Finding And Selecting The Right Influencer

What most of us forget is that at the end of the day, social media is merely a platform we’ve all recently jumped onto for marketing purposes. Yes, it’s a powerful one at that, but again: it’s still just a platform. The success of our online-hinged campaigns still heavily relies on the strategies we apply on the social Web and our adaptability to every new technology and trend that comes our way. And so, online marketers need to find ways to optimize social media to create buzz around their brands and grab the opportunities as they come. It will help with your site"s SEO because trend and number of visits it will generate will increase the ranking of your site.

One of the many popular ways to go about this is by leveraging on influencer marketing. However, as anyone who’s ever tried, it can tell you, it’s much more than just getting into an influencer’s good graces. Here are a handful of best practices you can use as a guide to help get the ball rolling and hit your goals.

Your Eye On The Prize.

The first thing you should do is identify what your goals are for even delving into influencer marketing, and list them down on paper. These include the most obvious ones like spreading the word about your brand, attracting people into your fold, increasing product revenues, etc. Organize them according to priority and constantly refer to that list every step of your campaign as draw up strategies. That list will be your constant guide to keep you focused on achieving those goals as your campaign progresses.

Finding Influencers.

Either for a general demographic or for a specific niche, you must identify the influencers and measure their level of influence, the depth of their engagements with their followers and many other factors that should align with your overall goals. This helps you keep your head in the game no matter the amount of noise online. Using social monitoring tools like Technorati, Klout,  SocialMention or Topsy can help you sniff out the right influencers for your brand on sites like Twitter and Facebook. They also display online impressions and sentiments on each personality.

The Screening Process.

Always remember that just like traditional marketing’s celebrity-fronted advertisements, the influencer you chose will also be, in a manner of speaking, representing your brand. You may also have to backread their previous tweets, status updates and/or the multimedia contents they shared to get your answers though. The broader their network, the better SEO it will provide to your website. Find as many potential influencers as you can and then just narrow down your list with these few questions to evaluate each one.

1. How many people are following them and how many are they follow back?
2. How often are they blogging, posting updates or tweeting?
3. Do they personally engage with the people in their network of followers? How diligent are they in responding to their followers’ queries or comments?
4. Do they share (or retweet) their follower’s messages? Are they articulate enough to carry out your message/s?
5. How involved are they in their respective tribes? Do their followers respond to their posts?
6. How do they fare on the search engine results pages when you do a Google search for the keyword phrases related to their market/niche?
7. Are their followers the right people you want to target marketing-wise?
8. What are their thoughts about your general field of business? How about your brand/products/services?
9. How passionate are these people regarding their beliefs?
10. Do their opinions and beliefs clash with the ideals you and your company lives by? Is their general public image apt for the personality you want your brand to embody?

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