Brands have two options to connect the right messages with the right people on social media—using paid posts or developing a roster of people with real influence in a particular market. This is an extreme point of view, but one held by many brand communicators. Organic reach on social has become a kind of lost horizon—that path belongs to the most hardy, persistent and thick-skinned communications pros.
While there is much agreement on the wisdom of working with influencers on behalf of one's brand, the hard work of finding, vetting and developing ongoing relationships with them can be daunting to the uninitiated. Konstanze (Konnie) Alex-Brown, Dell's corporate social influencer relations manager, who will be a speaker at PR News' June 6-8 Digital PR & Marketing Conference in Miami, offers four tips to help you select those highly trusted subject matter experts who could have a real impact on the success of your brand messaging.
1. Have a long-term strategy to engage with social influencers as if they were analysts. This is about mutual value creation for the brand and the influencer.
2. Don’t rely solely on influencer-finding engines that generate long lists of influencers. In addition to using such services, you have to do your own research, work with your own company’s subject matter experts and listen to personal recommendations.
3. Be very wary of companies that are willing to rent out influencers (there are many). Your company—not anyone else’s—needs to own the relationship with the influencer entirely or you risk disappointment.
4. Be ready to spend some serious time on relationship building. You will find out that finding influencers that fit your brand is like dating—it takes effort, time and full attention. One size does not fit all.
Konnie Alex-Brown will be speaking on the session "Influence Campaigns on a Tight Budget" at PR News' Digital PR & Marketing Conference, which will be held June 6-8, 2016, in Miami Beach.
Follow Konnie Alex-Brown: @Konstanze
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI