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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Influencer Marketing 101 - Operate Your Influencer Network. Rule 1

Dear reader,

Today, the Metatag Hag and I would like to talk about the tools that will help you operate your influencer network on your way to your a mountain top sitter chair. This will not be a list of analytic apps or a rating of software products - you can find a wide array of those online, well-described and explaining what to do with them. I don't think apps will help you be a one-of-a-kind, highly sought-after product creator. They can only help you optimize your work. When I say tools, I mean the things that will help you get the most out of the influencer network you started building.

By the way, don't think influencer network building is a process limited in time. Once you started, you have to dedicate time and efforts to your old and new influencers all the time. And when you have many, this must be part of your daily routine.

Metatag Hag: For instance, I just Followed a gluten-free network. It has a great follower-to-followee ratio, and who knows? Maybe someday, one of those 12 thousand gluten-shy people will buy this book. God works in mysterious ways, while the ways of social networks can be put to your service.

I will mention a few software products, though, as actual parts of your influencer relations' toolbox.

We will be discussing all sorts of instruments in that toolbox, from personal qualities you need to enhance, to impact measurement tools, presentation and reputation-building, the content you create and distribute as you promote yourself, and  many others.

First and foremost, there is:

Rule 1. The personal approach: do not entrust a machine with something you can do by yourself. For instance, Michael Hyatt, a notable public speaker and leadership expert, recommends this:

"Don’t use an auto-responder. I used to use SocialOomph to thank everyone who followed me and provide a link to my “Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.” I thought I was being courteous and helpful. As it turns out, I was being annoying. This is just more clutter in people’s Twitter inbox. Avoid it."

My point exactly. SocialOomph may be good when you, say, have a quirky greeting you send out every morning. It is also more convenient for auto-scheduling messages than HootSuite, but do you really want to annoy people with the same robotic messages, day after day? I personally use it to do a little one-day-per-week shout-out about my new book or article, every two-three hours, but no more than that.

It's particularly annoying when a certain account spews out a pageful of Tweets - granted, one of them is bound to get your attention, but normally, this automatically makes you want to reach for the "Unfollow" button. Who knows what important Tweet they could bury? I Follow two such spewers, so I know how it feels, and the only reason I don't Unfollow them - please don't laugh - is that both accounts are SEO firms. They also follow me, which is important in my case. So I just sigh and switch windows when I see a spew-out.

Metatag Hag: I also get to read a couple of those spew Tweets, but what's the point? I don't have time to follow links to detailed reasons that make brain tumors more common in men. And if I consumed content for needs other than research, I'd Unfollow everything that annoys me. Just like so many of us do, otherwise we'd drown in seas of information useless to us.

(For those of you who need a bit of explaining on SEO: it's search engine optimization. Plainly put, it's an entire industry dedicated to making your site appear on the 1st page of Google results - and having your ads bring more customers, too). As a friend's friend who works at Media Experts says, "I make those annoying little ads you see on Google."

In a word: don't be a robot. Be spontaneous, be original, modify your signature or staple Tweets/posts. Imagine someone, a top influencer maybe,  who's curious enough to click on your Tweets archive and sees a row of identical messages! There are myriads of such wannabes online, who load their Tweets with "please listen to my songs" or "check out my videos" repeated with the insistence and frequency of a woodpecker torturing a tree.

Don't be Woody. Be Tweety - talkative but demure, and so charming people just stop and stare!

 Always answer with personalized messages even when you receive the standard automated "hi, thanks for following, please like my Facebook page".

Metatag Hag: Right, it can annoy the wits out of you. But hey, you ain't wearing no crown yet, so don't be too proud. Haul butt to the respective page and like it even if it kills you! Then respond with something like "I just liked your page, my name on Facebok is, say, Metatag Hag", if it differs from your Twitter name. Then include the link to your own page. Granted, you'll probably never get your favor returned, but at least you won't look like a pushy door-to-door marketer. Again: you're not hunting followers, you're hunting influencers.

And when you respond in a nice and polite manner, complimenting the other as you go, you won't even have to do the asking - the link is an implied invitation to repeat the nice thing you just did for your fellow influencer. 

That's right - fellow. Never forget you are an influencer, too. And re: "probably never return the favor", my own statistics say that four likes render you one "back-like". 

To be continued...

Thank you!

Anastasia Stratu and The Metatag Hag