers. To attract users to the tweetchat, 10Fold found a Smart Cities industry expert in Tech Republic’s senior writer Teena Maddox. 10Fold had worked with Teena before for media coverage, and this event represented a new development in the relationship.

Organizing a unique and creative effort to promote an influencer’s thought leadership provides a good opportunity to present the value your reciprocal relationship can offer. Click To Tweet

Offering her influencer status to moderate the discussion, Teena was instrumental in the success of the tweetchat. On the day the event took place, Silver Spring’s 37 Tweets earned 24,148 organic impressions. At the conversation’s peak, 13 participants were involved and the #SSNIchat hashtag was also used over 150 times. 10Fold and Silver Spring Networks were able to offer Teena a position to exercise her thought leadership and industry authority, while reciprocally elevating her own brand and transferring credibility to our event.

Looking for more ways to earn the attention of influencers? Stay tuned for more content and subscribe to our newsletter as we delve into our series about why influencers matter and how you can get their attention.

By Katrina Cameron and Tyler Trainer

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