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In this video I want to show you the seven best ways to engage Social Media Influencers. Sure, when you start a programme the discovery and validation of the Influencers is a critical beginning part, but what’s going to drive your real success is how you engage those Influencers and persuade those Influencers to work with your brand.
So, number one, Social Media Community Management. This is having a social media manager or community manager setting up technology where you’re able to listen to all of the social media posts that are relevant to your brand topics, and then you can engage with those Influencers as and when they talk about anything relevant.
Number two, you can Connect Your Employees with the Influencer community. So, what I mean by that is finding the subject matter experts or the key employee advocates or senior leaders within your business and connecting them to the people that really matter. To be able to do this you need to ensure that you create the expertise internally, that they have social media training, and that also when they go to events that they meet these Influencers and sometimes assign influencers to specific people so that they know who they’re managing or who they are engaging with.
Number three, you can actually have a Formal Programme where there’s a quid pro quo between you and the Influencer; you can offer platform, your reach to new audiences and maybe early access to senior execs, or products or things like that that the Influencers find really, really beneficial and the Influencers in return will potentially create content, or speak at events and that’s something that you have to agree with the Influencer. It’s based upon an equal value proposition and it’s something that doesn’t have to be a formal contract but it’s an understanding between you the brand and the Influencers that you’re going to deliver value to their end target audience.
Number four, it’s Influencer Generated Content. So instead of creating branded content putting it on your own media channels and spending a lot of money in promoting that content and pushing it out through all of your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, your Instagram channels for example, this is actually building relationships with Influencers, creating content with Influencers so that they’re promoting the content, that it gives you more brand credibility and it’s much more authentic to your end target audience.
Number five it’s Inviting Influencers to Events. Offline is clearly the way forward to build relationships, it’s an opportunity to introduce your senior management to Influencers, it’s an opportunity for Influencers to speak at conferences and to be the third-party salesforce that are really evangelising all the innovation that you’re doing in house.
Number six, you can Seed Products with Influencers, you can gift products to them either before your relationship or during your relationship, this obviously works well when you’ve got an actual gadget or product or something that the Influencers really crave and maybe want to try out and explain what they think about it to their target audience.
Number seven is Financial Compensation. So, if you are going to pay Influencers we would advocate that it’s important to pay for their time and their content, rather than their opinion. You can’t tell Influencers what to say, and a lot of Influencers will invest time and content in an organic way without payment if you’re offering them value in return.
So, if you are going to pay, please make sure that it’s not a transactional relationship, that it’s actually in keeping with your brand values, is delivering value to your end target audience.
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