Developing Key Influencers

John Hope-Johnstone

Hello my friend, well I took off last weekend and hence no post. I am sure you missed it desperately :)) Because these posts on social media will eventually become a book they are a little longer than most and not filled with numbered lists and “top tens”. For this I apologize they are a little harder to read.

Today’s post is all about developing key influencers.

In social media and Interenet marketing, we tend to speak about “communities of common interest” rather than demographics. Communities can be formed around activities such as; birding, skiing, wine making, creating videos etc. They can also be within forums, newsgroups and message boards. Twitter, facebook and Linkedin are of course full of key influencers and are a rich source.

There are two kinds of key influencers. The first is a key influencer in the platform of choice. In other words a facebook profile with a lot of friends or a Twitterer who dominates the community in which you are interested. Using Twitter hash tags i.e. # is a great way to follow top people in the field. #Socialmedia is a rich source of key influencers for my blogs and seminars. Top bloggers in your community are also a valuable ally in getting out your message.

So, above and beyond the people you know in civic clubs and in the clubs belonging to the community of common interest (such as birding or skiing), social media can provide a rich resource for key influencers.

Now the question is why bother with all the continued work regarding “key influencers.” Well a mention from a key influencer, say David Meerman Scott, in his blog about social media with a link to something I might have said, is huge. It is important not only in the numbers of people that will read my blog but hopefully, if it is sticky enough, they will come back again and again. Another example would be a twitter mention from travel marketing guru Bill Geist  or in his blog or e-newsletter. These all create credibility within the community your are trying to reach.

Here are some of 8 ways (hey, I developed a list), I find my key influencers in the community I write about that of “social media”:

—http://technorati.com/entertainment/glosslip/
—http://search.twitter.com/advanced —
    http://del.icio.us/tag/topic+blog
—http://www.google.com/alerts
—http://stumbleupon.com
—http://aiderss.com
    #social media (Twitter)
    http://www.big-boards.com/
 
Another key source which is often overlooked, is your book store. Many of the top people in any community also publish. So, whether it’s birding, skiing, carousel making, hot air ballooning, or whatever the community is, you may find the top key influencers are published. Also check Amazon.com or Lulu.com because there may be self published books but still from authors with a key influence.

What is the value of a key influencer? First of course, they will interest many thousands additional readers to your social media. Secondly they can sometimes be asked to be guest bloggers on your blog about the community you are trying to attract. Other key influencers may also become community managers.

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