Connecting with Influencers Online
Making your way onto online influencer radars and developing lasting relationships with them are important goals. Their interest in and efforts for your brand can go a long way toward building awareness of your brand, enhancing your reputation, and helping you sell your products and services. However, the clout these influencers have built up means they are in high demand, and you’ll need an effective strategy for capturing their interest and making connections that develop into beneficial relationships. Here are some effective tips for sparking and developing connections:
Facebook typically gets top billing when it comes to overall popularity, but Twitter gets high marks when it comes to finding influencers. Since you’re hoping to connect with bloggers and other individuals who create content relevant to your audience, you’ll want to use Twitter, as it enjoys high popularity with this set. Besides this, it’s generally easy to reach out to influencers on Twitter, even if they have a good deal of popularity and significantly large audiences. When tweets are flying a mile a minute, however, you may need to exercise some patience with getting noticed.
Twitter is a great platform for making an initial connection and generating some interest, but there comes a time when you need more…room…in which to intersect and connect. After getting a conversation started on Twitter, stoke the connection fires by continuing it on another social media platform that allows for lengthier sharing. For many, this might be Facebook, but this can vary based on the influencer with whom you are trying to develop a relationship. Sometimes Google+ will prove a better venue, but other sites, such as Tumblr, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, or even old-fashioned email, might prove better options. The important thing is not to follow everyone on every platform, but instead, to reach out on the right platform for each individual influencer.
Network in the Real World
Network offline too. While social media platforms are effective for making and grooming connections, far too many people forget that face-to-face connections are important too and can help deepen a connection far faster than simple online communication. You can connect in person by attending the conferences, seminars, and networking events your influencers attend and taking advantage of meet and greets, dinners, coffee breaks, and session downtimes to connect, talk and relationship build. And, of course, you can also build connections in reverse – meeting influencers in person, establishing a rapport, and then following up online.
If you connect with influencers who are local, you may also invite them to relevant events you host or plan to attend. You might invite them to meet for coffee or drinks as well. While one-on-one meeting invites might have to wait until you’re well on your engagement path, they can really help solidify the relationship.
No matter how you choose to reach out to online influencers, there are some important rules to follow:
● Be selective. Don’t bother seeking a connection with every online influencer. Instead, focus on building relationships with the right influencers.
● Be interesting. Online influencers won’t take an interest simply because you decide to reach out. Show that you have something of value to offer and work to capture their attention.
● Be nice, decent, and fair. No matter how relevant your business or content, influencers won’t want to touch you with a 10-foot pole if you exhibit jerk-like characteristics. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything others say or do. It just means to balance your controversial opinions with positive comments and avoid picking fights just for the sake of doing so. Additionally, let others have their own opinions, and avoid the I-am-always-right stance.
● Avoid behaviors that might make you seem a little creepy instead of like someone with whom to connect. This means avoid hero-worshipping the influencer and stalking him or her. Avoid gossiping and save the whining for your friends and family – offline or on personal accounts kept completely separate from your business.
What are your tips for connecting with influencers? What smart moves or surprising mistakes have you made?