Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH — Benefits of building relationships with twitter influencers

TODD SMITH — Benefits of building relationships with twitter influencers



Do you notice who is sharing, replying to and engaging with your tweets the most? Or the people you’re connected to within your industry, which have huge followings that can’t wait to hear the latest?

Twitter can be a great tool for influencer marketing – building relationships with influential, targeted individuals or brands. Here are five reasons why you should consider seeking out and connecting with your own Twitter heavy-hitters:

1. Increase your reach – If you build strong relationships with influencers on Twitter, they might become fans of your brand and start spreading the word. Imagine sending a tweet that is not only seen by your 1,500 followers, but by the 150,000 followers that a Twitter influencer within your industry has. Each time an influencer retweets you or engages with your tweet, you increase your reach and exposure. And by developing real relationships with these influencers, you can ask them to write product reviews, send sponsored tweets or more to augment your marketing efforts.

2. Know your audience – Connecting to the right influencers can actually provide you with some great audience insights. Beginning by identifying influencers within your industry, you can explore who they are connected to for ideas of what your target audience is like on Twitter. Check out who they follow, who follows them, and – possibly most importantly – the lists they are part of and have created. These will all offer up a different slice of your potential target audience, which you can examine one-on-one or in the aggregate using analytics tools.

3. Earn trust – By aligning yourself with trusted influencers, your brand will be perceived as more trustworthy itself. Typically, consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations more than they trust messages sent directly from brands – so if you are connected to influencers who share your message, consumers may trust your brand more. Of course, this strategy relies on a number of caveats. First, you must be connected to the right influencer: someone who is trustworthy and whose values align with both your brand values and the values of your target audience. And second, the influencer must genuinely want to share your brand’s message, because they feel it will add value to their followers’ lives. Otherwise, the endorsement will be hollow and may backfire.

4. Inform your content – Simply identifying influencers in your niche or industry can help you brainstorm content for your own marketing efforts. Take a look at what they’re sharing and writing about. What’s trending? What’s controversial? What’s new? Influencers are often the first to share news or opinions within an industry, so following their example could be a fruitful strategy. Just be sure to use their content as inspiration – not as a carbon copy!

5. Meet new connection – By reaching out to influencers, you can find new connections, leads and potential partnerships. Many influencers will be happy to introduce two people or businesses within their network that they feel could be mutually beneficial to one another. By becoming part of an influencer’s network, you may be able to find new and interesting connections.

U.S. advertising spending falls 4 percent in first quarter

U.S. advertising expenditures dropped in the first quarter, as budgets declined among eight of the 10 biggest-spending industries, according to a new report from advertising tracker Kantar Media.

Total U.S. ad spending fell 4 percent in the first quarter versus last year to $37.4 billion. Excluding the impact of special advertising events like 2014’s Sochi Olympics, spending was down 2 percent, Kantar Media said.

The report comes as many big companies reevaluate their advertising spending and agency structure in an effort to cut costs and navigate the complexities of the digital ad market. Spending by the top 10 ad-spending companies dropped 10.6 percent in the first quarter, according to Kantar Media. Marketers like Procter & Gamble Co., General Motors Corp. and AT&T Inc. were among those that cut back, though many big brands did spend on TV ads for the Olympics in 2014, which exacerbated the declines.

The automotive industry – which doled out the most for advertising – spent 11 percent less in the first quarter. The second-largest spender by category, the retail industry, lowered its spending by 9.6 percent, according to Kantar Media.

The report tracks spending in traditional media like television, newspapers and magazines. While the report includes digital display and search ads, it omits digital video and mobile ad formats, which are increasingly important categories for advertisers.

According to Kantar Media, spending on cable networks grew 4.1 percent, largely due to the fact that networks are packing in more ad time into their programming to make up for ratings declines. In some cases, networks have even sped up shows or reduced the amount of time they spend promoting their own programs. Excluding the Olympics, spending on broadcast television was flat.

Spending on newspapers fell 15.4 percent while magazines fell 8.7 percent.

Millennials now outnumber boomers

It’s finally happened: Millennials are taking over the country.

Millennials, or those born from 1982 through 2000, now make up more than one quarter of the U.S. population (83.1 million), exceeding the 75.4 million Baby Boomers who were born from 1946 through 1964, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

They’re also more diverse than any generation before them – 44.2 percent of American Millennials are part of a minority race or ethnic group, according to the estimates.

In fact, the whole U.S. population is more racially and ethnically diverse. A total of 37.9 percent of Americans identified as minorities in 2014, up from 32.9 percent in 2004.

Another milestone: In 2014, those younger than 5 years old “became majority-minority for the first time, with 50.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group,” according to the estimates.

“Majority-minority” refers to when less than half of a population are non-Hispanic, single-race whites.

The U.S. as a whole is expected to become majority-minority by 2044, according to another report from the Census Bureau.

Fired Mic | NBC axes Donald Trump after vitriolic immigrant remarks

Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants have yet more consequences: NBC dumped his beauty pageants and reiterated he will not be in The Apprentice anymore.

The network, which had been under pressure to fire Trump since Univision announced it would not air the Spanish-language version of Trump’s Miss USA Pageant, said in a statement “respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”

“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the statement said.

“To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Apprentice on NBC” because he has announced he’s running as a Republican candidate for president.

Trump announced he’s running for president in a rambling kick-off speech that included his plans to control illegal immigration: He said he would build a “great wall” and make Mexico pay for it because Mexico is “sending” people who are rapists, drug dealers and criminals, and a few ‘good people,’” too.

Trump – and his bombastic brand – has always been controversial. He seems to be even more vitriolic as he lights the fuse to a presidential run. Gaffes like these, however, could render this presidential pyrotechnic a dud in the end. For that, the Donald gets a Fired Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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