At the ripe age of 11, Twitter is a senior in the world of social media! While it’s not the hottest network in town in terms of numbers, it’s hanging in with 313 million active users sending around 500 million tweets every day! Let’s take a quick look at some meaningful stats about the Twitterverse, provided by Hootsuite:
- 79% of accounts are US based. Good news for our readers and clients!
- 66% of Twitter users have discovered an SMB on the network.
- 94% plan to make a purchase from an SMB they follow. So Twitter followers have made it clear they do, in fact, have a strong buying intent!
As B2B marketers for the SMB community, this is powerful information worthy of our attention. In fact, most of the companies we work with are on Twitter, and they're interested in getting more out of the channel. Which brings us to the focus of this post—how engaging with Influencers can enhance your Twitter marketing strategy.
What Is an Influencer?
An 'influencer' is a person who's widely considered to be a thought leader in their field, and who also has a strong following and actively engages with those followers. Twitter influencers are considered powerful and coveted social media users because of both their reach and the value of their audience.
Why They're Important for Your Twitter Marketing Strategy
Engaging with industry influencers can have a huge impact on your Twitter success. Let’s review some of the ways they can help:
- Expanding the reach of your business – Having an influencer mention or promote your content, company or product is a nice win. Think of all those new eyeballs on what you have to offer, and all the additional website traffic from people in your industry! And with the right piece of content, influencer marketing increases the chances of going viral (or at least within your line of work).
- Building trust with your audience – Third-party validation can be extremely beneficial to your B2B brand. In today's business world, we all know that reviews, testimonials and success stories matter more than ever. Users are more likely to trust public opinion, especially the opinions of influencers, as opposed to a company's self-promotion.
- Increasing your followers – When an influencer mentions your company, product or service, that exposure often prompts their fans to follow you, too. This will give your marketing team ample opportunity to connect with potential prospects and to continue promoting educational content that will help convert visitors into real leads.
- Driving lead gen and sales – Having an influencer promote landing pages for your valuable content is a great way to direct qualified traffic to the right place. That extra push from an industry leader is likely to have some sway, and once those visitors convert into leads, you can nurture them along in your funnel with other relevant content that meets their needs.
Defining Your Influencer Marketing Goals
The Twitterverse is humungous! Setting some parameters before you dive in will help organize your efforts and keep you from being overwhelmed.
First, as with any component of your marketing strategy, it's critical to define your target audience. On which verticals do you want to focus? Start with one or two priorities, and then expand as time permits.
Then select the type of people you think could help your cause and that could also potentially be interested in you. What's in it for the influencer? A mutually beneficial relationship is optimal.
Finally, what are you hoping to get out of your influencer marketing efforts? If all three of these considerations mesh with each other, it's time to make it happen!
Discovering and Engaging with Influencers
Now that we know why we want to engage with influencers and the types of influencers in which we're interested, how do we go about it? Consider the following strategies and tools:
- Create Lists in Twitter – Twitter has a free Lists tool that can be used to find and monitor influencers, source content, and track topics. By utilizing the search bar and filters, the world of influencers is at your fingertips!
- Access monitoring features – Take advantage of the tools within the social platform you already use to find and track influencers. Each tool works differently, but the strategy is similar: search for and track Twitter users based on the criteria that match your influencer marketing parameters. In HubSpot, for example, you can set up social media streams that highlight influencers.
- Use influencer-specific tools – For example, Klear allows you to search and sort influencers across Twitter (Instagram & Facebook, too)! The coolest features require a paid subscription, but that includes the abilities to not only create lists but manage outreach and track ROI.
Once you’ve found influencers that could have a great impact on your marketing, let’s start building those relationships!
- Following, reading, liking, retweeting, replying – This is an important first and ongoing step. This helps you get to know the influencer and will allow you to tailor future communication. When a post resonates with you, especially when it’s about a topic your company focuses on, retweet or reply to the post to showcase your expertise! This opens up the possibility for two-way communication, builds awareness, and grows your thought leadership.
- Send direct messages – If you have a message that warrants private communication, consider a DM. To increase the likelihood of a reply, Daniel Knowlton with Content Marketing Institute suggests being creative, by sending a video or a Boomerang.
- Use "Mentions" when relevant – Tag influencers when sharing content IF applicable and mutually beneficial. Mention overkill will be a turn-off, so make them count. You may get a retweet! Again, this tactic should be used sparingly.
- Hire them – That's right, hire them! Paying an influencer in your space to contribute to your content and promotion goals is a legitimate and smart way to ensure your influencer marketing strategy gains traction.
Be sure to consider incorporating influencers into your Twitter marketing strategy as a long-term initiative. At the heart of influencer marketing is relationships, and those need to be nurtured over time. Whatever strategies and tactics you employ, be sure to revisit and engage often.
For more tips on engaging with industry influencers, check out our article How to Find Bloggers in Your Industry – and Interact with Them! Have other tips? Share in the comments below!