We recently had a B2B technology client that needed to increase its exposure and reach out to the right people over social. Influencers are a sure-fire way to get your business noticed by relevant people so we implemented an awesome influencer marketing strategy!

The client soon found its Twitter account getting more engagement and tweets going further. Key influencers also engaged with it, meaning that down the line it could use these new relationships to its benefit.

Sound like a good result? What if we told you it was completely doable for your business too?
Just follow our 5 steps to influencer success!

Wanna Reach Out To Influencers?

1. Work Out Who To Target

You may already have a list of super cool, influential people in your industry, but even still it is worth using some of the various tools available (see our top picks) to find new ones. You could surprise yourself with a few gems you weren’t aware of, and the more influencers you can target the better!

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t judge an book influencer by its cover follower count. Your influencer doesn’t need to have huge numbers, chances are if they do much bigger businesses are also targeting them. Smaller can be more cost-effective for you! It’s really the quality of the network you’re after.
  • Always track who your influencers talk to most. This can be a great way to find new ones, and there are great tools out there to help you find out. This can be a great way in to their head space.
  • Don’t feel pressured to go after the most popular influencers. Sometimes people who are on the up are more likely to engage with you, and you could be connecting with a future superstar at the right moment.

2. Make A Twitter List

All B2B users should be on Twitter, and most B2C too. Not only is it Ireland’s second largest social platform but it is the perfect place to jump in on conversations and monitor competitors, influencers, and customers.

For this client we focused on Twitter as there were a number of influential bloggers in their market using it regularly. You can use other platforms, like Instagram, if you feel it is more appropriate, but we love Twitter the most for influencer marketing.

One of the best Twitter influencer marketing features is Lists. They are easy to use and give you incredible power. Your list can be public or private, so no one but you needs to know what influencer snooping you’re up to! If you sweat at the thought of creating a Twitter list, check this out (we need to publish my blog about this, it’s waiting in drafts!)

Another great way to suss out your influencer is to see how many other lists they are on. How to do this you ask? Well, use the magic Tweet Deck! Simply search for your influencer and take a note of how many times they have been publically listed.

Sure doesn’t that make sense?

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tweetdeck

3. Jump In On Conversations!

Now is the fun part! Set aside an hour each day (or less, depending on how frequently your influencers tweet) to browse through your influencers activity.

It isn’t enough to just favourite them all either – try to aim for at least three replies a day and some retweets. If your influencer is worth their hype they’ll be getting loads of favourites anyway. You need to make sure your engagement stands out.

Also, try to avoid stock replies – “You’re so right!” or “We totally agree!” You need to add something of your value to your reply so that your influencer takes notice. If they have linked to a blog try to pick a fact or opinion out of the blog to agree with.

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In this example, the client’s reply went above and beyond a regular “great point!” This is the kind of tone that fits in this situation, but if your business is more relaxed don’t be afraid to throw some humour in!

4. Check Notifications Regularly

You’ve done a great job so far identifying influencers and engaging with them (rule of thumb: within 24 hours of their tweet). But if they engage back, especially with a reply, will you be there to continue the conversation?

Keep your company Twitter logged in on your work computer or phone, or just remember to check it 2-3 times throughout the day. You can also set it to notify you any time your influencer tweets (activate mobile notifications in settings on their Twitter page), but that can be a bit annoying, especially if they are a noisy one! That way you keep track of any chat you get back and you can take the opportunity to connect with your influencer.

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With our B2B client, we made sure to engage back with any tweets that came through, and kept a folder of screenshots. This meant that later on we could look back and see what influencers had engaged the most.

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5. Review After A Few Weeks

Continue your work for 6-8 weeks and then review. It can be a good idea to keep track of the engagement you have given each influencer, and what they have given you back. This means that when it comes time to review you can easily see where your biggest achievements have been.

If you are doing this activity for a client, it’s really important to be able to give them an in-depth report, so we find that tracking engagements as you go, will also make your life a whole lot easier!

This is the Brightspark process for influencer marketing. It’s easy to carry out, but the real challenge is to stay consistent in your process.

You need to do this every day to see results and you need to be consistent with your engagement. Influencers like to feel special, so if you engage with them over a long period of time they will be more likely to know you and help you out later.

We’ve done this work for many clients in 2015 – B2B and a couple of B2C.  Results have been good, but obviously confidential.  If you would like to have a conversation about how we can help you to reach out to the right people in your industry, why not get in touch?

We’ll always get back to you within one business day

Image credit: Alan Strakey

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