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Oct 02

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Befriending Your Influencers: Treat Them Like People, Not Metrics

Welcome our Guest Blogger, Meshfire!

Meshfire sent us a great article this week with tips you need to know, so they have graciously agreed to let us reprint it here as a guest blog post. Meshfire is a self-described “Social Media Empowerment platform” that is definitely worth a look. Built for agility and speed, Meshfire presents conversations on a taskboard, giving you actionable tasks to complete. Meshfire’s virtual team member gives expert guidance and curates key content, letting you focus on the most important interactions. You can sign up for a free trial here. Now, on to the blog!

 

unnamedBehind every popular blog or social media account, there is a real person (or people). Forgetting this is what results in unsuccessful campaigns or even social media backlash. Anyone with a popular blog, Twitter account, Facebook page or other social media platform has likely been approached by many types of marketers — and most of the time, these pitches fall flat. The key is not only to seek out content creators who are already aligned with your brand message — but to treat them like friends or allies instead of just another cell on your KPI spreadsheet. Influencers are people, too, not marketing metrics. If you’re ready to take action, here are some positive methods to use, organized by platform:

Twitter

Echo the casual tone of the micro-blogging site by using abbreviations (which is not hard when you only get 140 characters) and not censoring yourself unnecessarily.
Granted, it is most likely not appropriate to post controversial opinions or anything NSFW on most brand accounts, but don’t be afraid to jump into trending conversations. That said, do a background check on popular memes or risk a serious social media gaffe; after all, DiGiornios Pizza is only the most recent brand to fail to discover where a trending #hashtag came from.

Facebook

Let your brand or company’s page become a hub for all your online activity. Reviews, contests, links to any news, product launches, events and other happenings, and of course your main website and contact info should all live on Facebook. Also, keep in mind that Facebook works better as a resource center than as a way to push out tons of updates, since people will likely hide your brand’s feed unless they receive something of value such as news of a coupon or special offer. On the contrary, you should be sure to reply to customer comments on a regular basis, whether they are positive or negative. Like it or not, your audience is judging your brand by the speed, tone and effectiveness of your response.

Reddit

This news aggregator community site has literally millions of subreddits, all with their own memes and types of humor. However, there is an irreverent tone throughout the site (except when there’s not in the more serious subreddits), and it is popular with tech-savvy types in general. What’s more, Redditors can be particularly zealous about calling out marketers or spammers, so be clear about the fact that you’re associated with a brand or company — but act like a human!

Instagram/Pinterest

Any visually focused brand should be on these platforms, and be well aware of common trends, hashtags, and ways to optimize their images and associated descriptions both for search and for power users by following key memes. Popular hashtags like #nofilter (even if you use one) also can draw attention, as can having a distinctive aspect or “thing” that you feature in your photos — whether that is a particular pose, a branded prop or other element.

LinkedIn

For B2B marketers, LinkedIn can be one of the best platforms for content sharing, especially if you have useful white papers, case studies, or other useful info or statistics that will make your audience look like rock stars at their jobs. On the other hand, B2C content can be much less relevant for LinkedIn users, since they mostly use the site to accomplish career-related activities or discover professional resources — so marketers in that realm of the spectrum may do better concentrating their efforts elsewhere.

Tumblr and Blogs

Dealing with bloggers and their various communities can be a little trickier, since there really isn’t one standard — different subsections of the blogosphere can have entirely different ways of communicating with each other, including specialized slang, common memes and more. Working with bloggers tends to require more upfront effort, but it can be one of the most rewarding channels, since these social media power users tend to have most dedicated audiences. While each social media platform has its idiosyncrasies, some elements apply across the board. For instance, refrain from constantly asking for follows/friends (believe us, your audience knows exactly how to connect with you if they want to) and avoid simply copying/pasting the same messages to different users just to save time.

 

At the end of the day, influencer outreach can be one of the most effective weapons in a content marketing and/or inbound marketing professional’s arsenal — albeit one of the most difficult to deploy successfully. That said, once you build a tribe of loyal devotees, you may be able to conquer the world — or at least your business’s particular niche.

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2014/10/befriending-influencers-treat-people-metrics/