Why social media influencers are critical: Top 3 considerations for creating a strong influencer program

By Jessica Beard on April 5th, 2017

Content marketing. Advertising. Social media. Marketing automation. Earned media. The buzz words for integrated communications strategies are endless and finding the right combination to pursue is no silver bullet. What is certain? Personal connections and trusted relationships typically always win. In fact, nearly 40 percent of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer. And, 49 percent rely on recommendations from influencers for product recommendations.

Social media is a clear way to connect with customers in their day-to-day activity. By building strong influencer relationships, your company could be a step ahead of your competition. A strong social media influencer program creates long-lasting relationships to help build credibility for your brand.

So, what does a social media influencer program look like? Here are 3 considerations to keep in mind as you build your company’s approach:

It takes time. Building influencer relationships on social media can take longer than expected. To properly develop meaningful influencer connections, take time to find content that they will find relevant and interesting. Countless Twitter company profiles or LinkedIn pages have been set up, rarely updated or neglected altogether – not to mention the ones that are solely promotional. But, it’s well worth the time it takes to post and monitor what influencers are pushing out from their profiles and engage with them. You can also target prospects more effectively by fully understanding what they are looking for.

Interactions with influencers help you gain insight into what interests them, which proves its value when an influencer you’ve been interacting with makes recommendations to their followers who are looking for a new solution.

Ask for others’ opinions. To build trusting relationships with influencers, ask lots of mindful questions. Asking people for their opinions goes a long way in creating strong, mutual connections founded in respect for one another. Go beyond basic questions by doing research and engaging in conversations that strike influencer interest. When influencers find that you care about their passions, trust is established and they’ll be more likely to support your brand. After all, as discussed in a recent blog post, trust directly relates to business performance.

Be authentic. As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” While there’s a time and a place for the company brand and tone to shine, input from an influencer adds authenticity. However to gain influencer support, you must be your authentic self. By having dedicated company employees and/or executives act as the true voices for your company, you build trust and credibility with industry influencers — and potential customers. These influencers, in turn, become authentic supporters for your brand.

Does your company have a social media influencer program? What are you doing to build trust for your brand?

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