5 Tips for Finding and Engaging With Influencers

influencersIt's all too easy to fall into habits—good and bad—in your communications with your industry's influencers. Day in and day out, you may be doing the same old thing on Twitter, Facebook, email and blogs. Behavior that was effective six months ago may be limiting your circle of contacts now, and even taking the shine off current relationships.

David Ringer, director, messaging, for the National Audubon Society, offers five tips here to refresh your approach to influencers.

1. Expand your notion of what an influencer is. Are bloggers media influencers? Of course. So are popular tweeters, YouTubers, Facebookers, Pinners and Instagrammers. But how do you figure out who matters? Same way you would in any communications plan—identify your target audiences, and figure out who reaches them most effectively. This can be both an earned media and paid media strategy.

2. Use Crowdbooster or similar tools to figure out which influencers already engage with you. Love them back, and build them into your PR plans.

3. Use Twitter’s list functionality to organize groups of journalists and influencers. Make the list public if you can, and maybe even give it a title like “Thought Leaders." Who wouldn’t love getting a notification that they’ve been deemed a thought leader?

4. Care what influencers care about. Oldest PR advice in the book, right? Well, social media generally, and Twitter in particular, gives you little real-time glimpses into influencers' souls. What interests them? What ticks them off? Whom do they respect? They will voluntarily give you information that PR pros in pre-Internet days often had to work long and hard to obtain.

5. Name-check influencers. Credit influencers for their work, by name and Twitter handle when possible. Doing it from an organizational leader humanizes the exchange even further and helps deepen the reporter-source relationship.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI

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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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