person-woman-hand-smartphoneInfluencers are people that act as opinion leaders in their social circle. Many tend to be early adopters and trendsetters. Others often follow their direction when it comes to trying out new things or supporting a cause.

Influencer marketing is the act of attracting support from key influencers so that they introduce you, your product, or your organisation, to their network of contacts and endorse you so that others feel more comfortable connecting with you and making a purchase, donation or otherwise supporting you and your mission.

Key Benefits for Not for Profits that Use Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing provides several benefits for nonprofits. Not only can nonprofits increase the reach of their messaging when influencers endorse them and share their posts, but influencer marketing has also been shown to increase trust and support of an organisation and make others more likely to donate, volunteer and advocate on the NFP’s behalf.

The Three Major Types of Influencers

There are roughly three basic types of influence leaders:

1. Celebrities and other important people who attract a lot of media attention and social interest because of their positive notoriety.

2. Media figures such as bloggers and members of the press.

3. Regular individuals that others in the group look to for direction and advice.

Sometimes, influence leaders may belong to more than one of these three core classes. It’s also important to remember that just because someone is an influencer in their networks, it doesn’t mean that they are a good fit for your nonprofit’s brand and the image that you wish to portray. Ideally, the “perfect” influencer will have values and goals that align with your nonprofit’s mission and vision for the future.

Ideally, your nonprofit wants to recruit a good mix of all three types of influencers to maximise awareness and support for their NFP.

Identifying and Recruiting Key Influencers

Recruiting influencers takes more than tacking on a request to share at the end of your post. In your segmentation, treat social media influencers as a distinct group and target them appropriately.

To get started, check your mailing list to see if any existing influencers are already supporting your NFP. Chances are, you’re probably already connected with several supporters who have been faithfully sharing your posts as well as liking and commenting on them.

There are several metrics that can help you determine a supporter’s ability to influence others socially. Look at the number of followers they have on their own social media channels. How engaged are they with their own followers? How relevant is their average post to your mission and how often do they post? What is their relationship with your nonprofit?

You can also measure someone’s social influence by using models that offer automatic scoring of someone’s impact on social media. One of the most popular models is Klout, but there are others.

Getting Influencers to Join You

Once you’ve identified an influencer, communicate with them directly. Encourage them to begin or continue sharing information about your nonprofit and its mission. Be certain that you show them how your work aligns with their values, and any goals that they have to create positive social change. Demonstrate how their assistance will directly impact your cause and your ability to carry out your NFP’s mission.

Use tools that make it easy for them to share your content with their networks. When creating content for your influencers to share, don’t forget to continue standard best practices such as including logos to brand the content as well as including a clear call to action so that others that view the content know what action they need to take to support the cause.