6 Etiquette Tips For Asking Influencers to Share Your Content

“Will you share my new Web series on your Facebook and Twitter?”

How many times have you heard this question, via email, text, Facebook, Twitter, or otherwise? We’ve all been there, but for the average online influencer take that number and double it. By 50.

In the Wild West of Web content, seeking promotion from influencers (i.e., people with lots of online fans) often feels necessary to stand out from the crowd, but it can also earn you frenemies if you don’t do it properly.

Here are my top six etiquette tips for seeking promotion from influencers.

6. Group requests. Unless the person is a good friend or owes you a favor, don’t single him or her out. Send a group email (bcc’ing them, of course). Explain that you value their opinion and provide a link to your series for them to check out and share if (and only if) they enjoy it.

5. There are no “small” favors. Never say, “I just have a quick little favor to ask”; social media influencers receive dozens of promotional requests every day, and many of them are paid for it. Influencers’ credibility depends on the trust they’ve built with their fans. When they share content that’s inauthentic to their audience, they undermine their own ability to drive traffic...and risk backlash. From now on, it’s a big favor!

4. Thank you, please. If influencers share your link, reach out and let them know how much you appreciate the help; their next beer or coffee is on you! Even if you don’t ever see them in person, trust me—the offer will be appreciated.

3. No hard feelings. If they don’t share your content, don’t hold a grudge. Maybe your project just doesn’t appeal to their demo. Maybe they just promoted four videos back to back and don’t want to exhaust their followers. Maybe they don’t like your ex-girlfriend. Whatever it is, don’t take it personally. Most of the time, people are just really busy.

2. E-mail only. Facebook’s app sucks for the person attempting to copy/paste/share links. Publicly asking for promotion via Twitter is just obnoxious (and amateur). Texting people links? That’s akin to what telemarketers were doing in the ’90s. Don’t spam my personal cell!

1. Never tag. Would you spray-paint someone’s house with your face? No! It’s not nice. Never tag people in your project trailer so that it shows up on their page. That’s just plain rude.

We all have something to promote these days, but there is a right way and a wrong way to set the stage for authentic, honest promotion from influencers and fans.