In this week’s #MarketingMinds chat we dived into the topic of industry influencers. With help from our knowledgeable participants, we were able to discover how professionals successfully find key influencers in their industry, as well as how they measure and maintain successful relationships.

Q1: What are your top tips on finding key industry influencers?

We found that participants identify professionals to connect with both manually and using tools. @matt_hodkinson suggested identifying around 10 high profiles to follow is a good way to start, as we can then keep an eye out for recurring names that feature in their posts. We must however be sure that they are consistently providing content that adds real value.  Another top tip offered suggested the use of the Twitter list feature as a way to quickly ascertain the best influencers to follow in a particular sector. Alternatively, we can monitor subjects that are important to us using social listening tools.

Q2: How do you measure industry influencer’s influence?

Overall, participants felt that influence should not be measured based on the number of followers alone, but quality and the level of expertise of the followers. Moreover, engagement rate should be high, after all what is the point of a one way conversation? Review the influencers page to see whether there are many comments instead of just shares of posts. It was also mentioned that there are tools available that rank influencers by following and the influence of their followers, Meltwater Buzz does just that.

Q3: What do you think motivates brand influencers?

Participants felt influencers are only human and are motivated by excellent customer service and professional relationships. For example, most people are encouraged by being made to feel special, receiving financial rewards and helping each other achieve personal goals. We can do this by providing inside scoops and unseen content that will keep their followers engaged and entertained. Subjects and activities they are passionate about is another area of motivation and shared Vision Value and Passion (VVP) connection was mentioned by @grattongirl as being a commonality among influencers.

Q4: Which is more important Reach, Resonance (engagement power) or Relevance, why?

This question caused some debate in the chat. One participant expressed that all three are necessary, or to put it in their words “you can’t make a vanilla cheese cake without vanilla”. That’s true. Some stated resonance and relevance are most important, as reach is worthless if these two metrics are low.  It was also pointed out that it’s good to analyse reach vs. resonance; our only other option is marketing content so strong that it instigates reach.

Q5: How do you know if influencer relationships have been successful?

Participants were in agreement that reviewing objectives is the best way to see if we have achieved what we set out to do. In addition, we can analyse whether there has been an increase in followers, engagement levels and impressions. Accordingly, if our influencer relationship has been successful, we should see an impact on our bottom line through lead generation. Moreover, we can measure the success of relationships based on whether or not our influence has grown, which comes from continually adding value to others in our sector.

The topic of this week’s #MarketingMinds chat is measuring PR, check out the questions here. Join in and share your thoughts, or watch and soak up the knowledge of others this Friday 16th January at 3PM UK time.