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5 Steps to Leverage Social Media Influencers for Events

You might be wondering, what exactly is a social media influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who has a strong online reputation and influence built through his or her social media networks, be it for mainstream or niche fields. They could be experts, hobbyists, or enthusiasts that are passionate about the topics they talk about. Most importantly, people are interested in what they have to share – and their words have weight.

How does this help you with your event?

Well, here are some of the things they could do for you:

  • Build awareness for both your brand and event
  • Create credibility through their influence
  • Sustain and drive interest through the course of the whole event process
  • Engage their audience at different stages to leave a lasting impression

With the right target audience and message, they could expand your potential attendees database and leave a larger digital footprint on social media.

Tyrona Heath, Founder of Spectacled Marketer, has written an extensive article on Influencer Engagement for Event Social Media, which we have distilled into 5 steps that you could follow to better your experience when engaging social media influencers.

1. Define

Define what you want to achieve. Tyrona recommends these pointers to get started:

  1. Social Media Outreach Objectives
    What is it you want to do, and what is your measure of success. This will help establish the entire idea.
  2. Clarity
    Be clear on what you want to achieve with your influencers’ networks.
  3. Reward
    What is the best approach to a mutually satisfying working relationship between you and the influencer? Monetary compensation isn’t necessarily the only option to look into. You could help each other out in other ways – like cross-promotion or other perks.

The definition of your social media campaign for your event will lay the groundwork for the influencers to work on easily.

2. Find

Finding the right influencer(s) for your event is the next piece of the puzzle. With so many to work with, she narrows it down with some guidelines:

  1. Influencer Type
    What type of influencer are you looking for and what is their niche? You can reach the right target audience by deciding on this sole aspect.
    For more information on the types of influencers, Raymond Morin, a freelance web consultant and speaker, wrote a wonderful article on the 5 Types of Social Media Influencers on SocialMediaToday.com.
  2. List
    Create a list of influencers that meet the criteria you have decided on.
  3. Influence & Ranking
    Check out the listed influencers’ ranking on the internet and the level of influence they have. Some data to check would be search engine ranking, number of followers and Klout.com score.

Knowing who and how many to find will save you a lot of time when it comes to approaching them for collaboration.

3. Engage

Engage the influencers, potential attendees and actual day attendees once you have made your decision. Tyrona suggests to:

  1. Generate Buzz
    Create a plan and get the influencers to engage their communities even before the event starts. Generating a strong interest will increase the number of potential attendees and attention given.
  2. Capture Moments
    During the event, take photos and videos to share on social media to keep people aware of the things that are happening live.
  3. Involve
    Get people talking about the event through sharing and #hashtags. People outside the event can get involved as well with the social media you and the influencers create.
  4. Monitor
    Keep an eye on what people are talking about and monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaign. This will allow you to tweak anything on the fly for a better outcome.

With the social media interaction and engagement done, you would have had a much larger outreach and a grown database of people who now know of your event and brand. What’s next then?

4. Feedback

Get their feedback. Not just the attendees, but the influencers as well. You can perhaps have:

  1. Q&As
    Start discussions by posing questions to your attendees and influencers. Be sure to @mention them. Having them respond is a sign of acknowledgement – be it good or bad.
  2. Blog Posts
    Have influencers write blog posts or reviews as post event material. These articles or posts will help sustain the interest level of the event despite it having finished.

Be it compliments or criticism, traffic is traffic. With feedback being generated, you will have more views and impressions that could potentially convert into leads for future events and other services.

5. Maintain

Keep your relationships with the influencers alive – they are priceless. Tyrona advises to stay connected with them by:

  1. Newsletters
    Keep them up-to-date with plans for your future events.
  2. Share
    Return the favour of social media influence. Help share their links and mention them as and when you can. Grow and maintain a lasting connection with the influencers to ensure a happier collaborative experience in the future.

Word of mouth is power, moreso in today’s digital age. A positive (or negative) message can reach millions in a matter of seconds. Build trust between you and the influencers, and you could find yourself reaching out to more people than you could possibly imagine.

We want to hear from you.

If you have ever worked with social media influencers for your events, what was your experience like?

Do share it with us so others can learn from your story.

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