How to cultivate relationships with influencers

Influencers are so hot right now.

Whether they’re the big-time celebrities, the YouTube and Instagram influencers who have become celebrities in their own right, or the micro-influencers focused on their own little niches, you can’t scroll a social media timeline without seeing a partnership post.

So if you’re a brand, how do you not only work with an influencer, but actually cultivate a relationship with them? We discuss.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

First: How do I find influencers?

Not sure how to find influencers your brand should work with, or even which type of influencer is best for a partnership or campaign with your brand?

We’ve written about this in more detail:

For bonus reads, here’s How algorithm changes will affect influencer marketing and How to measure social influence.

Other important things to keep in mind are that you should have your goals for any campaign or partnership clearly mapped out before you begin, and be sure you and the influencer you’re working with are both extremely clear on what you expect from each other, including how success will be measured.

How do I cultivate relationships with influencers?

Spoiler alert: Influencers are human and as with all humans there is no magic shortcut to developing a relationship. You have to put in the work.

There’s a reason the best way to find influencers in the first place is simply to be active in the social spaces in your industry. If you’re as active as your fans, followers and customers you’ll naturally come to see who the influential people in any space are, and have opportunities to interact with them.

Although interactions as a branded account are different than just as a person (even when you break the fourth wall) the basic rules are still the same: Pay attention and engage in a meaningful way. The more you interact and engage with specific accounts, the more likely they are to be prioritized with the new algorithms in place on most social platforms. This makes it even easier to maintain relationships with influencers.

Aside from that, think about what would surprise and delight you from your favorite brands if they were working with you. Thank you notes? Commenting regularly on their posts? Small “we were thinking of you, thanks for working with us” gifts?

Think about what makes sense for your brand.

A final important point

Be sure you’re explicit in your posts about when you’re just being friendly with an influencer or brand advocate and when it’s part of an official campaign or partnership.

You don’t want the FTC to make an example out of you.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash