Find and Tie Opinion Makers

Influencers can have a positive impact on the reputation of a provider and speed up their products, brands or services. How to track opinion leaders and work for them.
Influencers are people who enjoy a high reputation or are in the limelight and for these reasons have a guiding function. They are elites, authorities, experts, scientists, respected politicians, lobbyists, mentors, entrepreneurs, journalists, book authors, investors, analysts, celebrities, well-known athletes, trendsetters, thought leaders and recognized creators.

This does not necessarily require a high status, but rather counts the extent to which a person can pass on messages to a larger number of people and thereby influence their opinion. In the local communities, pastors, teachers, class leaders, club chairpersons, fitness trainers, hotel porters, hairdressers, bartenders, secretaries, doctors, taxi drivers, driving instructors and so on can be influencers. Much of the influencing will still happen offline. However, online is the future, because the high degree of networking and the rapid speed of the Internet make the digital influencing particularly interesting. As influencers, here come mainly forum moderators, A-bloggers, Facebookers with many real friends and fans, Google + users, and Twitterers with valued followers. Such people can strongly shape public opinion and help vendors who value them achieve economic success faster.

Type 1: the relationship-strong multiplier
If one examines influencers more precisely, two types can be distinguished: multipliers and opinion leaders. The relationship-strong multipliers are mainly interested in people, know God and the world, and love the variety. They are enthusiastic, creative, communicative and extremely well connected. They have diverse contacts with very different groups of people and take good care of them. Their hot tips will, therefore, be spread like wildfire in the circle of users. Multipliers thus achieve “width” and fast “hypes”.

Multipliers send a variety of links into the virtual world. They share a lot of content, share interests, tweet and like messages and statements, write comments, give reviews, take surveys, upload videos, and embed these clips. They are open for hands-on activities and are happy to test products. They are motivated to have fun, help shape the world in their own way, serve their network as a tipster, and also feel a little important about it.

Type 2: the influential opinion leader

Influential opinion leaders are primarily interested in information. They have a wealth of detailed knowledge in their field and are happy to advise others. In their environment, they are highly valued as experts. They ensure trust, complexity reduction, time-saving and decision-making security. Your opinion is questioned rarely. People fully hang on their words and follow their
instructions almost blindly.

Opinion leaders thus achieve “depth” and can act as effective influencers and highly efficient referrers. They know their power and are demanding. They maintain their reputation and want to be courted. They never allow themselves to be of inferior before the cart. Therefore, such leaders can quickly help their favorites to breakthrough.

Influencers can do that: When influencers scatter a message, that creates …
• Range, because they are famous and know the “right” people. Their network of relationships consists of so-called “weak ties”, i.e. fleeting connections to many people from different circles, as well as “strong ties”, i.e. intensive and influential connections to well-known important persons, who in turn can open doors.
• Relevance, because they spread only suitable in their social network. For what they pass on, they stand by their good name. What is good for them has a hand and a foot. They only feed into the individual networks what the recipients might actually be interested in. Their scattering losses are therefore low.
• Reputation, because they surround themselves only with the special. They position themselves with the things and people with whom they like to show themselves. These are expressions of their self-concept. Therefore, they clarify who they are and of which ‘class’ that is.
Some of such splendor then falls on those who follow them with confidence.
• Results, because the advocacy of influencers shortens decision-making. It reduces the risk of a wrong decision with unpleasant side effects. It replaces lack of knowledge with trust. In other words, influencers provide something that our brains like the most: brain convenience and peace of mind. Therefore, it happens that people orient themselves to those who are in charge.

The opinion leaders, who are active on the web, receive a large number of links from various sides because their well-founded messages are often disseminated. As reach leaders and opinion makers, they have secured a relevant place in their online community. Their influence is great, as
they also bring some media exposure and often act as cite-makers in the press. Above all, the so-called A-bloggers, whose entries are read by thousands daily, have a very high priority in this context.

Search for the right influencers
The search for the right influencers is essentially manual work. The Klout score, which some already consider as a new status symbol, is — like similar indices too — no great help, because it only shows a general influence potential and also covers only parts of the social web. As a marketer, on the other hand, you need precisely tailored and really active influencers fitting your particular offer and communication strategy.

Browse through your own address files and forums, Xing & Co., subject communities, Facebook groups, and other relevant networks. For dedicated online research, it’s best to create a list of keywords that you google. Analyze the content of the experts you found exactly. “The more commercial these are, the more likely it is that you have fallen for a mock giant,”says reputation
expert Klaus Eck. There is another possibility: ask around your area or ask your Facebook friends “Do you know those who have many acquaintances and maintains good contacts with them and the target group?” Or as follows: “Whom would you like to consult … as a leading expert?” In youth marketing, for example, one asks:” Who is the absolute coolest type you know?” Even though much digital is possible today, the right people can be found outside in real life.

The following fictitious example shows what a search ad can say: “The international Word of Mouth marketing agency Buzzer is looking for 500 craftsmen who would like to test the Bosch cordless drill driver Bosch GSR 10.8–2-LI Professional in their daily work. Above all, carpenters, stand builders and experts from the kitchen construction, interior design, and
electrical installation sectors are in demand. The selected craftsmen can try the device for free and then give their feedback. As a tester, you can apply under … “To discuss the experiences made, a special online forum was ready. Specialized service providers can support the search with Internet monitoring programs. They analyze who in the social web talks about certain topics and how often they influence them. There are both quantitative and qualitative criteria that can be used as indicators of the importance of a digital influencer.

Only the combination of all these criteria provides a meaningful analysis. As soon as you have a hit list with names, the fine work begins: create your own personal influencer ranking. Take one step forward and one back. In other words, you are investigating who exactly this person is influencing and by whom they themselves are influenced. The trained eye of a trained network professional is very helpful.

Attracting influencers

Now comes the crucial question: when and how should you address the chosen people?
Depending on the situation, a number of critical aspects must be taken into consideration: exclusivity, discretion, diplomacy, communication skills, timing, and patience. The right mix of these aspects determines whether your potential influencer will feel honored or exploited and whether the collaboration will work or not. No one likes to be stretched in front of the cart as an extended publicity tube. Everyone wants to be a chosen one.

For example, if you signal that the targeted person is one of the very few who are eligible for your action, the interest increases enormously. Before you address the selected individuals and ask for a favor, you should get to know them: at least by phone, better still personally. Moreover, always start with giving: give away positive online comments, links, and likes.

Even exclusive preliminary information is a splendid bait. This allows your influencer to shine in his environment with the knowledge that nobody else has. Do you have anything that the potential influencer can decorate and look good on? Well! Then, the next step is to make the message and everything that belongs to it appealing, and to make it as easy as possible, for example through a ready-made text suggestion. Furthermore, the motivation must be kept high during the action. Therefore, it takes encouragement, recognition, thank-you and regular feedback on how things are going. In addition, what exactly motivates an influencer? This varies from person to person, but in most cases, it has nothing to do with money. Above all, it is reputation, helpfulness, mutual benefit, and popularity.

There is a recognizable trend: men often use the Influencing to express dominance and to strengthen their status. How do women “tick”? Above all, they ensure social bonds through influencing and/or want to be accommodating. In a nutshell: In short, influencing is about being
“someone” or contributing something meaningful.

Tips for choosing the right influencer for you
Clarify the following questions in advance:

Range: how many people can the potential influencer contact? Here you can measure — with caution in front of fakes — the sheer number of fans, friends, and followers.
 Neutrality: to what extent does the influencer have a credible interest in promoting a message? The less advertising is on his blog, the greater is the neutrality.
 Frequency: how often does he have the opportunity to influence others in their decision?
Here counts the number of tweets, blog entries, forum, and Google + posts.
 Expertise: what is his professional judgment to promote the matter? (Examine the quality of his posts as well as the comments.)
 Persuasion: how much does his encouragement lead to an actual decision of a third party?
That depends not only on the usefulness of the content but also on press contacts.
 Commitment: how much passion does he have is involved? Which aspects does he focus on so far, which aspects move him very much?
 Financiability: will his commitment cost anything? If so, what and how much? At least he wants to test the products to be praised. Most want more than a simple “thank you”.

As part of your analysis, give weighted points for each aspect. Then bring the closer-lit individuals into a ranking. Then try to find as much information as you can about your favorite people and their preferences. Perfect preparation is everything!

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