Social networks are a wild and noisy place. With 350,000 tweets sent every minute, it can be difficult to break through all that noise. Social media influencers can help.
The influencers are the power users. They are the experts and thought leaders with huge followings and trusted opinions.
These people are sharing content likes yours every single day. There’s no reason why your content should go unnoticed. Let’s take advantage of these influencers’ audiences and make them work to our benefit.
Define Your Influencers
First, we’ll need to define our influencers.
One obvious way to define influencers is by the size of their audience, but we all know how deceiving that can be. Instead, I prefer to choose influencers who are consistently active, have a high level of engagement for niche topics, and have a dedicated and growing group of followers.
Sound difficult? Luckily we don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.
Find Your Influencers
I like using RightRelevance to find my influencers because it makes this process incredibly easy. RR uses a pagerank-like algorithm that assigns a rank/score to influencers based on topical contribution and expertise. Just plug and play.
Open up RightRelevance and type in a category that’s related to your industry or niche.
For me, I’ll try 'personal branding.'
Add it as a saved channel so you can refer back to it later.
Then click the influencers tab and decide whether you want to filter by people or organizations. I want to target individuals, so I’ve clicked the “Person” option.
Finally, decide if you want to tailor it even further by location. Then scroll down and find the influencers that interest you. Make a list so you can revisit it later.
Don’t forget to switch to a new category and repeat the process. I’ve already used “personal branding,” but I could also try “reputation management” and “content marketing.
PS: If you’ve been active on Twitter for a while, check out your analytics page and find the top mention over the last few months. You might find an interesting trend.
Engage With Your Influencers
Influencers want the same thing you do -- engagement.
So give it to them!
Interact with their content and participate in the conversations they start online. Share their articles, retweet their posts, and comment on their blog posts. The goal should be to become a genuine part of that person’s community.
The point is to get yourself noticed. With a little luck, the influencers you target will interact with you, retweet your content, and might even link back to you in an upcoming article.
Get Influencers to Share Your Posts
Remember, these influencers are already sharing content just like yours. The key is to get them to notice your content over someone else’s.
Reach out to them -- via email, Twitter, etc. -- and share your recent article.
Make it short and sweet. Link to your article, explain why they might be interested and thank them. Get in and get out. The shorter the better.
When I shared 12 Twitter Tools to Take Control of Your Online Reputation, I emailed and/or tweeted people from every single company on that list. I got retweets from Canva, Buffer, RiteTag and a handful of others. Their enthusiasm completely catapulted my article without much of my own additional effort. Totally worth the 10-15 minutes.
Maintain Relationships with Your Influencers
Now that you have a list of influencers, make a point to revisit it. Reach out and interact with these people from time to time. Stay on top of their latest blog posts using a tool like Hootsuite Syndicator or Google Alerts.
These simple gestures are a great way to stay on their radar and show the value you place on the relationship. With enough social media influencers on your side, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an influencer in your own right.