How commenting can attract an influencer on social media

influencer on social media

A continuation from Word of Mouth marketing is finding an influencer on social media to help you promote your brand.

Influencers have amazing powers over potential customers, especially if they are devout followers. This is quite common in B2C (business to customer) marketing, but it can also be accommodated for B2B. Many an expert has had an influential impact on a receptive audience.

First of all you need to know how finding an influencer on social media is going to help you. This infographic explains why:

How commenting can attract an influencer on social media

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

How influencers use their authority

It's not just authority, but also credibility, expertise and position in social circles. Influencers wield a lot of power with their followers. They have worked hard to build up their audiences by listening to them, understanding how they tick, and constantly conversing with them to make them feel special and privileged.

Their credibility has been achieved through successfully promoting brands their followers, want, appreciate and are willing to buy. This is in addition to providing videos and other content which appeals to the masses, strikes a chord with their audiences and showcases their knowledge presented to help anybody who hears or reads it.

The main focus of an influencer should be to help others. The value they provide makes a difference to their followers' lives. This can be as simple as regular friendship to as complicated as being a thought-leader in their industry or niche.

Building customer trust for the brand

Businesses know people buy from people. They are more likely to trust recommendations and reviews from other customers than the marketing spiel offered by the brand. To them other customers have more clout as well as direct experience of a product, which is worth noting.

Trust is a major factor towards achieving loyalty. An influencer is seen as a special VIP who isn't associated with the company, but has taken time out to sample the brand. Their videos or posts reflect this experience in an appealing way to their audiences, who lap up the reviews like nectar.

These audiences are more likely to trust an influencer on social media and share it with their friends. Doing a good job in talking about the brand extends its trust to a wider audience than the business could achieve alone.

Take advantage of their social reach

Therefore it makes sense for businesses to search out a suitable influencer on social media to help promote their brand. Some influencers have accrued enormous audiences, with millions of views for their videos and content every time they post.

This is a privileged position to have so much connectivity on the web. Businesses need to learn to trust what an influencer will say, as the repercussions could be huge. However, a positive review correctly directed to a suitable sales page could result in an onslaught of relevant visitors.

In fact the popularity influencers on social media command has arisen through their conversations with their followers. And because they are so popular they are able to by-pass the social media algorithms which hinder ordinary people's reach.

The powerful effect of authenticity

Whenever an influencer talks about a brand, this immediately ranks up the authenticity factor. Here is a non-employee of the business who has taken time to experience the product (or service), and is willing to communicate what they think to their followers.

Personal reviews or recommendations appear to be far more authentic to those who read or watch them. It is the personal approach which triggers a more favourable response, usually because of the vocabulary used: ordinary words which are more relatable and believable than marketing speak.

Businesses should also capitalise on the celebrity-status some influencers on social media have. Hearing their idol mention a brand is persuasive enough for many people to immediately go out and buy it.

Constant communication to build up a rapport

Part of the power influencers have with their followers is because of the rapport they have with them. This is because they show they care about their audience. They communicate in such a way it appears they are talking directly to each fan in turn.

Every member of their audience is key. They are equally important and should be treated as such. Without their massive followings influencers wouldn't be able to be so successful. This is a special gift which all influencers on social media should not neglect or forget.

Therefore every attempt at making a connection should be honoured. Appreciating likes, answering comments, responding to requests, acting upon feedback, following up on ideas. Influencers need to show they do hear what their followers say, and that this isn't a one-way dialogue.

Relevance is key for an influencer on social media

However, promoting a brand via an influencer on social media can be made more viable and believable if there is a relevant connection. Asking an influencer who talks about makeup tips to promote a product which helps you submit tax returns more efficiently isn't going to work.

And yet so many mismatches are made because of sloppy preparation. Cutting and pasting sales scripts to a massive mailing list, without first checking whether these contacts are a fit, leads to irritation for the recipient and a failure for the sender.

This approach is certainly the case when pitching for guest posting opportunities. This results in bombarding prospects with a spray and pray approach to save time. And time is always at a premium to satisfy demanding marketing bosses, regardless of whether this is about obtaining influencers or guest blogging.

What better way is there to attract an influencer on social media?

The cold calling approach very rarely works. After all, why should anyone respond favourably to someone they don't know? Influencers are very busy people, even when they're not creating their popular content. They need to spend time focusing on their fans rather than succumbing to wistful marketing requests.

Therefore influencers on social media need to be woo-ed. Similar to what they do with their followers. Taking time to establish a warmer approach will pay far more dividends in the long run.

This infographic gives you a guide in what I mean:

How commenting can attract an influencer on social media

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Where do you find an influencer on social media?

The decision to use an influencer to help promote your brand is a big decision. You need to make sure your products or services are suitable in the first place. They need to appeal to a wide variety of customers, and be something which is likely to succeed via this method of promotion.

And finding such an eminent personage who will be willing to help is a mammoth task. These are busy people, and will certainly have an army of 'gate-keepers' to protect them from unwanted advances for their time. So here are some tools to help you with this.

Follow popular trends which reflect your brand using relevant hashtags and similar triggers on social media. Use these to keep track through real-time streams for likely candidates. And at the same time note how they engage with their followers as a true indicator of their popularity.

Are they a match for your brand?

Your chosen influencer on social media should ideally reflect your brand within their previous content. They should not have to change what they usually say or do to be able to promote your product (or service).

Your brand needs to fit in with not only their main subject, but also their ethics, type of audience and their style of delivery. If they are naturally jovial, suddenly switching to being serious for an inappropriate brand would be totally out of character, and therefore unsuitable.

Not having an affinity with your brand would severely hamper any authenticity they have regarding talking about your product. Nobody would believe them, their audience would be confused, and they may even lose popularity as a result.

Remember to thoroughly read their content

Before you attempt to approach your chosen influencer, you need to find out as much as possible about them. This includes finding and reading/watching all their content to get an idea of what they do.

Spend sufficient time to study this properly to fully understand their style, main topics, purpose and motives. This does not mean skim-reading their posts or flipping through their video list, but properly perusing their content to become fully acquainted with it.

Doing this research puts you in a much better light when the time comes to approach them. Your conversation with them will become more meaningful, and your confidence levels will have been increased because of your extra knowledge.

Show your appreciation with valuable commenting

The first contact you have with your chosen influencer will be through engaging with them. Comment on their posts, review their videos, find them on social media and join in their social interactions. However, before launching in like a bull in a china shop, I suggest 'lurking and learning' to get an idea of how their fans relate with them.

Although your intent is to get yourself noticed, you have to do this for the right reasons. Blundering in so you stick out like a sore thumb is not a good idea. Offering valuable advice which both the influencer and their fans can benefit from will stand you in much better stead.

The idea is to write excellent comments which cannot fail to get read. They continue the conversation, contribute to an argument, stimulate a discussion and answer questions. The better they are written, the more likely you will be remembered as a worthy commenter with a keen interest in what's going on.

Create a rapport to form a relationship

The idea is not only to get noticed, but to get recognised whenever you turn up and comment. Commenting is not a quick-fix method, it needs to take time to be successful. Popping in to contribute a few well-chosen exchanges with them may be pleasant, but this is only the beginning.

The idea is to increase your connection with the influencer until you become friends. Your conversations will have enabled you to get to know each other. It is like forming a relationship with them through the power of regularly social chatting with them.

This is important because all this had work has now made you a warm contact. The influencer knows who you are, and not some annoying person out of the blue who wants to take advantage their expertise, popularity and hard-won audience.

Now you can approach them for help

When you feel the time is right, ask for a chance for a private chat. You may have already progressed onto this socially, but now you can attempt to use this for business. Hopefully this shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience for the influencer.

Now's your chance to impress them with how much you know about them. Avoid being over-ingratiating, as this can be both annoying and off-putting. However speaking with someone who obviously has a close affinity with what they stand for, should be enough to persuade the influencer over to your way of thinking.

If your pitch is convincing, your motive sound and your brand matches their ideals, the process should be fairly straightforward. You will have won their attention gradually with value and courtesy, making them far more affable towards you than a cold call.

How do you contact an influencer on social media?

What experiences have you had regarding getting an influencer to help promote your brand? Was it worth it? Did you achieve your objectives? How suitable was the influencer? Did they say the right thing? Was their audience receptive?

Also did you consider woo-ing your chosen influencer on social media before approaching them? Or did you wade in with all guns blazing and hope your delivered pitch was impressive enough?

Any tips and tricks you are willing to share in the comments below will be much appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you.

Alice Elliott
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