To expand reach and network, your company needs to find key social influencers. Building relationships is the basis of getting your brand out there.
Social Influencers are everywhere and are not bound by employment with traditional news sources. Social influencers are important because they are able to cover news faster than many traditional news sources – and they can reach a larger audience. A group of social influencers is called a tribe. A tribe is a group of persons having common character, occupation or interest.
How to Find Followers
You probably know – and have already found – several influencers in your field. Once you have those influencers see how they are following, talking to and referencing. Look at their tweets. Who are they retweeting? Who are they following? Look at their blogs. Who are they mentioning and collaborating with?
There are also sites and programs designed specifically for finding new influencers.
• Cision – social influencers search
• Triberr – suggestions based on content/ interests and joined tribes
• Twitter- suggestions based on who your followers follow
Finding your Niche Community
Once you find relevant followers, you need to find the right community. This community should consist of passionate followers. Although many companies strive to increase their number of followers, the real importance is not the quantity of your influencers but the quality. You want influencers that are passionate about the same things you are. When looking for influencers, be specific.
Once you find influencers
After you have found influencers try to build good relationships with them. Remember, this takes time. Don’t ignore the little guys either. You want to build relationships with people that are passionate in your industry. Reach out to these influencers on social media. Remember the rule of thirds. One-third of your posts should be about yourself, one-third of your posts should be sharing other’s content and one-third of your posts should be interacting with your social media audience.
Empower your community
Allow your followers and employees to put their own spin on your story. This gives it a more honest value. Viewers and influencers like to hear storytelling, not shameless self-promotion. This also gives the community ownership of the message and will help you get the commitment of your followers.
Some journalists and influencers complain about misdirected pitches and will even go so far to blacklist certain PR professionals. Before reaching out to an influencer makes you ask yourself these questions:
What is my goal?
What is my target audience?
How visual is my story?
Is my idea timely?
Once you have answered those questions make sure you know who your audience is, be brief and customize your pitch to your audience.