Social Media Marketing 101: Identifying Influencers image influencers 300x208social influencersApproximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of its traffic – by way of content and link sharing.

Those influencers help your business connect with your social community. A study from Forrester Research further reiterates that nearly 13% of U.S. Internet users create 80% of the content that influences people online. The majority of engagement within social networks then, occurs within a fairly small margin of your overall audience.

This makes it even more important to reach the users who are actively starting and participating in conversations around your industry and brand. If you need any further encouragement to focus on influencers: PepsiCo’s Global Director of Digital and Social Media, Bonin Bough, recently called “influencer relationship management (IRM)” the future of digital marketing.

The initial step in creating a marketing strategy incorporating social influencers is identification. You want to connect with individuals who are relevant and interested in what you have to offer. Ideally, they have an established following and credibility within your niche. If you are looking to reach several diverse groups, make sure to target separate groups of influencers.

You can make a list for each social network, or identify users who are influential across many platforms. We recommend taking a close look at Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook (which could become more valuable as Graph Search evolves). Then the next step is research – discover who is sharing what and which type of content is most popular.

In order to encourage outreach on your behalf, you have to offer value. First and foremost, this means your site and social networks are optimized and user-friendly. Bloggers and avid social users will want to engage with you and your products or services if you are presenting trending, quality content. To initiate a relationship with these influencers, connect by way of commenting and contributing. Although it may take patience, offers of exclusivity – such as previewing a report or product – can be helpful.

One of the most well-known social influencer tools is Klout. For more information and a full list, click here: List of Social Identification Tools.

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