by Michoel Ogince
Marketers send out hundreds of letters every day to influencers in the social space. That’s because influencers are usually a great way to get an “in” any time a brand seeks to align itself with a niche lifestyle segment.
Obviously, this makes influencers an invaluable asset. It’s certainly why PepsiCo’s Global Director of Digital and Social Media, Bonin Bough called influencer relationship management (IRM) the future of digital marketing. Here are some tips to help you enhance your influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Optimize the Identification Process
Using Google or Twitter and other services like Twellow to identify influencers via keywords is time consuming, and it can be difficult to apply filters such as geographic region or minimum number of followers.
Enter influencer identification platforms SocMetrics, Traackr, and Appinions, which optimize the identification process and improve workflow efficiency. For example, SocMetrics allows users to identify topical influencers, view the social footprint for each influencer, filter by geographic region, view influencer reach and engagement metrics and more.
Here’s a detailed influencer profile from SocMetrics:
2. Build a Relationship
Influencers are more likely to bite if there is an existing relationship. Avoid cold call pitch letters, and introduce yourself to the influencer at least four weeks in advance of the campaign. It’s as simple as sending an intro email or tweet to establish a relationship and inform the influencer that you would like to work with him or her in the future. Be sure to keep in touch via Twitter, Linkedin and/or Facebook in the meantime.
3. Investigate What Works
When you are in the process of building a relationship, inquire about the influencer’s social graph and content preferences. This will help you tailor the campaign accordingly. Here are some questions to start with:
- What type of content do your readers prefer: video, photos, text, or audio?
- Is there a specific month or time period of the year that your content gets more views
- What is the best way for me to reach out to you: phone, email, text, Twitter, or direct message?
- What is your audience demographic?
- Have you worked with other partners or brands before? If so, what was successful
- Do you have any colleagues who would be interested in hearing from me?
4. Address Social Media Compliance
The FTC requires all material connections to be disclosed with a documented process. Disclosure information gives brands authenticity and transparency. Leading the way and making it possible for brands is CMP.ly, an NYC-based social media compliance and disclosure platform. CMP.ly provides coded url’s and badges which link back to unique disclosures.
Here’s a tweet that leverages the CMP.ly platform for Jamba Juice’s Ambassador Program:
5. Say NO to Spreadsheets
Using spreadsheets to track influencer profiles and communication notes is labor intensive and uneconomical.
Social CRMs improve workflow efficiency, data security, and the ability to scale. Platforms like Batchbook, Nimble, and CRM365 give users detailed social profiles, advanced search capabilities, cloud-based access, user permission levels, and communication logs.
Here Batchbook shows communication history for a given influencer:
6. Go Pro and Scale
SocialChorus is an influencer activation platform that allows you to automate content distribution at scale. The platform creates a branded microsite where influencers can login and access content to share in their social streams. A rewards system motivates influencers to participate and, best of all, a real-time dashboard tracks influencer actions and stats.
This is a content hub in SocialChorus for the ACME Trailblazers Network:
7. Don’t Forget About Instagram
Brands typically target influencers on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube but with more than 30 million users, Instagram can play with the big boys, too.
Brands are leveraging emerging and established Instagram photographers to shoot events or share content. One such example is Liz Eswein who has worked with Nike, Lucky magazine and Delta.