Be #Thankful for Influencers This Holiday Season

As we gather around the Thanksgiving table this year, digital marketers have a long list of things to be thankful for: family, pumpkin pie, Black Friday sales, and…social media influencers?

If your social media influencers aren’t on your list, they should be. They’ve been driving traffic, leads, and sales for your business all year, and they’ll continue to spread the love throughout the holidays.

One brand in the “thankful” spirit is Lexar. The memory card and flash drive company’s social media campaign asks users to use the hashtag #LexarThankfulTweet to describe what they’re thankful for this season. In exchange, participants are entered for a chance to win a GoPro HERO4 Silver and a high-performance Lexar memory card.

Is Lexar utilizing its influencers to spread brand awareness even further?

If brands don’t have an influencer campaign built into their holiday marketing strategy, they’re missing out on the season’s power. The spirit of the holidays gives your influencer marketing efforts a special boost: You’re able to thank influencers at a time when being thanked is well-received, you’re more likely to be perceived as authentic, and your efforts are more likely to be reciprocated.

Build a Network of Social Media Influencers

If you’re looking to incorporate social media influencers into your marketing strategy, it’s important to build a well-rounded campaign that includes a combination of micro, mid-level, and macro influencer segments.

Micro influencers have smaller audiences built around trust; they might include happy customers or Average Joe bloggers. In Lexar’s case, a micro influencer might include a tech-savvy social media user or a blogger who publishes content on memory cards and jump drives. Although they have small audiences, they’ve already earned their trust and can easily convince them to take action on your behalf.

Mid-level influencers are similar but provide a bit more reach. For example, Lexar might identify a niche tech blog, like TechEBlog, that has a significant current following of over 170,000 Twitter followers. Though its reach doesn’t compare to established tech blogs with a million followers, its published content might be more relevant to Lexar’s brand.

Macro influencers include publisher-level contacts that command very wide followings; they’re kings at promoting brand awareness. However, trust to take action isn’t guaranteed with this audience. An obvious macro influencer for Lexar might include the Gizmodo blog, which reaches millions of readers.

How to Thank Your Brand Influencers

If you’ve been cultivating any of these types of influencer relationships this year, now is your opportunity to say thanks. Not only is being openly thankful the right thing to do during this time of year, but it can also create powerfully reciprocal influencer relationships.

1. Go beyond a tweet whenever possible. Don’t just thank your influencers with an uncreative tweet. It’s often more meaningful to get to know your influencers and thank them in tangible, unique ways.

For example, we can identify several personal interests of the mid-level Lexar campaign influencer below by simply analyzing her Twitter profile. Lexar might show her some love during the holidays by sending her a Laura Mercier gift card to acknowledge her beauty and fashion sense or free tickets to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” one of her top interests on social media.

 

2. Think frequency over size. However, don’t assume you have to use grand gestures every time. The problem with a simple “thank you” tweet is that its effects are temporary and one-sided — neither you nor the influencer will get much mileage out of it. Instead, thank influencers consistently with small, meaningful gestures that encourage them to continue the relationship.

For instance, you could promote an influencer’s blog posts each month to show that your relationship is mutual, send her a handwritten note to thank her for specific times she shared your content over the year, or publicly share a complimentary quote that highlights her knowledge in a particular field.

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool to build brand authenticity and spread brand awareness to new audiences. This holiday season, express your genuine thanks to your influencers, and sit back while they lead your brand into the New Year.

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