Should Brands Use Influencers for Twitter Campaigns?

Should brands use influencers for Twitter campaigns - Twitter Smarter chat with Janet Machuka - September 19, 2019

Influencer marketing has been a trending topic for a long time now. Whether or not they understand the main aspects of it, marketers all over rush to get on board. But what really is influencer marketing, and what does it entail?

We realized we needed to clarify a bunch of things about this topic. So we invited Janet Machuka, social media strategist and founder of #AfricaTweetChat, to share some ideas and tactics about engaging influencers in Twitter campaigns.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Topic: Should Brands Use Influencers for Twitter Campaigns?
Guest: Janet Machuka
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why use influencers for Twitter campaigns?

The obvious reason is to expose your brand to a larger audience. Every influencer you work with brings along abundant traffic and engagement that they’ve nurtured and earned through years of hard work. They should be someone who knows their followers, and constantly communicates value. This means that you can’t take them lightly. Like Elena mentioned, you shouldn’t be thinking about using them for your benefit. Rather, consider it as a partnership—a mutual interaction that benefits both parties.

When you work with influencers, not only do you broadcast your brand, but you also build a community around your brand. As our guest told us, having influencers endorse you helps generate new leads and business contacts as well.

Influencer campaigns also offer a great chance of going viral. That said, not every campaign needs influencers. As Janet suggested, work with strategists to identify when and how to partner with industry experts.

Q2: Is Twitter influencer marketing appropriate for every brand?

There’s no one right answer for this one. If your audience is on Twitter, and is actively seeking you out for help and engagement, then by all means, go ahead and try influencer marketing for your brand.

Janet gave some good advice: Not everyone’s an expert in identifying the right influencer. Of course, we all need help sometimes. As she said, consider discussing with a fellow business person, a trainer, or a business consultant who can guide you through your campaigns.

Beware, though. Sometimes, even if the strategy is a good idea, the influencer you choose may not be the right person. That’s why, as our friends from Synthesio pointed out, it’s essential that you analyze your industry and the influencer themselves before jumping on the bandwagon.

Q3: How can brand influencers be used to create trends on Twitter?

Before you do anything, ask yourself what Jenifer asked: Do you want to be a trending topic on Twitter or become a trend on Twitter?

When you realize that trending topics are short term and that you’re better off thinking long term, you’ll understand how to choose your influencers. People who consistently communicate with their audience, use unique hashtags, and tweet using industry-specific keywords can help catapult your awareness. When you partner with such influencers, you increase your chances of being seen not only for a short period, but throughout.

As Janet mentioned, you can even ask your influencers to post videos that trace back to your brand. Encourage them to meld your business name with catchy tags and terms so people can easily identify your brand. As long as they’re inviting conversations, you’ll do fine.

When your influencer partners follow some of these tactics, they’ll generate a stream of expectations that your audience will follow through. Over time, it’ll become your signature.

Q4: How can brands pick the right Twitter influencers for brand activations?

Wrong influencers can be disastrous. That’s why you should never rush into a decision about an influencer. As almost everyone in our community repeatedly said, take your time to research every influencer you’re considering.

Janet gave some good ideas: make sure they share the same values as you. Work with people in your niche so you get more credibility, analyze if they have the capability to deliver on time, and understand how they communicate with their existing follower base.

Take every opportunity, not only to observe potential partner influencers but also to interact with them. You can even send them private messages, as Janet suggested, to understand the impact of their work. Do whatever it takes to make a well-informed decision.

Bernie made as good point: Does the influencer care about your brand at all? When you work with someone who’s genuinely invested in your goals and values, you get a more sincere effort from them. Someone who’s only interested in your money won’t offer a whole-hearted service.

Q5: Are celebrities the right pick for a brand’s Twitter campaign?

If their audience is your target as well, then go ahead and partner with celebrity influencers. However, often celebrities aren’t just the right fit. For instance, as our guest mentioned, some of them will have a lot of followers, but in a different niche. Or perhaps, they’ll have a large following without any valid engagement.

That’s when it’s wise to choose micro-influencers. These are people who have a relatively smaller following, but are also highly communicative with their audience. They know what their community needs and they consistently offer high value. As a result, their audience looks up to them, and when they endorse you, appreciates you as a trusted business.

Like Ryan said, partnering with an influencer is essentially building a relationship with them. And it’s important that you find the right person who aligns with your values and skillsets. Celebrity status isn’t as critical as having a sustainable rapport.

Q6: Why is the number of followers of an influencer important?

Is it though? Until a few years ago, a higher follower count equalled a high influence. We all assumed that someone with thousands of followers gets thousands of engagement whenever they posted content. Now, though, we know that follower counts are often masqueraded by bots and spam accounts that mean nothing.

Like Brianne said, even though it’s important to make sure your content grabs a lot of eyeballs, it’s even more important to make sure you get the right attraction.

After all, quality always trumps quantity.

Work as a team—know your campaign’s goals clearly before you even start one. Discuss with branding strategists and your marketing team to assess desired campaign outcomes. That way, you’ll know how much time and resources you should invest in working with high-profile influencers.

Q7: How many posts should Twitter influencers do daily for brands they work for?

This is a discussion you should have with your chosen influencer. Some of them have set schedules with different types of posts at different times of the day. Find a way to work your content into their routine. Depending on their availability, your goals, and your requirements, you can work out a mutually-beneficial system.

Fair warning, though: make sure you’re not asking the influencer to over do promotions. Neither you nor they would want to annoy your audience. Your content should be helpful and authentic, and not intrusive and salesy.

When you work out your partnership, it’ll largely vary based on the duration of your campaign as well. Like Ashley pointed out, shorter campaigns tend to have more frequent posts as opposed to lengthier ones.

Q8: Why is trending on Twitter vital?

Trending is a way to boost your brand visibility. It can bring you traffic and new followers, initiate conversations, and help establish your brand identity. As Joana rightly pointed out, it can also spark some conflicting perspectives and develop critical thinking among your community members.

Our guest, Janet, also shared how becoming a trending conversation raises your status overall. You can then leverage that popularity to launch products, courses, and even gain real-time feedback from your customers and audience.

That’s all from me for this time, folks. If you’ve enjoyed this chat summary, feel free to join us for our next one on Thursday at 1pm. Just follow #TwitterSmarter and drop your two cents. If you have any ideas and comments about our chat and summaries, feel free to tweet out to Madalyn or myself.

Until next time!

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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