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Two people standing in front of a Sarah Tourville, Founder & CEO

We use the term influencer all the time. But, how do you really decide who an influencer is? On the Tech Marketing Radio Show we interviewed Amber Armstrong, Program Director, Social Business Market Making and Evangelism for IBM, and she explained how influencer marketing can really help to drive your company’s digital strategy.

Define the Influencer

These days, there are many types of influencers on social media. There are analysts, there are members of the media and the ways to interact with each can vary. Many people think an influencer is someone who has a large social presence. Yes, that is typical (otherwise who are they influencing?). But the definition can also include someone who is actually a practitioner – someone who is inside of the business, making decisions everyday. Defining the influencer is vital, particularly when you consider that 3% of people generate 90% of the impact online. Find out why you should invest, here.

It’s Not Just About the Numbers

When you are identifying the right influencers for your company ask yourself a few questions first. Are people actually talking to them? How are they engaging with their audience? Do people really trust them? Just because they have a large following on Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean people are listening to what they are saying.

Measure the Success

Monitor and manage your influencer marketing program. Use the right tools to figure out how many people are actually reading the content, who is clicking the links, and how much business is resulting from the sales messages. IBM uses a platform called Dynamic Signal, which allows them to take interesting content and decide what to say about it. Maybe you have an employee who isn’t comfortable or very familiar with social media. This is a great way to onramp them.

Make it Count for Both

Influencer marketing is a two way street. There has to be a give back from your company, too. Test your messages first, and then figure out how you can amplify the influencers’ content. Share the most important messages. If you drive traffic to the influencers, it’s not only benefitting your brand but the influencer as well.

With advice like this coming from the social guru for IBM, we take her word. Check out her full interview here, part of The Better You Network.