October 18, 2012

growing vineYou’re probably familiar with the 80/20 rule. For example, 80% of your profits will likely come from 20% of your customers. However, this rule breaks down when it comes to the Internet and social media. 80% of the content on the Internet is produced by less than 15% of the people. When it comes to social media, the number is even lower, with 80% of the content being produced by less than 10% of the people.

As a result, you can quickly get your name, reputation, and products widely dispersed throughout the Internet and social media sphere if you get these key influencers to mention you. To do that, you need to grow your influence with these influencers.

Locate the Key Influencers

Before you can influence these people, you need to know who they are. Do a search for your area of influence – or for your customer’s area of influence, if you are doing this as part of your Internet marketing services for them – in influence ranking services such as Klout, PeerIndex, or Kred. Note the names, websites, and blogs of any people who are ranked highly for your area of influence.

Look at services that compile the most influential blogs for your area of influence, such as AllTop. You can also find people who are influencers by searching active LinkedIn groups and Facebook pages for your topic, noting not only who the organiser is, but who are the most active commenters. This requires slightly more research than simply taking the names given to you by a ranking service, but a side benefit of the research is that you may discover groups and pages you want to follow in this process.

Once you have identified between ten and twenty key influencers, you are ready to begin growing your influence with them.

Join the Conversation

Using a feed reader such as Google Reader, you can aggregate all of the blogs of your key influencers. This allows you to see at a glance what topics are hot within your industry. You can also aggregate Twitter streams and LinkedIn groups using a social media aggregator such as HootSuite. Again, the purpose is to easily see what the key influencers are saying.

Once you’ve listened to what they’re saying for a while, and have a sense of the values and culture embraced by each of your key influencers, you can focus on the ones that most resonate with your goals and values. Promote their work with your list, and let them know you’re doing so. Become a customer of theirs. Comment on their posts. Contribute to their groups, pages, or forums. Refer customers to them. In general, present yourself as a knowledgeable, helpful person who is aligned with their values and culture.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy



(Image: MorgueFile)

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