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Stop Playing Hide-N-Seek with Influencers

August 10, 2011 | By | One Comment

Online influencers. You know they’re out there, freely dispensing their expertise, knowledge, and opinion to the masses. But how can you connect your brand to these powerful voices? Social media agency Room 214’s Capture the Conversation recently shared a process for identifying online influencers and shared 5 key attributes from Ed Keller and Jon Berry, authors of the ‘The Influentials“:

Activists (Specialized): these are the active members of a topic/brand/community who entice people to take a certain action or get involved. If you need this person to incite action in others, activists will help drive response.

Connected (Broad Stroke): influencers who have sizable numbers of connections across the social networks. If you are looking for sheer volume of brand impressions this can be a powerful attribute.

Impact (Trust and Aspiration): these people influence others by being reputable by many and are trusted. If you are looking to build brand goodwill or trust with your customers, this validation from a trusted source can help.

Active Minds (Professional Dilettantes): these people are jack-of-all trades because they have influence across many different topics. These influencers can be helpful if you have many products and the audiences are segmented differently.

Trend Setters (Early Adoption): these people are ahead-of-the game and can influence others before an idea/product is popular. This can help build early excitement and credibility for your brand or product.

After reviewing these, which do you believe will have the greatest impact on your customers?  Looking at the attributes should help you start to understand who you need to pursue and the impact that they will have.

Next, find out where your customers hang out.  If they are small businesses, are they on a social networking community for small business, like OfficeArrow.com?

One simple (but key!) takeaway from their piece is that connecting with the influencers who drive action involves engaging them through the communities they frequent, perhaps Facebook or LinkedIn or even OfficeArrow. Even if you think you know which social networks your strongest potential influencers prefer, always use metrics to confirm you’re putting resources into the right social network.

Don’t blow your online engagement resources on a social media network your customers don’t use. Talk to a Social Strategy1 analyst to start getting access to the analytics you need to lay the foundation for a profitable social media strategy.

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