Working With Influencers and Enthusiasts For Your Brand

As somebody that develops strategy for large corporate brands, I often work with different types of brand advocates in various social media channels.  A common tactic of many marketers and PR professionals is to try to go after “influencers” to get them to talk about their product.  Sometimes these influencers are individuals, sometimes they are communities, but a common denominator is that they have substantial audience sizes. The typical way of approaching these people or groups is to ship them a sample of your product and include a note that says something like, “Hope you enjoy this, please blog about it”.  I think this is a good shotgun approach to communities, it’s a good step up from a press release and it gets your product information out to a lot of people very quickly.  For individuals, I think we have to look at a more measured and personal approach.

Influencers and Enthusiasts in Social MediaTo truly be effective in social media with influencers, I think you need to build a relationship, not ship a press package. You also have to recognize and understand the different groups that exist in social media, so you know how to develop and target brand programs and exposure.  In case you fear that I’m starting to sound a little too professional and polished in this approach, I submit for your approval a hand drawn diagram in the picture to the left.  Fancy, isn’t it? I put this beauty up on our office white board this morning while talking through the concept with a client.

Before we discuss what to do with these various groups, let’s start by defining them.

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Analyze Your Twitter Habits With TwitterFriend

Do you want to know every little detail about your tweeting habits? There are a lot of services that show you a lot of information, but TwitterFriends really brings some useful data into the picture.  Not only can you see hard numbers about your frequency, replies, and how you compare to Scoble, you can actually look at your network of friends as it relates to others that you follow.  I think it’s fascinating.  My favorite part? The tab that shows me accounts that I follow that haven’t updated in a long time. I removed about 20 people that haven’t updated in months!

Instead of a full write up I made a quick video.  Check it out, it’s under three minutes.  Let me know if you find TwitterFriends useful!