Online influencers: Your most powerful advocates

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Marketing | Public Relations

By Catriona Pollard

Engage with the right online influencers and your business could begin seeing the success you’ve been dreaming of. These influencers need to be treated the same as any other valued, client or friend, so here’s some tips for how to approach them.

Approaching online influencers is often overshadowed by the more obvious choices of starting a Facebook page or Twitter account when businesses are looking to spread the word about their business or product.

However, online influencers from other Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs and/or forums have the ability to be your most powerful advocates if you treat them just as you would any other valued client, customer or friend.

Here are some quick and easy tips to consider when engaging with online influencers, which will help to turn them into online spokespeople for your business:

  1. Understand their needs:When reaching out to online influencers, don’t assume that anyone who has ever mentioned or discussed your industry is interested in what you have to say. Research thoroughly and extensively to find out who is actually influencing online conversations in your industry, and then find out what your business could offer them. This could include a range of things from a free testing of your latest product to some information on how they could be improving their business.
  2. Take online conversations offline:

    Social media platforms are a great way to find and connect with people and potential customers, but face-to-face meetings definitely still hold value when looking to build long-lasting relationships.

    Once you’ve contacted your online influencers, why not invite them out for a coffee or a drink to get to know them better? Or you could invite them to your next media event, product launch, or conference to teach them more about your business and offerings. If they truly are and consider themselves influencers in the field, they will appreciate the opportunity to expand their understanding of the industry.

  3. Share the love: Make your influencers feel special by:
    • Linking out to articles they have recently written through your social media channels;
    • Mentioning them in your social media posts, re-tweeting them on Twitter and responding to them on Facebook; and
    • Sending them exclusive information such as media releases or new product information.
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