Your event is a representation of your brand. Whether you’re an association, corporation, or non-profit, the way you interact with your stakeholders and members is through your live events. Influencers are everywhere, and they are talking about your brand. When your social media managers (if you have them), are talking about “influencers”, they are really talking in terms of the valuable relationships your brand has on social media.
Influence can be broken down into three pillars: Relevance, Reach, and Resonance.
Relevance: The creation of content that is relevant to your brand, or relevant to a topic that’s important to your brand.
Reach: The ability to reach an audience that is valuable to your brand. This does not always mean a large audience. Sometimes, the ability to reach a small, niche audience is just as important.
Resonance: The proliferation or engagement with relevant content by an audience that is valuable to your brand.
All three qualities are required for somebody to be considered an influencer for your brand. Remember, just because somebody’s posts about travel are influential, doesn’t mean their posts about cooking will carry the same weight.
There is software available that allows you to search for and get notified when influencers post about your brand, based on custom criteria. For example, you can get notified anytime somebody with over 5000 followers and a klout score of at least 65 mentions your twitter account. This is an example of reactive influencer engagement, but it’s also important to establish a plan for proactively engaging influencers.
There are many ways to engage influencers, some examples are to:
- Have influencers recognize advances your brand is making in the market
- Sway influencers to amplify a single campaign or piece of branded content
- Entice influencers to follow your social accounts and regularly champion brand content
- Persuade influencers to create original and valuable content for your brand
The best and safest way to approach engaging new influencers is to start small, make them aware of product announcements and gauge their response, before calling on them to support your content and campaigns.
The best place to find and engage these influencers is Twitter because it’s still the primary channel for syndicating content from a wide variety of sources, especially blogs where more in depth original thought leadership exists. Twitter data is also an exceptionally open and public.
A simple way to find out if somebody is mentioning a relevant topic is to search for keywords or hashtags. The top tweets is the first place to look after searching, to determine relevance. Those tweets typically have some reach as well, but you can easily check how many followers they have. With relevance and reach established, you can look at how frequently those on topic posts are engaged with to establish resonance. You can determine whether their content actually gets shared by looking at the posts. How many favorites and retweets a post has will give you an idea of their resonance.
Now, engage them!