How to engage with your industry’s social media influencers

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Last week, we showed¬†you 10 ways to boost your Twitter followers. If you haven’t read that article yet, go and do so now as today’s post will make a lot more sense and be a lot more beneficial if you do. That’s because one of our tips last week was to seek out your industry influencers on social media and leverage their large followings to your advantage.

But that’s easier said than done if you’re not quite sure what you should be doing. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 3 tips for engaging with influencers.

1. Identify your influencers

Influencers tend to have lots of followers, but that doesn’t mean to say that people with lots of followers are necessarily influencers. The key is to identify your industry’s top influencers

Tools like BuzzSumo and SocialRank are great for helping you identify your influencers. BuzzSumo shows which content in your industry is getting the most attention, while SocialRank provides you with insights into how active and popular your social media followers are.

Time spent at the start identifying the right influencers for your business will pay dividends later on.

2. Build a relationship with them

Obviously, the first thing you need to do is start following your influencer across their various social network accounts. Like their Facebook page; follow them on Twitter; and make a point of checking out their website on a regular basis – especially their blog. You can even sign-up to their email list to get an even better insight into their online world.

You need to understand what makes them tick before you can even consider approaching them to help promote your own business. Like their posts, share/retweet them and make useful comments wherever possible. The trick is to get them to notice you as a valuable contributor.

3. Give them some incentives

It’s debatable whether or not you should pay influencers for their help. However, people rarely do something for free, so it’s a good idea to line up some potential incentives.

It could be as simple as sending them some samples of your product to try; offering them the chance to write on your blog; or by further promoting their own work whenever you can.

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