A Guide To Social Media Influencers

In industries like fashion and niche designer products, many brands find their main sales pipeline is through social media. Aligning a brand, product or event with a social media influencer allows for companies to reach consumers they may not be able to target on their own.

Social media influencers can help to grow your online audience, create a good brand image and boost sales. This is done by sharing an endorsement of your product via their social networks whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pintrest or their blog.

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How to spot a social media influencer

When choosing a social media influencer you should look for someone with a large number of followers (around 10k and upwards). That said though, engagement is more important than numbers.   An influencer with a small but highly engaged audience is far better for your campaign than one with a high volume of followers but little nor no engagement.

Believe it or not, people sometimes buy their followers to appear more popular. To ensure their followers are genuine check that the number of likes and comments on their photos is proportionate to the number of followers.

How to connect

Once you find a social media influencer you would like to work with you will have to reach out to them. If they are open to promotion they will usually have a contact email listed in their bio. This email address may be for a talent manger in which case it is best to liaise with them.

Most will ask for compensation when promoting your brand. Consider your budget. Social media influencers with a large amount of followers (e.g. 100k) or a bookings manager will be more expensive than those with less followers (e.g. 5k). In some cases, social media influencers with a smaller number of followers may be happy to do a promotional post for free product or tickets to your event.

Remember when negotiating a rate to respect and value the influencer that you are dealing with. It takes time for bloggers and social media influencers to research your brand, craft a post and then share that post with their carefully curated audience. Show respect for that and don’t expect (or demand) them to run your posts for free – that’s a sure fire way to sour the relationship before you even get started!

When they work well

For a social influencer campaign to be successful it is important you choose a person who aligns with your brand or event. If the people engaging with their posts fit your target audience you should receive great value. Check the other products they have promoted in the past connect well with yours. For example, if you were trying to promote a new weight loss tea you would be a good fit with someone who has promoted other health and fitness products in the past.

While your influencer should be able to create their own content, it is always a good idea to discuss the direction you would like the post to take and the outcomes you hope it will achieve. We always recommend working up a brief for your influencer so that they can be clear on your objectives and messaging. Your influencer will want to achieve good results for you, so they’ll appreciate the information you can provide.

Depending on your industry and target audience, social media influencers can be a great tool to help you reach your goals. Pairing with a mature person who is passionate about your brand is the best way to ensure success. Don’t get caught up on the number of followers, post engagement is the best measure of how much a person can influence their audience. If your unsure on whether this approach will work for you, we recommend you start off small and measure the results before spending big on a campaign.

Want to know more? Read our past blog regarding the benefits of Influencer PR.