Accounting for the Influencers
In Chapter 1, I briefly introduce the social influencers and how they affect purchasing decisions. In this chapter, I discuss social influencers in greater detail and explain why they matter, how you can reach them, and what best practices to deploy in the process of doing so. I focus on the social influencers who reside within the social graphs of your customers and how you can account for them in all your marketing efforts. Some of the concepts in this chapter rightly seem to draw inspiration from influencer marketing, with its roots in the public relations world, whereas other concepts will feel very different
Knowing the Expert Influencers
How influencers are defined is a controversial subject among marketers. Some marketers focus on what they consider to be key influencers, whereas others place more emphasis on everyday influencers. Earlier, I introduce the three types of social influencers, which I believe account for all the types of influence taking
Getting Social with Your Marketing
What does all this mean? Quite simply, it means that you must begin by analyzing who are the expert influencers affecting brand affinity and purchasing decisions for your consideration set. They may be all the people that your PR department is currently tracking, but that list of people may have changed too. You need to know who these expert influencers are, where they are active online, whether it is feasible to even develop a relationship with them on the social platforms in which they are participating, and, finally, how much influence they actually have.
Reaching the Expert Influencers
Different strategies exist for reaching and activating the expert influencers. How you reach them varies based on who they are, what you want them to accomplish, and where you think you have the best chance of establishing a relationship with them.
This could be by introducing yourself to them at conferences, replying to their tweets, commenting on their blog posts, or friending them in Facebook. It all depends. The good news is that influencers like to influence and, as long as you have a promising value proposition, they will at the very least listen to you.
Keep in mind that nurturing expert influencers is an investment in the long term and you may not always get the response you want from them immediately. Also remember that influencers draw their strength and importance from being unbiased, independent, and credible. Don’t ask them to compromise that position.
Ask your customers whom they seek out for advice.
There is little in marketing that beats first-hand customer research, and the same applies to social influence marketing. You can identify and reach the expert influencers by asking your consumers who they are and where they spend their time.