Influencers. Your audience respects them and flocks to them. They shape conversations and drive trends around your industry. And if engaged the right way, they can do the same for your brand, too.

So, how do you find the right influencers for your brand? How do you even engage, let alone recruit, these authoritative figures that hold sway over your audience? These are just some of the questions we grappled with while building the Influencer Marketing component of our platform.

We started by looking at standard metrics like follower count, follower-to-following ratio and share count to gauge their clout but that only solved half the problem. We realized unless we segmented influencers further by behavior, we couldn’t answer the key Influencer Marketing questions every marketer asks, like:

  • Who is helpful for brand awareness vs brand loyalty?
  • Who is helpful for audience engagement vs audience growth?
  • Who is helpful for content distribution vs content production?

 

So, we put our Engagement Marketing Platform through its paces. Which is basically saying, we watched it guzzle gazitabytes of data, apply complicated math and techwizardry, and spit out recommendations of all sorts. What we saw was nothing short of spectacular.

So, without further ado, here is a look at six different influencer personas segmented by their primary behavior on Twitter. Also, sprinkled in are helpful ways to win the hearts of these influencers and the minds of your audience along the way.

Curator

curator

First up, we have The Curator. This influencer type has built a dedicated following by curating only the best in a particular area of interest. Curators are very choosy and take pride in not just the quality of their finds but in being the first-to-find. They are the ideal torchbearers for your content but only if they like the cut of your jib.

Case in point: Mark Mulligan commands a following of 10,000+ music industry enthusiasts. And a quick look at his timeline will tell you that he curates the best of the industry’s updates from a variety of sources.

How can you engage with them

Offer them your finds in your mutual areas of interest. Engage them through meaningful responses to their tweets. If you have traction-worthy content, share those with curators first before you go all out on that big promotional spread. Put your best foot forward with this type. Always. The key is to be able to pass the bar of quality that curators maintain in their posts.

Pro-tip: Begin by sharing breaking news-type content with them and never stop doing that.

Retweeter

retweeter

Next in line – The Retweeter. Prolific networker, and sharer of anything that interests them, retweeters, er, retweet. A lot. The type-opposite of curators, they have varied interests, and go through a typical day retweeting a generous number of posts from a variety of sources . If you have mixed bag of offerings for a wide range of audience segments, this type is most likely to be your BFF.

Case in point: Chez Violette commands a following of 10,000+ DIY fashion enthusiasts. And her timeline is filled with generous retweets of inspiring links from Etsy, Pinterest, and eBay.

How can you engage with them

Retweet a lot of their content and they most certainly will reciprocate. Share ample content with them in their areas of interest. Call their attention to a hashtag that you have started or participated in. Explore paid retweeting with them. Of course, as with a curator, don’t shy away from a shoutout when they do retweet you.

Pro-tip: Keep sharing your branded content, even if dated, on a regular basis. As long as it fits their areas of interest, you’re golden.

Responder

responder

Time now for The Responder. The representatives of this type are high on engagement, high on real-time tête-à-tête, and are the most likely to keep an open line with you. Topical by nature, responders are motivated by conversations that can cut through the noise. Once you have their attention, they will introduce you to their audience in their own charming ways.

Case in point: Marc Andreessen has always been a force in the tech community but on Twitter, he is even bigger. When he wakes up on Twitter, every one of his 288,000 followers gets a chance to talk to him, even if you make cat posts.

How can you engage with them

Look out for a lot of @replies to spot a responder. Find out what they are talking about and jump right in. Staying current on shared interests and engaging them in real-time is the best way to get their attention. Contribute original ideas and opinion but also ask them for theirs. Collaborate with them on dedicated discussions and Q&A sessions for their community.

Pro-tip: Organize a tweetchat around a topic of their interest that overlaps with your brand themes. If you get them to participate,  the brand mileage you will gain is incomparable.

Original Poster

original_poster

Thought leaders, very creative, opinionated. Original Posters. With just 140 characters and an image, these influencers can turn their communities abuzz. Original posters prefer crisp posts of their own thoughts over sharing links to editorial content. Their followers love them because they share original, inspirational, and quick-to-consume content.

Case in point: Aaron Levie, Box’s CEO, is the de-facto king of Silicon Valley humor. And when Microsoft reciprocated creatively, he made sure that his followers and Microsoft got to appreciate the creativity.

How can you engage with them

This type is tricky to engage with. Begin by identifying the themes of their posts and retweet those that have significant overlap with your brand’s. Engage them with equally creative responses. Much like curators, they appreciate shout-outs.

Pro-tip: Humor. Measured humor. Yeah.

Promoter

promoter

Promoters are serious brands in their own right. They are usually thought leaders in a specific industry. Much like original posters, they stick to producing opinionated content of their own but their tweets mostly contain links to their own publications. A kind word from a promoter about you can convert your audience into buyers and buyers into advocates.

Case in point: Bruce Schneier is a renowned security technologist and author. He commands a following of 64,000+ security enthusiasts on a Twitter handle that is just an auto-feed of his blog. And the blog covers a wide range of topics from companies, publishers, and research papers.

How can you engage with them

Identify overlaps between them and your target audience. Reference them appropriately in your posts. Explore an opportunity to publish a survey or a research study with them. Joint marketing campaigns are your sweet spot. When they do mention you, toot that horn as much as you can.

Pro-tip: Try to approach them through other sources based on the overall value you offer to the industry. Don’t waste their time trying to build an online relationship with them. 

Reciprocal Followers

reciprocal_follower

Reciprocal Followers follow you because you follow them. The sweet thing about them is they are not haughty enough to not follow you back or drop you off after a few days. Their strength lies in numbers. So, if you are just starting out on Twitter and need to seed your presence with a pool of followers, you start here.

How can you engage with them

Just following them is enough to begin. They will follow you right back. Remember to thank them when they do and say something nice about one of their posts or bio or photos. Do this well enough and a flock will become a horde in no time.

Pro-tip: Be nice to get nice.

So, there it is. This list is by no means exhaustive but it does capture the key social personas with the maximum potential to bring your audience, content and brand together.

It is important to note that brands can’t have the same set of influencers for life. The right influencer depends on the kind of results that your brand wants to achieve at any given point. This could mean playing mix-and-match with the types above in your influencer marketing strategy with all of them converging to one single goal.

Epictions is building an enterprise platform that will encompass these and more such advanced marketing techniques and deliver them as readymade actions you can take with just a click. If you would like to know more please do contact us through e-mail or Twitter.

In closing, bear in mind this piece of sage advice from Doug Kessler when influencing influencers.

Doug Kessler On Reciprocity

Doug Kessler On Reciprocity/Brian Feldman/Feldman Creative.

 

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