Blog | June 24, 2015

How to Use Influencers in Your Social Media Strategy

by Emilie Doolittle in Content Marketing

Remember those days when people used to brag about their Klout Score on Twitter? Or post profile pictures of themselves talking in front of a large audience?

You watched them put on the “me show,” and either A, refrained from posting a snarky comment (like, hey all of those Cat videos must be paying off…) or B, tried your best not to gag.

As much as you wanted to roll your eyes and heckle at them, these “popular” people could become your brand’s best friend – especially when it comes to your social media and marketing strategy.

With over 1.3 bajillion pieces of content published per day, even truly amazing content can go completely unnoticed without the right push. A simple tweet or guest post from a person who has a lot of followers can go a long way. But, finding the right influencers to talk about and contribute to your brand is trickier than it looks.

Here’s what to look for before reaching out to influencers, plus some of the best ways you can rally their support.

Discover influencers

Find the Right Influencers

Get Kim Kardashian to post an Instagram selfie with your product in it, and you’re set. Right?

Well. That’s a start in the right direction, assuming you and Kim are BFFs, or you have enough cash to pay for her celebrity endorsement…

The good news is influencers don’t necessarily have to be famous. They could have just a couple thousand followers, but those followers hang onto each and every word. So how do you find the best influencer for your brand? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Actual Influence – How much do followers listen to the influencer? Are people liking, commenting and resharing their content?

  • Audience – Do they reach your specific audience (or just people interested in funny memes)?

  • Expertise – What is their level of expertise on the subject matter that your audience cares about? Subconsciously people are more likely to listen to experts.

  • Popularity – fame helps  (even if celebrity endorsements leave a hole in your wallet). The more followers your influencer has, the more they will drive brand awareness in a top-of-funnel way.

Influencer outreach

How to Reach Out to Influencers

Once you’ve identified who your influencers are, it’s time to reach out to them. But, before you do, know what you can offer them. Is it: marketing their brand, including a CTA for their blog, or mentioning their product or service? Working with influencers should be a collaborative, cross-promotional exercise, to reach similar audiences.

First, do your homework. Look at their content and the audience they’re talking with, so you understand their goals. If you’re reaching out to them for the first time, start with giving them some love on social media or by commenting on their blog. And bring some personality into it. Make them laugh, or do something a little more interesting so you stand out.

Once you have a connection with them, ask them if they’d be interested in guest blogging, cross-sharing content, or even co-creating content. If you have similar goals, reaching similar audiences, they’ll be interested to some extent.

Get influencer buy in

How to Get Them to Say “Yes” to Supporting Your Brand


Well, not entirely. If they’re an analyst or a well-known industry expert, you’ll most likely need to pay them. But, even analysts and well-paid consultants will occasionally provide quotes for an eBook, especially if it has the potential to extend their reach. It’s all about the incentive.

Whether you have the budget or not to pay for influencer marketing, consider your KPIs. Is it to grow your following on social media, increase traffic and awareness, or drive conversions and quality leads to your sales team? Like any marketing campaign, influencer marketing should be tracked and measured.

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