Social media influencers are those people whose Tweets and posts carry weight with a large audience of followers. When an influencer posts something positive about a product, his or her followers will notice and it can actually boost sales for that product.
Clearly, if you’re looking to build brand awareness and to get more from your social media marketing efforts, connecting with the influencers in your industry should be a priority. Favorable Tweets and posts about your company and products from influencers can put you on the map and help your bottom line.
Of course, connecting with influencers and building meaningful (and profitable!) relationships with them is a delicate, challenging task that most people are unprepared for. It’s not as simple as following them, Tweeting an introduction, and then barraging them with ads for your product. That’s not how it works. It’s a task that you have to approach wisely and carefully.
Most importantly, you have to avoid these major mistakes when connecting with the social media influencers in your industry.
Mistake #1: Going for the big dogs first
While you might be tempted to immediately pursue the biggest, most well-known influencers in your field, you should instead start smaller. Don’t bite off more than you can chew from the beginning. Instead, start growing your network by connect with smaller influencers. These are the people who are influential in smaller, more targeted groups.
Find these small groups of connected individuals through social networking, blogs, etc. and start expanding your network through them. As you start building relationships with these smaller groups of influencers, you can them climb the ladder to start connecting with bigger and bigger influencers as you go along.
Mistake #2: Promoting yourself before you’ve built relationships
Too many times, people approach social media marketing like a bull in a china shop. Instead of taking the time to build actual relationships, they try to connect with the influencers by bombarding them with posts advertising their products. Not surprisingly, the influencers ignore them because they don’t want to be annoyed with pitches all day long.
You have to take the time to build relationships. Interact with the influencers in ways that have nothing to do with promoting your brand. Get to know each other, and earn their trust. That’s how you’ll eventually get the influencers to spread your messages.
Mistake #3: Approaching influencers without doing any research
Before you try to approach anyone, you need to just sit back and listen. Research who they are, who their followers are, what they talk about, what their likes/dislikes are, etc. The more you know about the influencers you’re targeting the more effectively you’ll be able to engage with them.
Do you have any great tools for identifying influencers? Have some tips for engaging them? Share your thoughts by commenting below.