We have been convinced by a lie when it comes to social media.

We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking that social media is a broadcast platform. A place where we can put up “buy my sh*t” messages.

But, that’s not true.

A phrase I find myself saying again and again to clients is “Social Media – the clue is in the name. SOCIAL Media.”

We’ve got to look past this take, take, take attitude. It’s time for a shift in perspective.

The Amazing Friend

Think about your friends for a moment.

Think about that friend who gives way more than they take in your relationship. Who is always there for you, who buys you gifts, who couldn’t do enough for you.

When it comes to favours – you are going to be there for that person. Without question.

These are the sorts of relationships that, as a brand, you want to build with your audience…and especially with influencers.

Act Like a Person, Not a Brand

This is the secret weapon of brands who are crushing it on social media.

They behave like people, not brands.

As a user, do you open your social media apps to be sold to by brands? Hell no!

You go for meaningful connection, right?

So if you deliver that as a brand, you’re going to be ahead of 99% of other brands.

Ditch the Transactional Mindset

So how does this apply to influencer relationships?

What if, instead of your mindset being “What can I get out of this influencer collaboration” and saw it as a one-hit wonder to get a few new sales, you saw it as a long-term friendship?

My observation is that brands who actually build a long-term friendship with social media influencers get a far greater ROI, than those who deal with influencers in a cold, transactional way.

How Do I Build a Friendship?

LOL – this title makes me laugh.

But for real – let me break down how you should approach it.

  • Come with the mindset of “How can I be seen to be giving more value than the other person”
  • Follow the influencer on social media
  • Comment meaningfully on their posts
  • DM them regularly. Have friendly conversations. Take an interest
  • Send them thoughtful gifts (and perhaps not just your own products)
  • Ask them how you can help them. I am sure you can deliver value in their personal and/or professional life
  • Invite them to stuff – heck – hang out with them

…you know – friendship stuff.

Then, you’ll become like that amazing friend that we talked about above. You know, the one that you would be willing to do anything for because they are so awesome.

Definitely feels better than a single transaction, doesn’t it?

Who To Invest In

As with any friendship, you want to be selective about who you invest in.

Some influencers just won’t be the right fit for your brand, some might be so used to the transactional ways that they don’t know how to interact in a “friendly” way, and some might simply be assholes.

This is why it’s really good to test the waters and see who you want to build relationships with long term.

Influencer gifting platforms like ThingyBridge are really good for this. It’s a great way to quickly and easily set up multiple influencer collaborations on a gifted basis. By doing this you can scope out which influencers are worth investing time and resources into based on their content and the relationship that you start building.

Build for Long Term Gains

Think long-term, act like a real person, build real relationships, and watch as your brand overtakes your vanilla and transactional competitors.

Questions? Want more clarity? Tweet me!