Professional communicators know who the most important journalists are in their markets, and there aren't that many of them left to begin with. It's no easy task to get their attention, let alone win coverage. This has made identifying influencers a pretty hot topic among communicators, as was made clear at PR News' Digital PR Conference in Miami this past June.
How do you find those under-the-radar but all-important influencers in your market? What technology should you use to find them? How do you connect with them and get them to interact with your brand? How do you apply data about the most important influencers in your market to your communications strategies?
These are all good questions, and Brian Weber, corporate director for public engagement for cable operator Bright House Networks, will tackle them as a presenter at PR News' Social Media Summit in New York on Oct. 5. Weber will be joined by Nicole Moreo, senior manager, research and analytics, Peppercomm, and Nadia Goodman, social media editor for TED, on a social media analytics session at the summit.
Weber will get into specific tactics and case study examples on Oct. 5, but in the meantime here are seven strategies he recommends for building mutually beneficial relationships with influencers.
- Find influencers whose audience naturally intersects with your brand.
- Look for opportunities to partner and promote those influencers in ways that benefit them as much as you.
- Treat influencers as businesspeople, and they will do the same.
- Stay in touch, brainstorm, take them to lunch. "Some of the best entrepreneurial minds I know are also some of our best advocates and influencers," says Weber. "There are a lot of fresh ideas out there—seek them out."
- Surprise influencers with items from your brand unexpectedly, but don’t expect anything in return.
- Just because someone is influential or has a large audience doesn’t mean they are influential with your customers or audience.
- When you find influencers that fit your brand, listen. You may be surprised by what you hear.
View the full agenda and speaker faculty for PR News' Oct. 5 Social Media Summit in New York.
Follow Brian Weber: @brianRweber
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI