It seems that every day social networking is becoming more and more part of our daily lives. In each of these areas of social networking, depending on the interests and market, there are people who have major influence. These authority figures will greatly affect our decision-making process and the decision-making process a your target market as they have created the “Authority” and garnered the trust of their follower base.
These influential figures exist in every market and every area of social communications. There are political influences, religious influences and your common everyday “average Joe” who makes up your customer base. When we are dealing with influencers, they are the people at empower others to make decisions who want their own views and opinions re-enforced by someone in authority to confirm their own ideas and opinions are valid.
So How Do We Identify Them?
First of all we have to pay attention to the most common social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. If you do a search for your primary key words that reflect your market, over a period of time you will notice those who are most vocal, passionate, and have the most followers, friends or fans.
With Facebook, for example, you can do a search in groups for fan pages and often times the pages with the largest fan base can be the ones that are most influential.
With Twitter it is a little more difficult to identify the most influential people in your market, but you will see over time and with keen observation who are the most passionate and vocal, and then compare that to their follower base numbers.
Another simple way to identify these influencers is to check out blogs. Often times these influential people have many social networks hooked up to their blogs. If you find a very popular blog based around your target market, you have found an influencer.
How Do We Get Influencers to Work for Us
Surprisingly enough, this is the easiest part of the whole equation. Firstly, we need to get known and been known by the influencer. With social networking being social. This includes:
• Interact with them where ever possible
• Leave blog comments
• Retweet their posts on Twitter
• Contribute to their Facebook wall (leave comments on posts)
• Contribute to their Facebook fan pages
• Ask them questions
• Get to know them personally
• Don’t overdo it and become known as a stalker!
By building a rapport with these influencers, you lower the barriers and can then bring up the subject of cooperative marketing or joint venture. If you are proposing a joint venture of some sort, make sure it benefits them and maintains their integrity and influence over their followers, subscribers and friends as well as puts some compensation in their pockets.
Remember, to have success in creating a joint venture partnership you need that initial rapport or, trust, and credibility. You will be surprised how many people are open to a joint venture if you approach it in the right way. Too many people just thrust an offer under an influential persons nose and wonder why they are not accepted. Well, now you know and have a much better chance of getting your message out there in conjunction with the most influential people in your market.