Paul Cheney

B2B Social Marketing: 4 ways to build one-to-one relationships with social influencers

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, the most effective social marketing tactic you can implement is to build one-to-one relationships with social influencers.

 

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What I found to be truly interesting about this chart is the third most effective tactic: posting content on company branded/managed blogs. In other words, the time I’m using to write this blog post would actually be better spent building one-to-one relationships with social influencers in our space.

Of course, because we believe so much in delivering true value to our readers, I’m sticking this one out.

But the chart does leave us asking a question:If building one-to-one relationships with social influencers is so important to a social marketing strategy, how do we do it?

 

How can we effectively build one-to-one relationships with social influencers?  

While we are seeking research opportunities in social marketing, our library of research doesn’t have a lot on the topic of social media.

So to answer the question, I recruited the help of our own B2B Lead Roundtable group. I asked them this simple question: “Anyone have any tips on how to build one-to-one relationships with bloggers, network moderators and other social influencers?”

Here are some of the more helpful comments I recieved:

 

Don’t be phony

When you say one-to-one relationships, if you mean really getting to know them personally, it takes time and effort. Bloggers with any influence can spot a phony a mile away and will respond only to honest attempts to interact with them. Be yourself, be true to your personal brand, and seek out bloggers and social influencers who are truly in your line of interest. Then, yes, follow them, comment on their posts in a way that shows you are really interested. You will slowly build your community but they will be connected in a value-driven way. – Susan Saldibar

 

Prioritize and organize

It is a slow process, but well worth it. You need to prioritize and organize first, there are A LOT of bloggers and influencers out there, and you need to first discover who genuinely engages with their audience and who just tweets out articles.

Once you know who is best to engage with, begin interacting. Follow their blog, comment on articles, retweet and share their content. Connect with them on social networks; follow them on Twitter.

Make yourself available as a resource, help answer their questions and engage with other commenters as well.

You really need to understand the person you are connecting with, and although it takes time, it is great to build a community you can be a part of. – Samantha McCollough

 

Be active

Comment on their posts frequently. Pitch a guest post. Meet up with them at an event and buy them a drink. Rinse and repeat. – Tim Johnson

 

Focus on value for them, not you

I would also look at what you can do for THEM! The best way to get people to engage with you is by helping them. Provide them with content that they can use on their blog. Many blogs welcome outside content (as long as it is educational, not a sales pitch). Good luck! – Katharine Coles

 

Have more ideas on building one-to-one relationships with social influencers? Let us know in the comments …

 

Related Resources:

Social Media Marketing: Cleveland Indians cater to influencers to increase sales 174%

Social Media Marketing: GNC’s strategy for courting online influencers and adding 383,000 Facebook fans

Social Media Marketing: 4 tactics for finding and winning hyper-social consumers

Social Media Marketing: 9 tactics for B2B social channel advertising

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