As far as consumer spending is concerned, social media influencers and online content have a great impact on how and what individuals choose to buy. It is true that marketers create good content in order to engage and persuade potential customers. However, modern consumers are savvy and can also be highly skeptical of new businesses. Likewise, they tend to lose interest and move on whenever something sounds like a blatant advertisement.

Whether you sell health and fitness products, home services or tour packages; just a single positive referral from a “real” and trusted person…or even a genuine review or an engaging video can outperform even the most well-funded ad campaigns. This underscores the importance of building your brand by engaging social media influencers.

The Overall Approach

If a person is influential on social media with an audience or within an industry, it follows that their audience already trusts them. Influencers can impact an audience because they may have already proven or earned their credibility by building trust with their audience – over time.

Your task as a brand is doing what it takes to turn these influencers into your own army of social advocates, which will enable you to tap into a new audience and instantly gain their trust, by way of your association with the influencer. Here are a few crucial steps that you should keep in mind prior to attempting to approach social media influencers to help improve your branding:

1. Spend Your Time Looking for the Right Influencers

This is without doubt the first and most important step to finding social media influencers that actually have solid credentials. Believe it or not, not all social media influencers carry the same level of validity you might assume.

Therefore it is important that you are able to easily identify and analyze influencers so that you don’t end up wasting your time by talking to the wrong ones. Among the factors that you should be looking at to help you find the right influencers include:

  • Their relevance to the industry
  • Their overall level of engagement within the given community
  • Their responsiveness to the community
  • Their visibility in the field

2. Become an Active in the Influencer’s Online Community

Becoming an active member of the influencer’s community is another way to get buy-in from social media influencers. This can come in the form of commenting on their blog posts, retweeting their tweets or etc. The key to making it work is making sure that you’re connected with the influencer through his social accounts; especially LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Remember to share their content on your accounts and also tag them whenever possible in order to make the connection more clear.

3. Build the Relationship First

Your influencer will naturally begin to build your brand and you will not even have to ask. Therefore, it only makes sense for you to build your relationship with himfirst before you broaching other topics. So remember that an introduction should just be that – an introduction. This means that it’s best not to ask for anything in return. Instead, just focus on building and maintaining your relationship and the opportunity for them to endorse your brand will inevitably follow.

Building your brand by associating with social media influencers is not an easy task. However, if you are patient enough to persist, it can provide huge dividends down the line. So if you remember nothing else – do not give up!