When launching a startup, influencers can play a huge part in catapulting your business to success. What exactly is an influencer? Active users of social media and blogs who have a sizable following– basically, anyone who could easily become a brand advocate or promoter of your business. So how do you convince these valuable influencers to promote your startup? Here are some tips to get started:
Give a little, get a little.
Every social media influencer appreciates a little free publicity, so share the love, especially on social media platforms. Follow their accounts on each of the popular social media platforms and be on the lookout for content they post that your followers would find valuable. When you spot something, share the content on your page, tagging the influencer. On top of sharing, be sure to actively engage on their pages, leaving insightful comments or feedback when they create blog posts or share third party content. All of these actions, although small, work to create a strong relationship with influencers that sets a foundation for you working together in the future.
Let them exercise their expertise.
Show targeted influencers you view them as experts in their respective fields by asking them to contribute to your blog. This doesn’t have to mean asking them to take the time to create a full-length blog entry for your page, just reaching out to them for a quote or an interview will do the trick.
Are you a restaurant owner who wants to boost the number of wedding receptions you host? Reach out to popular wedding planners or florists in your area and ask them for quotes or tips you can use for a blog entry that you are writing about weddings. Incorporating influencers into your own content will help establish your business as reputable, along with increasing your online following.
Don’t be shy.
There’s no need to overthink your strategy when it comes to reaching out to influencers. Sometimes, the easiest way to get their attention is to simply reach out to them directly. Use direct messaging features on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to your advantage. Craft a message discussing how you could help each other and how your brands share similar goals and values. Make sure you create a personalized note to each individual influencer you contact. No response? No problem! Don’t be afraid to follow up via email if you don’t hear back on social media. Be persistent!
Remember how the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the social media world by storm? Create a similar campaign relevant to your startup, and challenge influencers to complete your task on social media. Take a look at The Heart Truth’s 28 Day Challenge to promote heart health awareness as an example of how this approach can be effectively implemented. When The Heart Truth’s 28 Day Challenge commenced many users on Twitter quickly began to use their #MyHeart28 hashtag to promote when they completed different parts of the assignment. Use a similar approach, and ask influencers to participate. When influencers are asked publicly, it will be hard for them to turn you down, so make it easy to complete and creative to really grab their attention!
Look outside the obvious.
As a startup, it may be a stretch for you to get a prominent influencer to promote your business right off the bat, so it’s important to consider the less obvious influencers as well. Try to identify people who are just starting off and building their own following. This way, you can grow together, and have an established relationship right from the start.