What is an “Influencer”?
Influencers are influential individuals who have a captive audience online. Most often these individuals have social profiles with a lot of followers but they also have blogs or write for publications. Influencers are often referred to as thought leaders and are admired or respected for their opinions in their communities and industries. Influencers in the staffing industry aren’t always affiliated with staffing in any way. Your goal as a staffing marketer is to promote jobs to candidates and sell candidates to employers. Therefore, influencers will often be people who work in the field of your target candidate. For example nurses (for travel nursing), developers (for tech staffing), physical therapists (for allied staffing), designers (for creative staffing), doctors (for locum tenens), etc. There are a number of ways to find & identify influencers as well as ways to gather their contact information for later use in influencer marketing & outreach campaigns.
Finding Social Influencers
Follow these steps to identify & collect influencer information.
1. Start Searching
Search your favorite social site (Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) using keywords associated with your industry. For instance, if you’re a travel nursing agency, you’ll want to search for keywords similar to “travel nurse” or “registered nurse”. The search results will probably contain a lot of competitors as well as a lot of noise. Sift through the results to find individuals who have followers.
2. Follow Them
This step is often overlooked but you should really connect with influencers. You’ll eventually want them to help promote your brand and in order to get to that point, you’ll have to build rapport with them. Follow them, retweet them, share their posts, talk with them, tell them stories, tell their stories. Get involved in the community that they have influence over. Do this and you too could soon become an influencer.
3. Search For More Info
Now that you’ve found an influencers social profile you’ll want to collect more information on them. Searching on social you’ve probably found their name, their “brand”, one of their social profiles and maybe a website. Chances are you’ll probably want more than that. In order to get more info, you’ll want to search Google using their name, their brand, or their website. Once found you’ll want to look for their email address and record info like other social profiles, websites they may blog for, events they attend, etc.
4. Record Contact Info
I prefer to use a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for different professions or social platforms. However you choose to record the information, you’ll want to jot down the influencers name, profile URL or handle and their website (if they have one). Gathering all this information in one place will allow you to more easily coordinate an influencer marketing campaign or an outreach campaign.
Many social platforms will suggest similar profiles to you. Utilize these features to bolster your efforts.
Finding Blog Influencers
1. Start Searching
Like the social process above we start by searching. Pull up Google and start searching for keywords related to your industry. For instance, if you’re in travel nursing search for “nursing blogs” or “nursing blog”. You will most likely find a lot of blog posts listing the best nursing blogs. This is a great place to start. However, you and everyone else who has thought about finding influencers have already used these lists. You may need to dig a little deeper into the search engine results pages.
2. Search For More Info
Now that you have an influencer’s blog, visit their site and look for social profiles, email addresses and other bits of contact information that could be used to contact them. If no email address can be found, record the URL of their contact page. You can also try searching their name with “email” in quotes. This will yield results in which their name appears on a web page with the word “email”.
3. Record Contact Info
Log everything in an organized way for later use. If you want to be extra meticulous, take notes on where you left off while working on this project. That way you can come back and pick up exactly where you left off. This project is never-ending and as you naturally discover influencers through your other marketing research efforts. Continue growing your influencer documents as needed.
1. Social Listening
Social listening is an aspect of social media monitoring that covers the tracking of conversations involving chosen subjects, phrases or keywords. This allows you to identify thought leaders that you might not have been able to find mining influencers manually. For example, you would enter into your social listening tool the topic of “travel nursing” and it would monitor Twitter and other social sites for uses of that phrase or related phrases. Looking through the feed you’ll eventually find influencers who are engaging in discussions surrounding your chosen topic. There are dozens of services and software suites out there that offer social listening services. We recommend trying out HootSuite or SproutSocial.
2. Hashtag Research
As you’re reaching out to influencers and sharing your lead magnet with them, you should also be trying to grab their attention by using relevant keywords. Hashtag research tools will help you do this effectively while also allowing you to find new influencers using hashtags you’re already familiar with. We recommend trying out FollowerWonk, TweetDeck, and KeyHole to start.
3. Google Alerts
Setting up Google Alerts will allow you to stay on top of topics as they emerge in the search engine. When people start talking about the next ice bucket challenge, you’ll know. Using Google Alerts will enable your staffing agency to stay ahead of the curve on current events and the social media zeitgeist.
How To Utilize Influencers in Staffing
There are dozens of ways to leverage influencers and thought leaders for your staffing agencies marketing efforts. Simply requesting that they take notice of you and help promote your business won’t work. You’ll need to be creative and produce something of value that’s worth talking about. That’s where we at Staffing Nerd come in. We’ll help your staffing company become more newsworthy and coordinate an outreach program that captures the attention of influencers in your industry.