Targeting Brand Influencers to Shape Your PR Strategy

One of the best ways to shape your social image is understanding how to target and influence lead users within your industry. Lead users are people who shape and impact a community’s way of thinking. They are the people whose opinions trickle down through the web and fall in to the laps of your core customers. Learning to target these key individuals is sometimes difficult, but if done effectively can really cement your online PR efforts.

Why Does it Matter?
The truth is, the majority of your online marketing messages aren’t going to be heard coming straight from your business. People talk, influencers shout; according to Forrester Research, “a minority of people generate 80% of the impressions. 6.2% of the online adults generate 80% of the influence impressions. 13.4% of the online adults generate 80% of the influence posts.”

There are a myriad of channels you may look to, to find brand influencers. All you need to search for is somebody with a voice. Twitter followers aren’t the only way you can determine this, but it’s a good start. Klout offers a score to Twitter users based on their reach and influence. Look for people with high network influence, “engagement is measured based on actions such as retweets, @messages, follows, lists, comments, and likes. Each time a person performs one of these actions it is a testament to the authority and the quality of your content. Capturing the attention of influencers is no easy task, and those who are able to do so are typically creating spectacular content.” Be sure to target people, who are influencing within your niche, it doesn’t make sense to target a sports blogger if you are a credit card processing company.

Segment and List
Once you have found your brand influencers, you should find a unique way to engage them. Create a Twitter list of your users. Reach out to them and ask for feedback on your content. Give them a bit of special treatment to deepen your relationship.  If this doesn’t seem sound, monitor Facebook groups that are related to your company. Find people who are admins or consistent contributors. Offer these people some of your services for sharing content or submitting a review. A few shares or retweets from brand influencers could be all that’s needed to shape your PR Strategy.

Don’t Brag
Okay, you’re excited you’ve found brand influencers and you want to share your success story! Not so fast. Boasting about your effective PR strategy will generate bad press. People don’t want to hear about companies scheming to target them, even though it is going on everyday. Peter Shankman, founder of HARO believes, “there could be a potential backlash if you say, ‘we’re going after people because they’re influencers.’ Don’t share the methods of how you’re finding your people because there could be bad press.”

Your PR strategy should be a mix of engagement and voice, targeted to your end users; an easier way of doing this is funneling your messages through brand influencers. So if you are looking for influencers on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs make sure that you treat them well. They might have more influence on your image than you could ever imagine.

A social entrepreneur and writer on all things fresh, Matt Krautstrunk focuses on topics ranging from social media marketing to point of sale systems for Resource Nation; a service that provides expert advice on everything from SEO to pos system purchasing decisions.