Working with influencers: discovery versus databases

Working with influencers: discovery versus databases

In this guest post Marcel Klebba discusses influencer identification using data analysis versus databases. He puts Webfluential, a database tool, through its paces.

By Marcel Klebba

Influencer marketing is a significant trend in communications. As traditional media has fragmented, individuals have taken the opportunity to create their own media and broadcast and publish on almost every form of social network.

Organisations, particularly in the consumer, lifestyle and travel sectors, have embraced the opportunity to work with influencers and benefit from their advocacy and reach.

There’s a growing market for tools that help agencies and brands identify social media influencers with values and networks aligned with their own objectives to help them build successful campaigns.

Identifying the right influencers for a campaign can be done in one of two ways.

#1 Data mining - time consuming but accurate

The method is straightforward. Social media listening is used to identify the most influential users. These are not necessarily users with the largest number of active followers that engage in conversation (the two are frequently confused), but those with the greatest influence in their subject area or area of expertise.

Two are the most popular software tools for data mining are Lissted or Traackr.

#2 Database driven – quick access to ready made relationships

Much less time consuming than listening to the conversations on social and identifying the right people to target is a database-driven approach.

Proceed cautiously however; the influencers identified are only as good as the database available. Examples of database-driven tools include TapInfluence and Webfluential.

Using a database tool: Webfluential

I’ve had a chance to test Webfluential.

The planning dashboard is straightforward to use. You assign roles within your team, so someone takes care of campaigns, while others tackle finance and sales.

An intuitive interface enables you to search for influencers around a topic across blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Webfluential claims to have relationships via the platform with more than 15,000 accredited influencers in beauty, technology, lifestyle, music and many more markets.

The tool claims to cover more than 190 countries, however the majority of influencers are based in either the UK or US.

Influencers can be filtered by geography, social media platform, reach and relevance. The software provides a quote that works against the brief provided, and once this has been accepted you’re free to pitch to influencers.

Webfluential also acts as a management tool to work with influencers via a basic customer relationship management system.

The tool provides transparency on which organisations are using the service and flags any previous relationships between brands and influencers.

You can also view an influencer’s social media statistics – for example the size of their audience on each platform, and how relevant it is to your campaign.

Webfluential tracks all the posts made by influencers and measures the reach of content. It uses number of posts and opportunities to see as the primary metric. You’ll need to overlay your own objectives and metrics.

Tools such as Webfluential enable media and public relations planners to shortcut the planning process. While it’s an effective solution it will never be as robust as a data driven approach.

About Marcel Klebba

Marcel Klebba is a final year public relations and advertising student at the University of Westminster. He blogs at MK and you can connect with him on Twitter @marcelkl.

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