My family moved to Hawaii when I was in the 7th grade. We lived on the south side of Oahu and across the street from Ewa Beach. I never learned to surf, although I did try several times. I just loved spending hours out on the water watching surfers catch wave after wave. The “Golden Hour” was the best time to be out there. Right at sunset.
When the waves died down, many of the surfers would head in to party on the beach or go home, but those who had the patience to stay out on the water, were often rewarded with more big waves.
I think of this every time I go to a movie and insist on sitting in my seat until every last credit has rolled across the screen because I have been rewarded with seeing great bloopers or shorts that the filmmakers put at the end as a gift to those who were patient. (I know there are websites now that will tell you if the movie has anything worth waiting for, but I never check. I sit and wait, mostly to torment my family.) Here is one of the best from Monsters Inc.
Right now, a lot of surfers have paddled back to shore and are heading in because their business has slowed or come to a complete stop during COVID-19. During tough financial times, many people cut all marketing and then they sit complaining that their business has been killed by the crisis. I want to urge you… stay on your board. Stay out in the water. When that big wave comes, and it will, you want to be out there in front ready to ride.
Here are 3 Things You Can Be Doing on Social Media While You Wait for That Wave to Come:
1. Start showing up on your social channels via LIVE video.
Whether it’s Instagram LIVE, Facebook LIVE, YouTube LIVE or even Periscope (to go LIVE on Twitter). Go LIVE! (If you have been approved by LinkedIn earlier in 2019 you can go LIVE on LinkedIn as well)
LIVE streaming allows you to connect on a different level with your audience. It is where you are actually CONNECTING personally, not just promoting or sharing information. Sure you can (carefully) promote or share information, but when you’re LIVE you can actually have conversations with your audience. Answer their questions. Call them by name (which often freaks people out because they suddenly feel EXPOSED as if they were suddenly put on camera in their underwear) and let them know you see them. Use a tool like StreamYard to add branding elements and be able to have multiple people on screen together.
Don’t just go live once. Schedule a live broadcast at least once a week. If you can pick the same day and time it will help others start to expect it and even put it on their calendars. Be there for your community. Ask how people are doing and what you can help them with. If you are wanting to promote something, make sure it is something that would be truly helpful to them at this time.
I was listening to a podcast by Mark W. Schaeffer and he said communicating with your community during a crisis is like being at someone’s funeral. It’s great to ask, “What can I do to help?” but it’s not ok to ask, “Would you like to buy my latest book?” Be wise and be considerate of what people are going through in these difficult times.
2. Make sure you are staying active on your social channels daily.
You might think you don’t have anything to say right now, or that you don’t want to be promotional at a time like this. When we say show up, we mean share helpful and interesting content daily. Maybe it’s a poll, asking your audience what books or podcasts they are enjoying right now. Maybe it’s a tip that most people don’t know.
Ask how you can help. Ask how people are doing. Share what you’re doing to stay active or what you are learning during this time. Write down the top FAQ’s that you hear about your industry and answer them one or two a week. There are so many ways you can show up right now. Stay out there and be visible.
3. Go through your older content and look for ways to repurpose it.
Do you have a blog that lists several tips? Perhaps you can elaborate on it and turn it into a helpful tip sheet to use as a lead magnet. Can you take a topic you wrote about years ago (or months ago) and create a new video or podcast on that topic with a fresh twist? Make a commitment to reviving one old piece of content a week. You probably have a treasure trove of content. [check out this old blog post of mine about mining your attic to repurpose and create new content].
This is the time to be planning, stay active, and watch the horizon. You should already start to see the swell happening. If you are staying in front of your audience and offering helpful tips and resources, you can bet this is going to be a great ride … perhaps your best GOLDEN HOUR yet!
When you hear the word influencer what comes to mind? Kim Kardashian? Peyton Manning? When you think about using influencer marketing for your business do you immediately think it would be cheaper to run a 5-second commercial during the Super Bowl? Let’s look at what an influencer is and how you can employ influencers into your 2020 marketing mix.
Definition of Influencer
First, you need to realize that we are all influencers at some level. Your children are influencers of what you buy at the grocery store. You may influence your coworkers or social media audience to try an app or software that you recommend. The number of followers that show under a profile pic does not define an influencer. An influencer is someone who can persuade a group of people—large or small–to take action.
A micro-influencer is someone who has authority in their field but may not be a celebrity. Like the woman who runs a large networking group in your city, or the mom blogger who has several thousand fans reading and engaging on her blog but not millions…yet. The outdoor enthusiast or local tennis star that has a great following on social media but isn’t selling a course or product…yet!
Identifying the Ideal Influencers for Your Brand
Who are your ideal customers? Have you really spent the time identifying them specifically? If so, here are a few questions to answer to start identifying your ideal influencers:
1. Do you know what other products, services, and places your ideal customers love?
2. Who are the leaders in your industry that people trust that may not even be selling anything?
3. Who is writing informative or educational articles that people share but who are not directly competing with you?
An example I will use is in marketing our coworking space, The Village. My target audience is entrepreneurial women and small teams working remote. They are 30-55 years old. These women are attending networking events for entrepreneurs, they follow blogs about working from home or working on remote teams. Many juggle working from home with raising families and may read Colorado Parent’s Magazine.
Building Relationships with These Influencers
There may be times you need to just pay for an influencer to promote your fitness product or a big launch. There are websites to help you identify, select and measure the success of the campaign. Some of the sites show the fee that the larger influencers will charge. Most paid influencers will have a page on their website showing their fees and what you will get for that fee.
You can check out sites like Social Bakers and Upfluence to look for those higher-paid influencers, but I want to talk about those micro-influencers who just might make a bigger impact for very little, if any payment. Let’s look at the steps to establishing a relationship with your list of influencers and incorporating them into your marketing strategy.
Find each of your influencers on the social channels you want to attract your customers. Connect or follow them and read through several of their posts. Don’t look like a scary stalker liking and commenting on every single post but select a few that truly resonate with you and post a thoughtful comment. We love using emojis in the comments to get the comment to stand-out (other than the flame and 100% ones which just scream SPAMMER).
I may sound a little like the character played by Will Smith in the 2005 movie, HITCH but some of you may need a “dating expert” to be very specific with you. So after commenting on a few posts, wait a day or two and then send a DM to each of your target influencers, not to introduce yourself and talk about how awesome your product or service is, but simply to thank them for sharing helpful or interesting content and give an example of something in their post you really found helpful or interesting. [more on being LIKEABLE here]
Watch their feed for interaction and engagement. Who is engaged with this person? Are they the type of people you have in mind as your ideal customer? Pay attention to the types of conversations your influencer prospect is having. Is he or she mentioning other products? If you spend time courting an influencer and all of their fans are not your ideal customers, you are barking up the wrong tree.
What to Pay Your Influencer, If Anything
Keep engaging daily or at least a couple times a week, so you are coming up on their radar. If they have not already replied back to you or thanked you for all of your interaction, send a second DM asking if you can send them something to get their opinion or thoughts. Let them know that you feel, based on their expertise, their input would be so valuable to you.
Based on their response you may find that sending a product or goodie basket is all you have to “pay” to have them talk about your brand. You can also offer an affiliate’s commission to your influencers, in which case you will want to set up a program to track that on sites like Share-A-Sale, GumRoad, or other affiliate programs that make this easy for you to track and payout commissions.
Whether you pay commission or per blog post they write, be sure to use reporting to track how much traffic is coming from this influencer’s site and how much in sales. You want to make sure your time spent courting them is worth it and aligns with your business goals.
Be In It for the Long Haul
While this process may be much more time consuming than just paying an influencer to pitch your product, it is much more sustainable. Often a paid influencer will mention you once or however long you are paying them, and it can come across as inauthentic. If they are being paid, they will also have to disclose that, causing their audience to see it as an ad, not a true endorsement. If you focus on building a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with your influencers you could live happily ever after!
We’d love to hear from you. Have you used influencers in your marketing? What questions do you have for us?