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The longstanding rule, “People do business with people they like and trust,” also translates to virtual relationships developed through social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

Social influencers—successful at collecting thousands of likes—encourage online friends to follow their lead in product purchases. And because social media users trust these trendsetter opinions, influencers drive sales and donations.

So, how do you get piece of the promotion pie? Follow a few simple strategic steps. Determine results. Regroup. Repeat.

            #1 – Identify Your Audience

If you sell cars, figure out who the gear heads trust. Food, fashion or fun? Lifestyle social influencers affect expendable income purchase decisions. Pet lovers garner knowledge and entertainment from active bloggers and posters who create fresh, fur-friendly content in photos, videos and information.

            #2 – Follow the Breadcrumbs

Who’s who in your local market is a great place to start. Do homework on anchors, reporters, business leaders, even competitor social media. How many friends do they have? How many followers? Who is leading the pack? Who is making regular appearances in the media, at city chamber events, etc.? Who is influencing opinions on brands, events, products or services? Scroll through feeds. Follow hashtags associated with your product. Patterns will emerge. Remember, some people may purchase followers to make them look more influential than they really are, so make sure to research influencers carefully.

            #3 – You Never Know Until You Ask

Send out invites to key players in the game. Ask them to participate in getting the message out. Identify compensation you are willing to provide. Do not give up after one outreach. Moving and shaking takes up a lot of time. Try firm and friendly nudges.

            #4 – Dip Your Toe in the Pool with an Event

Compensation cash is king, but you may not have to fork out the dough blindly right away. Instead, host an event. Invite social influencers on your list determined to be a good fit. Provide free products or demonstrations with an evening of complimentary food and drink to meet in person and foster a friendship.

Become that friend the social influencer likes and trusts, and it will all come back around full circle.

Not sure how to reach social media influencers? Point Taken can help you create a strategic plan to ensure you are interacting with the right influencers and sending the right messages. Contact us today.

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Point Taken Communications is a Jacksonville, Fla.-based company specializing in public relations, marketing, video production and web design for corporations, medium-sized businesses, small businesses, firms and nonprofit agencies across the country. We increase the return on your investment by managing your brand and messaging across all channels to ensure clarity and consistency. We are a full-service agency built to help businesses and nonprofit organizations promote their products, services and mission to drive more dollars and donations. At Point Taken, you only work with senior-level professionals with a wealth of industry contacts and marketing, PR, video production and web design knowledge who can maximize your budget, guide your marketing efforts and get the job done right the first time.