Influencer marketing is cited as the hottest new marketing trend expected to grow by leaps and bounds.

Today, having a Facebook page is essential. People of all ages use Facebook, including the under 35 set, plus parents and gray haired grandmas, women and men. Think of Facebook is your practice’s social media hub; aside from your website, it is where people go to find out more information about you.

Facebook is where you will benefit from influencer-follower engagement, in the form of likes and comments, as well as recommended links and shared content.
However, it is widely understood that Instagram is the number one social media platform for brands and companies to hunt for influencers. Over 70% of companies will use Instagram for marketing by 2017, according to Mediakix.

The key is choosing the right influencers, as that will determine the audience reached by your messages. You should know going in that your goal is not to just reach a wider audience, but rather to engage with the group of individuals that are already interested in what you have to offer.

If you want to find out who influences your patients, ask them. They will be able to point you to sources that actually make an impact on their decisions. Start sifting through them to create a more targeted list. Check out their blog posts and social media activity to get a feel for their voice and the type and quality of the content they create.

Be careful to choose influencers who create and share content that is relevant to the standing and offerings in your practice. Look for influencers who are already popular within your target audience, or at a minimum, relevant to them. Identify reputable individuals within your niche that may have clout within a percentage of your target audience to increase visibility and attract and engage new patients.

An influencer’s value basically comes from the audience they are able to reach and sway. To have influence, they should be viewed as a reputable source of information. People who post a lot content that is obviously sponsored risk losing their credibility quickly, so they in effect, water down their brand pretty quickly.

Be careful to choose someone who is very selective about whom he or she partner with and discloses their affiliations in accordance with FTC regulations. If the influencers you choose to work with are questionable, their effectiveness comes into question.

Don’t start off by emailing them offers to become your influencer; they generally do not tend to like that. Instead, take small steps to make your presence known; once you have your whittled-down list, make it a priority to engage with each on their social media and blog posts. Make comments, ask questions, and try to contribute to the conversation. Notice who responds and who does not, and the manner and substance of response to help you narrow down your target list.

Once you have built up relationships with potential influencer candidates, try to get them to directly engage with you. Ask them to review your product and even create content, and promote their work on your end. Send out free trials, incentivize with contests and giveaways, and create your own content that you know will attract influencers and their audience. What makes good content? It needs to be is likeable and shareable. Generating likes and shares is the organic way to build up your credibility and get noticed.