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How to make friends with influencers

Corbin Ball explains how planners can use social media ‘influencers’ to create a buzz around their meetings….

Celebrity endorsements have been around since the start of advertising – the movie stars selling perfume, the Nike Swoosh on sports star’s clothing. Psychologists have long realised that people are more likely to buy things if they are pushed by famous people  or ‘social influencers’.

Until recently, this has been primarily through main media channels: TV, magazines, other print ads and other tightly controlled options. This is changing. With the advent of social media, nearly everyone can have their social megaphone. To the degree that individuals can accrue a sizable number of followers, they too can be powerful social influencers as well.

The good news for event promoters is that your influencers don’t need millions of followers. Event promoters can reach very specific market niches with niche ‘celebrities’ with much smaller but dedicated follower numbers (i.e.500-10,000 followers). In fact, they often seem more relevant and authentic than the mega- famous. They are experienced at communicating to their core demographic. In fact, research indicates that people trust influencers much more than ads.

Finding targeted social influencers:

  • Search your follower fans in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and others: They know of your company/organization and it may be easier to convince them to work with you. Of course, the ones with a greater number of followers will have a greater impact
  • Search hashtags: Look for those who have used your event hashtag in the past. Also search Twitter for specific topics. For example, to find influencers in the event technology space, you may wish to search Twitter for #eventtech or #eventprofs. Look for active engagers that have something to say.
  • Search the blogs: Sites such as blogsearchengine.org can help find the major bloggers in your niche market
  • Search LinkedIn: Simply enter in your search phrase in the search box at the top of the LinkedIn page will yield potential influencers. Look for posts, articles and the number of connections to determine suitability.
  • Use social media influencer search tools: There are many tools to help find and qualify influencers. These include: com, Verve.co, Klear.com, and Ninjaoutreach.com

Engage and nurture:

You could pay influencers, but developing a collaboration may be the better route. There are a number of ways that this can be accomplished:

  • Reach out to the influencer to explore common interests. Social influencers, by nature, are passionate about connecting to their followers. If there are opportunities to cross-promote through reposting content to increase visibility on both sides can be an attractor. Sharing their content can be a significant plus for them. But offering them material to share (landing page links), and other content. Be sure that the know you event hashtag as well.
  • Engage the influencer to explore and develop content for the upcoming event. Include them into the planning process.
  • Invite the influencer to the event and give them VIP status making sure that they get a fast-line detail about the event.
  • Give them a platform to provide unique postings. Good photo-opportunities at the event, fresh content, and more.

Give your influencers tools to help:

One interesting new product that can help event ambassadors is Snöball (https://www.snoball.events). This easy-to-use event marketing tool allows them to promote the event while tending to their own digital brand. Snöball generates unique, branded landing pages for each speaker, sponsor, exhibitor, and attendee, populated with their custom information to promote their participation at the event. This gives event professionals access to untapped potential participants and helps increase event brand awareness at scale.