Easy Ways to Build an Awesome List of Influencers

Building relationships with key influencers in your industry is a smart way to market your business without having to run a costly campaign. People place more precedence on what current customers say as opposed to the brand. As the creator of your product, you will naturally have good things to say. But for everyday people that have many options at their fingertips, it means a lot to have loyalty to a particular brand.

Below are tips for building a list of influencers to benefit your brand.

Build an Initial List

There are a variety of tools available to help you find influencers of your brand such as Traackr, Linkdex, Keyhole, Kred, Klout and Little Bird. Don’t obsess over trying to find every influencer. These tools do a fairly good job of discovering influencers, and some support filtering, managing, engaging, monitoring and reporting as well. With the information provided, build a list that includes the name of the influencer and the URL of their social media account.

Monitor the List

Now it’s time to monitor your influencers. Use Google Reader (found by clicking on Settings, then Reader Settings and then Goodies). Under Goodies is “subscribe as you surf” which allows you to drag the bookmark into your browser to subscribe to a blog. What you’re doing is collecting all of the blog content generated by your influencers into one accessible web page.

Another useful tool is HootSuite combined with Twitter Lists and LinkedIn Groups. (Twitter Lists allow you to segment and filter tweets, while LinkedIn Groups are topic-specific groups that you are a part of.) HootSuite organizes this activity in side-by-side columns, and even works with Facebook to some degree. The purpose of HootSuite is to cut through the noise and see focused feeds that are easy to monitor.

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Refine the List

When you build your initial list, you’ll need to make constant changes to refine it. Your influencers will lead you to other influencers, so you’ll be adding new people to your list on a regular basis. You will also remove influencers because you may have misjudged their level of influence, their values or morals don’t align with yours or they aren’t relevant to your brand. Keep your list short and efficient so that you can focus on loyal supporters.

Establish Relationships

At first, you should listen to your influencers. But over time, you will need to interact with them so that they know their importance. When building relationships, try things like promoting their products, causes and content and commenting on their blog posts. Interact with them on their social media accounts and ask for ways that you can help each other such as by providing guest content or attending an event.

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