There's so much noise on social media that it's sometimes tough to keep up. I love the fact that I have a large following online and I try to engage and respond to everyone who makes a request. When it's a company that I have previously communicated with, I especially make time and respond accordingly.
That said, there's a nefarious strategy that's beginning the emerge online that's eating up my time in direct messages and targeted messages. Companies are publishing personalized requests to me like the one below to get me to respond or share with my audience. I'm not sure whether they're automated or hand-curated, but they're annoying – and I let them know it.
Here's one example below. I also get a ton of these from different companies via direct message and email as well. I've removed the name of the agency since they often reach out with excellent content that's relevant to our audience. This tweet below; however, is not one of those messages. I wasn't chatting about Snapchat, didn't solicit anyone's advice about Snapchat, and I don't care about Snapchat's latest feature.
Why is this a Terrible Influencer Strategy?
This is a personalized and direct attention grabber that took my attention away from my other work. Email pitches are one thing, I get to review them on my own time and respond or delete as necessary. Here's the (realistic) analogy:
- Scenario A: I'm sitting at my desk working, and a bulk email pitch comes in. Along with the pitch are other messages from clients and prospects. None of the senders expect me to respond immediately, though. When I get a chance to check email, I check them and respond accordingly.
- Scenario B: I'm sitting at my desk working, and you interrupt me, ask me if I'm interested in a topic that I've never spoken to you about. Now, most people that interrupt me have something important to ask recognize that my time is valuable and the only resource that's scarce. They wouldn't just walk in.
This type of targeting dismisses the value of my time and takes me away from people who do want to speak to me or need my help.
If you think this is a valid influencer marketing strategy – reaching out and interrupting me throughout the day – you're wrong. Please be respectful of my time. If you're going to reach out to me personally on social media, do it when I open the door to that conversation. Otherwise, just publish your message as normal – without personally tagging me.
To work with influencers, you need to build a relationship with us. I need to trust that you're looking out for my benefit and won't put my followers at risk. This is not that an influencer marketing strategy.