When you start out on social media (more than likely having established a Twitter or Facebook presence), one of the most challenging aspects can be attempting to build an audience that makes sending your messages worthwhile. How do you get people to follow or like you? Even if they do subscribe to hear what you have to say, how do you know that it is being registered within the correct demographic? One of the key ways in which to both build an audience and to make your audience relevant is to engage with key industry/brand influencers.
Pre social media, a key technique deployed by advertising agencies and global brands would have been to get well known celebrities or respected industry professionals to endorse said brand (indeed this still happens today). Engaging with key influencers online is, essentially, the same tactic… except this is both organic and cheaper! It is also, however, less straight forward. Use either Twitter’s search functionality or Hootsuite’s streams to find the most influential people regularly tweeting about specific keyword terms (e.g. if you sell trainers, look for people discussing trainers within your geographic area). Once you have drawn a list of 5-10 of these ‘tweeters’, look for their other online profiles and where else they are posting. Actively look to engage with them and build an online relationship – simply by having them talk to you online you will be drawing people’s attentions to your account and building up your online reputation.
Once a relationship has been established, you may have the opportunity to send them samples of your products and have them write reviews of them. Once people have began to see that an influential figure online supports your brand/company you will begin to see your targeted following/likes growing along with your general online brand awareness.
It’s difficult to infiltrate an already vibrant online industry when you are just starting out. Look to seek the help of online influencers by engaging with them.