Identifying and Engaging Business Influencers

  • Just 1% of your brand’s social media followers are responsible for the majority of sharing (passing on links to your contests, promotions, deals, and other marketing campaigns). These are your key influencers.
  • Key influencers can drive 20, 30, or even 70% of all visits to campaign pages, ahead of display and search advertising as the most efficient driver of traffic to their sites. [And all this traffic is free considering social campaigns require no media buys and cost next to nothing to implement, whereas banners and search ads are a huge expense]
  • These key influencers drive an even higher share of conversion — on average influencing 30% or more of all conversions on marketers’ sites just by recommending a brand’s products, content, or promotions to their online communities.
  • For these reasons Key influencers are worth engaging - offering them special promotions, thanking them for their influence, and rewarding them for their loyalty, to make them further motivated to share early and often.
Identifying Key influencers and Trends
  • Through social media measurement tools find the people who are talking most about their brand
  • See what type of content they’re sharing and with whom
  • How they are sharing it (e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, their own blogs, etc.).
  • Once you find these influencers, the trick is activating them to share even more.
Engaging the identified Key Influencers (Influencer Engagement Strategy)
  • Reserve Your Best Content for Influencers
    • Influencers love to share contests, information, or deals with their social networks before other people have heard about them.
    • Share exclusive content with key influencers
    • Example - For an industry event, a company can invite them to post a “register now” button on their blogs and websites in return of lower-cost VIP passes
  • Analyse Blogs and Forums
    • In many cases, the people who really influence traffic and conversion on your site are the bloggers
    • Carefully monitor the blogosphere, message boards, and forums using analytics tools to find exactly which individuals are driving the most traffic to your campaign sites
    • Reach out to these people individually with appreciation and exclusive promotions.
  • Differentiate the Influencers from Key Influencers
    • When you plot the influence of individuals, you’ll see a curve that looks a lot like the long tail distribution of search terms.
    • Influence follows a “power law,” where a relatively small number of individuals influence the lion’s share of referrals.
    • Those at the peak of this curve are the key influencers, and those in the tail are regular influencers.
    • Key influencers have large, loyal followings and audiences who trust their insights. The latter are people who pass along info to friends and family from time to time via e-mail and Facebook.
    • Need to interact with super influencers on a one-to-one basis, but you could target the rest of your influencers a bit more broadly.
    • Examples:
      • Reach out directly to all your influencers by commenting on their blogs and syndicating their content via Twitter, Facebook, and your own blog
      • Offer key influencers the opportunity to obtain and review your products before they hit the market, for example.
      • Offer them after-hours shopping at your stores, a few free hours of your services
      • Invite them to a special VIP party