How to Lose an #Influencer in 10 Days (or Less)

This post originally appeared on the PR Expanded Blog.

As small business owners that have built a company around helping other SMBs connect and grow, we understand the importance of marketing and PR firsthand. But knowing the importance of customer acquisition and retention is only one half of the battle; how is one actually to achieve growth in a fast-changing digital landscape?

We sat down with Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of Pure Performance Communications and blogger at PR Expanded, to find out:
One of the newer marketing buzzwords is “influencers.” Everyone is talking about who they are, how you can find them and how you should be engaging these influential members of your social media communities.

All of the hype around influencers reminded me of the movie, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. The character Andie Anderson, played by Hudson, is a “how to” beat writer for the magazine “Composure.” She’s challenged with writing the article, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” When you’re building a relationship, with anyone, you walk a fine line of actions that create a strong bond in the beginning or steps that cause someone to exit the union quickly.

Building relationships with influencers today, whether it’s with bloggers, Twitter personalities, passionate consumers, or any of your stakeholders, is no different. If you act carelessly, especially at the onset, you will lose that influencer in less than 10 days.

Here are 10 of the Don’ts of influencer management and what NOT to do when you want your influencers to participate in marketing / PR programs, rally their networks and become advocates of your brand.

Day 1. If you don’t take the time to learn about your influencers in great detail, and know their personal activity preferences, then you will not “have them at hello.” I know that’s a different movie, for another day and another post.

Day 2. Don’t assume that your influencers can always be there to participate. Realize that they need to be selective of their activities, based on very busy schedules and time constraints. But this doesn’t mean the door is closed to opportunity in the future.

Day 3. Don’t be a needy brand, asking for Herculean tasks that will chase influencers away quickly. Make it really easy for them to accept your invitation and to participate actively and comfortably.

Day 4. Don’t take the relationship for granted. Check in often (but don’t be a stalker), and at times plan to serve them, rather than always being self-serving.

Day 5. Don’t assume that all influencers come in the same shapes and sizes. Customize your ask based on their participation preferences… what they like to do [product reviews vs. speaking opportunities vs. contributing to your content, to name a few].

Wondering what happens on days five through 10? Head to PR Expanded for the full story, and be sure to check out Breakenridge’s latest book Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional.

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