How to Build Relationships with Social Media Influencers from the Ground Up

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The birth of social media has changed the way of how we connect and interact with people. Moreover, it has also transformed the landscape of how we manage the business, advertise, and market products and brands.
The business side of things has benefited from the emergence of social media as well. Back in the day, if you wanted to push your content, products, and services to a large number of people you had to make a killer ad, and use the appropriate medium to pass your message. In recent times, the proper medium to pass your message is social media, because practically everyone is on it. And here, social media influencers come into the picture.
Social media influencers are have developed and maintained credibility in a specific area, and by doing so, they have garnered a considerable audience to themselves. Their credibility and the large following give them the ability to persuade their audience to act on their recommendations.

Influencer Marketing
There is no doubt that cooperation with social media influencers works. It allows you to pass your message directly to your target audience. Moreover, it also helps you build strong connections with current consumers and attract potential clients. Consumers trust influencer recommendations and celebrity endorsements. So today there's no better way to gain credibility and growth, than having a social media influencers speak about your product, service, or brand.
Building a strong relationship with influencers you are cooperating with is essential for the success of your campaigns. Although it can be quite challenging for brands to cultivate a relationship with influencers, it is really worth it in the end. Ideally, you want influencers to connect with your brand and maintain a great relationship with you even when your paid partnership ends. The great news is that you can achieve all of these and more if you follow the tips below.

Research
The first thing you need to do to establish and develop a connection with social media influencers who meet your requirements. There are lots of influencers out there each with their own styles, so you should take out time to find the best fit. You will also need to check the influencer's audience. Are these the kind of people you want to attract to your brand?
When it comes to finding the perfect influencer(s) for you, you are not only looking at them but also the audience that they carry.

Connect
Once you've done your adequate research, and you've made your pick, the next step is to connect with them. First, you follow their posts on social media and engage with their activities. Now, engagement will revolve around commenting (insightful and meaningful comments), sharing, and liking their posts where necessary. Doing this will help you gain recognition and make it easy for you to approach the influencer.
Try and send an appropriate message with an informal tone, and a lot of appreciation for the work that they do rather than going straight to business. Such an approach will let them know you are an avid follower and someone who has taken a keen interest in their work. After this, you can then share your proposition. Please make sure your message about your cooperation is not only beneficial to you but also the audience of the chosen influencer. Remember the trust of the audience is the highest priority for every social media influencer. So make sure your brand, service, and product are of good quality and solve customer's problems.

Itemize Your Expectations
You must be clear about your expectations right from the onset of proceedings. Social media influencers have their own way of "doing their thing." This is something you must have already known if you've done adequate research beforehand. So, you can either allow them to do as they like or work in hand with them to create the content that you want.
Irrespective of which method you choose, it is essential you clearly define your expectations from the start. There is nothing wrong in being open with them and letting them know the kind of message you would want them to share for you.

Let Them Flex Their Creative Muscle
Most probably, you want the influencer to put a lot of creativity into how they approach their audience with your brand. So it is best if you don't limit their creative freedom. Influencers always want to be authentic, and follow their own plan, after all, it has been working for them over the years. What they need from you is to trust their process, and believe they can get the results that you want. It is good you let them know about your expectations, and what you hope to get finally. However, don't allow that to dampen their creative freedom at the end of the day.

Give Them an Offer They Can't Refuse
The compensation you offer a social media influencer can either make or break your relationship with them. Don't just fall into the bandwagon of providing a free product or service alone; lots of people already do that. Remember you want to make yourself stand out, so offering a reasonable compensation will do you a whole lot of good. This will make them want to continue cooperation with your brand as they know you appreciate working with them.

Conclusion
Developing a long-lasting relationship with social media influencers has its highs and lows, but if you get it right, you will definitely reap the rewards. Use the tips above to build a mutually-beneficial relationship with any social media influencer.

Author's Bio: Cheryl Hearts is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Journalism. At the age of 7, she started reading books and felt an urge to create something unique. So, she started writing her own stories. This passion influenced her decision to earn a degree in Journalism. Currently, she is a freelance writer and runs her blog CherylHearts.com. Cheryl is currently writing about subjects of great interest to society.


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