When going down the rabbit hole looking for digital influencers, there are myriad tools to help you judge and rank a potential power broker:
Obviously you should pay attention to the number of followers. But more importantly, you're looking for their "true reach." True reach is a metric for those who engage in two-way communication about a trend or an industry. Get a feel for the writer’s “voice.” See if you share the same mindset.
Examine their command of the space. When your potential influencer communicates with someone else about a particular subject, do they respond in a timely manner and do they appear to be educated about the topic?
Ultimately, the tool for weighing the value of someone’s online voice is simply the soul of his or her communication style. Are they real, believable, and do they seem passionate about what they want to tell you? THOSE PEOPLE INFLUENCE!
We want to follow people who …
- … we can learn from
- … we can mentor or assist
- … are funny
- … are quotable
- … we already like/follow in other social channels
- … we admire or have a fascination with (ie: "celebrity status")
So while the tools above can give you a hint of someone’s social value, it is up to you to determine whether their voice is appropriate for your audience or customer base.
Finally, I need to stress the importance of approaching this type of relationship carefully when you discuss your wants and desires with the other party. Often a successful blogger, or someone with great social klout, will not want you to tell them how to talk or deliver your message. Communicate with a great deal of tact, understanding and contractual ownership if you incentivize a relationship.
After all, a dog can be your best friend and faithful companion – unless they feel betrayed. Then you might find yourself face-to-face with a creature over which you have no control.
What makes someone an influencer to you? How do you influence? I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you think this article was helpful please forward the love to those in the know!