27
Jul

Why You Should Include Influential Social Media Users in Your PR Strategy

Marketers have plenty of options when it comes to reaching out to potential customers, but for most brands, social media has become one of the most effective engagement tools. In particular, working with influential social media users is a growing trend.

Connecting with influencers – social media users with large followings – is key to improving your PR strategy and standing out online. Influencers can power up your PR campaigns by raising brand awareness and increasing your credibility. They can tap into target audiences through content that consumers actually want to read.

Why Do You Need Social Media Influencers?

First, consumers trust recommendations from third parties more often than they trust the brand itself. In the same way that you would trust a friend’s recommendation, influencers are the trusted source that connects your brand with customers.

Influencers also have their own built-in audience with their own network of contacts. They can drive traffic to your site, expand your social media reach, and ultimately sell your products and services on your behalf.

Influencers can create relevant content that brings your brand into online conversations surrounding your industry. Therefore, getting them on your side before your competitors is key to the long-term success of your company.

A Growing Market

Some social media influencers have more clout with younger consumers than major celebrities. This is due to the fact that many younger consumers now use social media more than they watch television.

Many experts see influencer marketing playing an even greater role in online marketing campaigns of the future, so now is the time to build relationships with potential brand advocates.

Build Trust With Partnerships

Look at how L’Oreal have worked with social media star Michelle Phan, who has over eight million YouTube subscribers. In her videos, she shows how to replicate celebrity makeup looks, endorsing L’Oreal products in the process.

Partnerships like this are so successful that brands are starting to use platforms like Influenster, a tool that connects potential brand ambassadors with companies through review campaigns and more. As consumers become more cynical about branded advertising, reviews are great for directly promoting products in a more trustworthy context.

Influencers Offer a Great ROI

Apart from the aforementioned benefits, influencers can fit into marketing campaigns you’re already undertaking, so you don’t need a huge marketing budget to take advantage of social media influencers.

You should already have social media accounts that are reaching out to potential customers. Adding popular social media users to your marketing arsenal simply expands your potential influence – with minimal extra effort or expense – that could benefit your company for years to come.

Influencer Marketing Tools Are Readily Available

To take your online marketing to the next level with influencer marketing, you may need to use a few tools to start the ball rolling. Here are some social media monitoring tools you can use to find influential social media users that could benefit your brand:

  • Mention. Find people who are already talking about your brand, and then monitor their activity during subsequent campaigns.
  • Klout. This analytics tool scores social users according to their online social influence, measuring data across all social networks to give you an influencer score you can trust.
  • Hey Press. A simple-to-use search engine that will help you find relevant journalists – and their contact details – so you can reach out to influential writers in the media.
  • BuzzSumo. Search for influencers by simply entering a keyword or phrase. You can then view their website domain authority, number of followers, and other stats.
  • Followerwonk. This advanced Twitter research tool helps you find potential influencers who are already following your brand.
  • Google Alerts. Set alerts for keywords relating to your brand, service, or products to find potential influencers.

In Summary

Some marketers are still hesitant about influencer marketing, but many brands are already benefiting from this powerful digital marketing strategy, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

It doesn’t have to take center stage of your marketing efforts, but the benefits are clear. For minimal extra effort, influencer marketing can quickly build your credibility, boost your visibility, and help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

Karen Selby
About Karen Selby
Karen is Senior Copywriter at Sandstorm Digital FZE. Prior to this she worked for 10 years in Sydney and London for agencies including DDB, TBWA and DMB&B. Some of the amazing accounts Karen worked on included Northern Territory Travel, Sydney Morning Herald, Westpac Bank, Macdonalds, Thomas Cook (travel) Playstation, Bonds clothing, The Labour party, O2 (communications) Absolut Vodka – and countless others.
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