Once again, the game of
influencer marketing is changing. In recent years, I have met quite a few very
interesting and successful people called social media influencers. They are
regular people who, over time, have cracked the code and become top
influencers. Following them I have seen how the world of influencers is
changing as it matures.
This column is written for
two groups. Influencers and the companies who work with them.
Let me explain several key
points both need to understand. I know quite a few people who have become very
valuable to the companies they work with as influencers. Some help spread the
word about their new products, services and brand building.
Secrets ultra-successful social media influencers
Companies who work with
influencers, typically work with a wide variety of them because each has a
limited scope. Even the best only has tens of thousands or even hundreds of
thousands of followers. And these followers can all be different.
So, it’s not only best to
work with a number of key influencers to your industry, but it is just as
important to work with important industry influencers who work with all
The reason is simple. If
they are specialized on a particular industry or segment, it makes sense to
work with them, even when they work with all the competitors in a space. If you
are not part of that list, you lose.
General influencers vs. specialty influencers
There are general
influencers and specialty influencers. You can and should work with both. It is
fine if you want to be the only company of your type with a general influencer.
However, when dealing with
specialty influencers that focus on an industry or sector, it helps you when
you to play a role even if they work with your competitors.
Here is another difference.
There are two different groups. Some people are influencers first and foremost.
Others are experts in their field first and then are influencers as well. As a
company, while there is an opportunity to work with both, it is important to
understand the differences.
I have learned some
important lessons about this world. I found valuable ways to expand my reach.
As a wireless analyst or telecom analyst and columnist, I have continually
grown my own list of followers in the last couple years.
So, how do I reach millions
of people when I Tweet? I have made many friends and we re-Tweet each other’s
postings. That simple reality can turn you into an influencer powerhouse as
Many of the people I share
Tweets with have tens and hundreds of thousands of followers. So, when I Tweet,
my message can be seen by countless followers.
You can do the same thing.
Partnering and sharing is one key secret that ultra-successful influencers
share. One by one make introductions to other powerful influencers and help
Partner with other successful Twitter, LinkedIn
Another interesting change
as the world of social media influencers continues to grow is this. Yesterday,
this space was called influencer marketing or influencer relations. It was a
larger and more generic space. Think of it like a big pizza, with no slices.
Today, it is splitting up into segments like a pizza with slices.
Today, the game of
influencer marketing is also getting smarter and more focused. If you do not
keep up, you could find your impact reduced. This is a constant process. As
this world continues to grow and mature, this world continues to change.
That means to remain
successful in the world of influencer marketing as both a company and as an
influencer, you must stay in tune with the constant changes. You must ride the
change wave, or it will pass you by and leave you behind in the dust.
Another difference is today,
there are generic influencers and targeted influencers. Targeted influencers
are becoming an important key to success in this field, both for companies and
for influencers themselves. It’s all about focus.
Wireless influencer marketing is its own segment
We are seeing specialists
focused on their areas of expertise. Example, as a wireless analyst and telecom
analyst, first I focus on the wireless and telecom industry. Sure, my coverage
is much wider than this and includes things like AI, IoT, the cloud and much
more, but let’s stick to wireless and telecom so I can explain the changing
world of influencer marketing.
Knowing I am an analyst
first, often companies want to work with me as an influencer as well. What they
really want is to reach my growing audience or the people I interact with in my
columns and on social media like Twitter and LinkedIn.
This is where you must stay
alert and stay up to speed. You must protect your professional standing. And
you must also always do the right thing.
I have been a columnist and
trusted voice in the industry for more than 30 years. That means I have been a
trusted influencer since the days before this segment even had a name.
I have always guarded my
reputation as an analyst very closely. I have walked away from more new
business than you can imagine. I must maintain my objectivity and my value to
the marketplace and to companies who work with me as a consultant or advisor.
Companies know most of my
followers are interested in what I have to say about things wireless and
telecom. So, if they are also in the wireless or telecom space, it’s only
natural to want to work with me on this.
Balancing act every influencer must maintain
And that is the balancing
act every influencer must be very careful to maintain. You must always maintain
Once your credibility is
blown, the game is over. So, you must guard your image in the marketplace with
truth and objectivity.
That being said, if you like
a company, a brand, a product or service, you are able to share that
information with the world as an influencer. Everyone has opinions and sharing
them as an influencer on social media is quite common.
Choosing the right influencers to build brand
You can see how building the
right team is so important. Teaming with the right influencers can be
so important in building your brand awareness. Taking this one step further,
working with key influencers is even more powerful and important.
Finding your key influencers
is always the hard part. But this is the way it has always been. Companies must
be picky in finding and working with the right people for them.
Some companies make a
mistake and only work with influencers who won’t also work with their
competition. While this sounds good in theory, it does not make sense in
reality. They are short-changing themselves.
The bottom line is this.
Some influencers are less powerful. So, you can take this approach with this
Don’t avoid key influencers who also work with
However, there is a smaller
group of key influencers. These are the people every competitor in a space
needs to work with. Even if they also work with your competitors.
The reason is simple. Their
opinions have weight in the marketplace. They are valued by the marketplace.
Their working with all competitors gives them a unique and valuable
And you always want to be on
the right side of the tracks with this group. I have learned from countless
discussions with key influencers, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
That’s the game of
influencer marketing. It’s like a knife that can cut both ways. Since you must
participate, then you must do it right.
It’s becoming more
important. It’s changing and it’s becoming more difficult to find the right
influencers to partner with. But if you can do that both as a company and as an
influencer, you can be very successful.
If you do it right, there are many reasons this can be a good way for your company to grow. The world of influencer marketing is continually changing, and you must stay ahead of the change wave. If you can do that, you can be one of the winners whether you are an influencer or a company that works with them.