Want to succeed in social media marketing? Work with influencers!

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Are you the one who used to think the number of fans reflects the effectiveness of a social media campaign? According to a recent Technocrati study, Facebook likes ranked as the most important metric when evaluating a social marketing campaign. However, this changes when people are getting more sophisticated about using social media—they do not take seriously the “like” button anymore. Now, we need to realize that social influencers, who can spread a brand’s message effectively, considerably determine the success of a social media campaign.

If marketers, including arts marketers, still believe in only the shallow metrics—the number of total followers when creating an influencer program, they can hardly get success. To ensure a successful social marketing campaign, arts managers need to invest more time and energy in understanding the power of potential influencers before working with them.

Here I want to share with you two steps to identify and work with your true influencers.

The First Step: Research and research before finding a true influencer.

An Extensive and in-depth insight into influencers is the prerequisite for successfully identifying your true influencers. To start, you can employ a quantity research to gain context to an individual by using influence tools like KredKlout and PeerIndex. More importantly, you need to know the following qualitative information about the influencers before commencing on a long-term engagement.

  1. What are their interests? Knowing influencers’ interests helps arts marketers ensure brand and content alignment. One way to get this information is to analyze his/her past feeds or tweets. From example, if a person just posted an artwork from your organization that he/she has never been to, you would know he/she would love to visit the organization.
  2. What is your influencers’ audience interested in? Exploring their followers interests enables an organization to evaluate the quality of the influencers’ social circle and to ensure if there is alignment to the overall marketing objectives.
  3. What are the metrics you want to set up to measure the success? By leveraging the social analytics, arts marketers can predict the reach, engagement and impact of the influencers before working with them. This information ensures you are promoting a program based on information rather than a “Klout” score that could have been gamed.

The second Step: Work with your influencers in a two-way street.

It's a collaborative process. To build relationships with social influencers, instead of being so precious about the brand identities, arts marketers need to think about what they can do for the audience they want to reach. Influencers need to take a more positive approach to things—a relationship with a brand does not erode their position among their community. Take the time to work out and give what the audience is interested in is much more important than offering them what you are interested in. According to Will Stevens, an SEO specialist and an online journalist ,“Giving someone who has already engaged the niche you are targeting a great exclusive will boost your profile and theirs-who wouldn’t want that?”

Have you noticed that the concept of influence has become skewed in social media? It isn’t about how many followers you have, instead, it is about the quality of your content and the way you communicate.

Sources: http://readwrite.com/2013/03/06/social-marketing-the-3-big-problems-working-with-influencers