This is the fourth in the series of “Practical Social Media”, looking in depth at how to set-up and run Social Media as part of your overall business strategy. If you have any areas you would like me to cover please let me know via the comments section below.
In the last session I left you monitoring social media looking for people to add to your key influencers list. How did you get on? Hopefully you’ve found lots full of interesting people that are enthusiastic about your brand, product, service or market sector.
But how do you know whether they are worth engaging with?
A Little Investigation and More Listening
Let’s look at an ideal key influencer. These type of people will be well respected in their niche, but not a competitor. Ideally they blog about the subject, have a substantial amount of relevant followers on Twitter or Facebook, maybe even Google+.
They also Tweet or update their Facebook page/status about the subject regularly. Often these early adopters are as influential off-line as they are online. You may find key influencers on LinkedIn running, or members of, discussion groups associated with your market.
The Ultimate Influencer
An great example of a key influencer can be found in the wine sector, Gary Vaynerchuck.
Please note Gary has found so much success with his wine business through Social Media, he has diversified and therefore not as active on the wine scene as he once was.
Gary, has a massive following on Twitter. He used to talk about wine on a daily basis. His video show Winelibrary.TV would feature reviews of product from around the world. Getting your wine featured on Gary’s show could end up in you selling out overnight.
Now Gary is an extreme example, and not all key influencers have large followings on Twitter or popular Facebook pages, so the signals aren’t as easy to spot. They do tend to be consistent; you can often see the passion in their discussions. You can also investigate who is following them.
So if they talk about your market sector a lot and have a large amount of people following them that also have an interest in that sector, it’s likely they could be a good influencer.
Have you got Klout?
Ranking services can also help you determine whether these might be likely influencers. Klout and Peer Index are the two most well known influencer barometers. They do have their weaknesses in the fact that they can only measure online activity of course, but they can clarify what your likely influencer talks about online and with whom.
Checking Gary Vaynerchuck’s status on Klout you can see he is seen as a Thought Leader, influential about wine, technology and entrepreneurship.
You will never stop cultivating your key influencers, they will come and go. You will need to maintain your lists on an ongoing basis to ensure you connect with new influencers when they come into the market and retire ones that lose interest. If you maintain a pool of relevant people, amplifying your message across the social space will be a lot easier.
Next in the series of Practical Social Media we are going to move on to setting up an effective Twitter account, so ensure you have a nice photo of yourself ready to use!
(If you were looking for people asking questions on Twitter based on the previous exercise, don’t worry we will come to that soon.)