Courting an influencer

Trends and insights

Influencer marketing is a hot topic, and rightfully so — the benefits that influencers can bring to a brand are invaluable. Influencers can help your brand reach an untapped audience, and deliver your message through individuals you trust.

Building a relationship with an influencer is key for a successful partnership. But, where do you start? And what do you say?

One way to look at it is by comparing the process to dating, where informal rules protect you from embarrassing yourself and making your crush run away as fast as possible.

The first like

It all starts with the first encounter. As a social media manager, it can seem daunting to reach out to influencers without a formal introduction. Some people I've connected with don't mind getting right to business and chatting about partnerships, while others need more warming up.

Besides, you don't want your first interaction to be solely about making requests. Take the time to lay the foundation for a relationship, and learn about their needs and goals.

It can be as simple as liking a Tweet to show, "Hey, I like what you've got to say."

I was thrilled when London-based blogger and avid Periscope user, @BoopFashionista, joined a Tweet chat. It was the perfect opportunity to get on her radar and start the conversation.

The Retweet 

Once you've let them know you exist, take your relationship to the next step by Retweeting an influencer's content. Sharing their content is one of the biggest compliments you can give. Take it further with a quote Tweet — they'll appreciate the extra exposure, whether you've added an explanation of why you're sharing their content or simply giving them a shout-out. This also helps demonstrate that their content aligns with your brand.

The Direct Message

So now they know you exist, you're interested, and you dig their content. It's time to get bold here and send them a Direct Message. Just like sending that first text message to your crush, you'll want it to be a well-crafted message that's not too forward, but also conveys why you're reaching out.

Don't forget to include:

  • Why you're reaching out
  • What the next steps are
  • Contact information

Remember, Direct Messages don't have to be the last touch point. Feel free to continue the conversation over e-mail if you need to send documents or include other team members. 

The beginning of a beautiful relationship

Congratulate yourself, because you've put yourself out there. You've received a response (hopefully positive but if not, try again from the top), they feel the same way, and are thrilled to work with you.

Now, it's time to define your relationship.

Remember, this is a real person whose personal brand is also in your hands. Being up front about what you expect from the partnership — including how you're measuring success, and what the next steps are — will help mitigate any awkward situations and broken hearts down the road.

I was excited to feature @BoopFashionista's Periscope tips after connecting with her through Twitter.

There are many ways to connect with influencers. The most important thing to remember, and that will help you be at the top of their contact list, is they'll notice when you put in time and thoughtfulness in reaching out.

Have more questions? Follow @TwitterBusiness for more tips, or check out the basics on how to create a campaign.

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