At the end of last year, Twitter released a report on the 10 biggest marketing changes in 2017. They focused primarily on data analytics in real-time engagement. Strangely, they didn’t discuss the growing importance of using influencers.
This is probably because many brands underestimate the importance of social media influencers. They focus their efforts primarily on building their own social following.
Many brands focus on building relationships with as many users as possible. This is counterproductive for a couple of reasons:
• Many Twitter users have little interest in your solutions and will never drive leads to your brand.
• Maintaining relationships with too many users can be overwhelming.
Your best bet is to focus on engaging with these two groups:
• Potential customers that will ultimately add value to your brand.
• Potential ambassadors with a strong social following.
Kissmetrics advises brands to focus on reaching brand influencers before any other group. Influencers are industry experts with a strong presence on Twitter. In the marketing industry, these experts include:
• Eric Sui of Single Grain Marketing
• Danny Sullivan of Marketing Land
• Seth Godin of Yoyodyne
• Neil Patel of Crazy Egg
If you can find prominent brand influencers to represent your brand, then you will be in great shape.
Getting on an Influencer’s Radar
Here are some tips to earn the support of powerful influencers.
Identify the Right Influencers
You need to invest a lot of time and energy building relationships with Twitter influencers. You won’t receive much benefit if you focus on collaborating with the wrong ones. Unfortunately, it can be easy to overestimate the reach and respect influencers have. Some industry thought leaders may have a large following, but have lost the trust of their audience for one reason or another. It is important to do your due diligence first. Focus on the number of social shares they receive and read mentions about them on Twitter to gauge the respect they have earned.
Start with Influencers that Engaged with You
It is much easier to engage with a Twitter influencer that has already reached out or retweeted your content. Try using tools like Who Tweeted Me, Narrow and Commun.it to see who is interacting with you. If you notice that any of them are leading influencers in your industry, it pays to reach out and thank them for their support. If they reply back, it can be the beginning of a very lucrative relationship.
Ask Specific Questions
Once in a while, you should reach out to prominent influencers and ask them questions. They are flattered when people acknowledge their expertise. However, you can’t ask questions indiscriminately or they won’t be answered and won’t help foster a relationship. Here are some tips to follow:
• Make sure they can be answered in 140 characters.
• Don’t make it look like you are trying to get free assistance that you should be paying for. Many influencers are professional consultants that charge a fee for complex answers.
• Don’t ask routine questions that have been covered in their previous posts.
• Don’t ask simple questions that your audience expects you to know the answer to. It will damage your own reputation. Focus on the influencer’s area of focus instead.
Asking questions is a much more effective way to get a conversation started than retweeting an influencer’s content. However, you don’t want to overdo it.
Don’t Be Shy About Discussing Your Campaigns
Twitter influencers can be invaluable allies if you are running a new campaign. However, they don’t usually reach out on their own. You need to take the initiative and ask for their help. Make sure you have already fostered a relationship.
The best approach is to send a simple tweet stating that you are working on a campaign and could use their assistance. They will be more likely to reply and offer their assistance. You need a clear campaign goal before reaching out to them. Kajabi states that Twitter influencers can be great for building an email list, provided you follow the right approach.