Social media turned the rules of old media upside down. Old media depends on eyeballs to sell advertising. Social media, from a revenue perspective, depends on the same thing. Ask yourself, who do you trust more? An ad or your friend telling you to get involved with a campaign, program, or brand? A friend, of course.

Family, friends, friends of friends – they all impact our decisions to engage. Outside of this immediate concentric circle of trust there’s another important group: influencers.

Influencers have the ability to amplify your content to a much larger audience.

When making a positive endorsement they can add a lot of value to your digital marketing campaigns. The trick when it comes to working with influencers is they have to want to promote what you do. Some can be paid, potentially – like teenage YouTube or Instagram “celebrities,” but the most effective promotional methods are where an endorsement is natural and beneficial for both parties. Nonprofits are at an advantage since you aren’t selling widgets but core values.

Methods for Engaging Influencers

  • Be Positive. In 2013 Facebook experimented with three million users’ News Feeds. Although their social experiment generated a lot of controversy it did demonstrate the value of positivity. Wired noted that:

“Facebook has found that seeing positive posts influences people to post positive updates, seeing negative posts influences people to post negative updates, and that an absence of emotion on their News Feed leads them to post less overall.”

This corresponds to research Dan Zarella did for HubSpot, which found that those with more followers on Twitter used more positive language. People with over 8,000 followers had negative keywords in only 0.5% of Tweets.

Buffer found five ways to infuse your social media updates with positive energy:

  • Positive, upbeat language, and words.
  • Mentioning your audience – it works like a shout out from a stage. It encourages others to join in and be enthusiastic.
  • Ask and answer questions.
  • Cheerful, upbeat images, and quotes.
  • Exclamation! Points!

Would Those Tactics Work With Influencers?

However, influencers are just as responsive to positivity as everyone else. Creating positive content and updates is a smart way to get their attention.

Be the source of content that influencers will start sharing, thus tacitly endorsing your brand or campaign.

Can An Endorsement Be Guaranteed?

Maybe not guaranteed, but certainly you can increase the chances of a tacit endorsement through social media.

  • Keyword Research. Look at keywords, phrase they use, what they like to share, who influences them, who they interact with. Inject your content and updates with keywords which will get their attention. Post this content, either through email or social, at times when they are more likely to notice.
  • Past Interactions. With your CRM plugged into you can examine previous interactions with your super fans. There should be sufficient overlap between key touch points and previous social engagement activities for you to create content which will again get their attention.
  • Say Thank You! Depending on the context and timescales since a previous engagement with your brand you could say thankyou, or engage in some way with them on Twitter or Facebook. A well timed, meaningful mention on social media will usually be reciprocated. Nicole Kohler, content crafter for WebpageFX, found that @ mentions and saying thank you increased her follower rate exponentially – with 25% following back.

Combining context, keywords and simple social pleasantries is one way to make the content you produce go further. As engagement rates go up, so do conversions. The amount you invest in marketing will generate exponential value as key metrics increase.