The Best Tips for Connecting with Industry Influencers on Social Media
April 8, 2015
By Tony Adragna
Did you ever stand in line as a kid waiting for an autograph from a celebrity? Maybe it was a sports star that you hoped to be like someday, or an author who inspired you with a book they wrote. Regardless of who it was, do you remember standing in line worrying about what you would say to that ‘celebrity?’ Although it is somewhat different, you may have that exact same feeling when hoping to connect with an influencer on social media in your industry.
Odds are that you look up to that person in some way, and maybe you’re not sure what to say to them, or how to connect with them, but you know that building a relationship with them on social media can be beneficial to your business. This blog post will give you advice on how to connect with those influencers and in turn, have a positive impact on your business.
Define who the Influencers Are
Before reaching out to influencers in your industry, you first must define who the influencers are. Industry influencers are usually thought leaders and industry experts that already have a following that is similar to what you want your following to be. They already have your customer’s ear. Some criteria you could use to define who influencers are:
Number of followers
Which social networks they are active on
How often they post
Obviously there are several pieces of criteria you could look at to define an industry influencer. It is up to you which variables you decide to look at to define them.
Research the Influencers
It’s important that you don’t just start trying to interact with industry influencers before doing some research on them. The last thing you want to do is turn off an influencer to your brand because you didn’t do the proper research on them. When looking at the influencer on social media, check and see if they:
Engage in conversations with people
Share or retweet other users’ content
The frequency in which they engage with their audience
Your research doesn’t have to take hours. Just make sure to take a look at the influencers you plan on engaging with and create a plan of attack on how you can engage with them based on the research you conducted.
Engaging With the Influencers
Once you have conducted your research on the influencers, it’s now time to start engaging with them in hopes that you can create a relationship with them. One good place to interact with influencers is in Twitter chats. If an influencer holds a Twitter chat, be sure to join it and engage with them. Twitter chats are great places to engage with several influencers in your industry at one time.
Another way to engage with influencers is by sharing their content and tagging them in your post. By tagging them, the influencers are sure to see your post, therefore seeing that you are sharing their content. By doing this, you open yourself up to many opportunities from the influencer. They may:
Retweet/Share your post
Send a thank you message to you - which could open up a line of communication
Share a piece of your content
Most importantly, when you engage with influencers, offer them something of value. That may be your opinion, your help, or maybe just a kind word about them. Whatever you do, don’t ask for anything in return immediately. Continue to build rapport with the influencer, and a great relationship with somebody that could be impactful for your business will be formed.
Connecting with industry influencers has become easier than ever with the emergence of social media, but you have to be sure that you aren’t being an annoyance to influencers and negatively impacting your brand. By following the tips above, you can be on the fast track to building great relationships for your business.
What is the most impactful relationship you’ve made on social media?
About the author
Tony Adragna was formerly an Associate Consultant for SmartBug Media. Using his project management and digital marketing background, Tony helps implement their inbound marketing strategies. Read more articles by Tony Adragna.
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