Over the past 6 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many of Canada’s leading social influencers, the majority of which I can now proudly call friends.
However, as with every relationship, it took a lot of consistent & genuine effort to go from small talk to deep and meaningful conversations.
Yes, the initial trigger for building these relationships may have been a business one, but the effort that followed was ALL personal.
Today, these friendships have become so carved in stone that even the business we do has become personal, which by no doubt has helped me realize an exponential ROI for many of my influencer outreach campaigns.
So…is there a secret sauce for building solid, sustainable and un-breakable relationships with social influencers?
Well, truth of the matter is there are four communication imperatives that must be adhered to for building solid friendships with the most prominent social influencers. Here they are – told from the influencers perspective:
1- Show me you know me: the main sign of respect to any social influencer is speaking to them in their own language, about topics they are interested in. Engaging influencers in activations that have nothing to do with their areas of interest tells them you have made “zero” effort to really know them.
2- Win me over with unique experiences: in a world driven by word of mouth, a customer’s first hand experience has replaced the press kit, so what better way to engage your influencers than to offer them unique, relevant well planed brand experiences that compel them to share. Paying your influencers will never fully substitute the need to impress them with what you offer in the market.
3- Arm me with exclusive content: offer your influencers access to sticky, original, relevant content that can enrich their social platforms. This is usually best done by involving them in first hand experiences and allowing them to organically and freely produce their own content. Needless to say, that experience better be rock solid, so plan it well.
4- Make me look good in front of my community: see it’s not all about the influencer. On the contrary. Always try to remember why that influencer became an influencer in the first place. The reality is, it’s all about the audience. So allow your influencers to pay it forward and share their influencer spoils with their followers and fans. Whether it’s a brand experience, a giveaway, a free demo, always make sure you budget enough for both the influencer and the community to share part of that experience. It’s the only way you can turn a brand story into a community story, not an individual’s story.
When you follow the above communication guidelines while engaging your influencers, you will unleash the true potential of social influence and drive credible, positive word of mouth and grow your sales. And the examples of good influencer practice are many.
After all, the most important thing about word of mouth is: whose mouth it’s coming from. So what better mouth to tell your story than one that speaks to thousands of loyal followers daily.