Social Media Influencers and Why You Need Them
Learn how to reach the right consumer at the right time with social media influencers.
Why use influencers?
Social media influencers can be one of the most useful and valuable arrows in your marketing quiver. A mention from a social media influencer with a loyal following will go much further than the same information coming from the company account. Followers trust an influencer as they would a friend. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and well…what is social media but pictures and video to evoke an emotional response?
In general, people trust people more than they trust information directly from a brand. One statement from a social influencer can bring a marketing campaign to viral status and sway the consumer to buy. The consumer needs to trust the company and the product before they pull the trigger on a product. Besides driving sales, social media influencers can create niche-based content that is quality and relevant to the audience you are speaking to. An influencer is an expert in that particular segment of your target market.
Who is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who has established credibility in a specific industry on social media. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. Consumers are looking to these folks for inspiration and advice on what to buy. Follow these steps to start creating an influencer program!
- Choosing influencers
There are many aspects to an influencer that are important, here we have outlined just a few of the most important pieces:
- Relevance – Are they experts in the field you are advertising in?
- Engagement – Are they communicating with their followers and starting a conversation? Do they like and comment other accounts within their social community?
- Reach -How many people are seeing their posts?
- Frequency -How often are they posting? Too much? Too little? Just right? If an influencer is consistently producing quality content, they will be more likely to retain followers and have people who bookmark their pages and return on a regular basis.
- Authenticity – Are they speaking in their own voice, do they have original opinions and stories? How much of their content is sponsored? People are more likely to trust someone whose content is coming from them.
- Personality and Style – Does the prospective influencer have a similar content style, align with the brand image and send out a message that is consistent with your brand voice?
- Finding influencers
So now you know what to look for, it’s time to find these people. There are many ways to search for influencers depending on your budget and what tools you are using. Many social media management platforms have search tools where you can aggregate posts based on keywords, hashtags and more. Search keywords and hasgtagts that are relevant to your brand to find people who are already promoting your product, or are within the niche of your company’s services and goods. If you don’t use a social media software, you can do this manually as well. Similar result, less money, but more work.
- Incorporating influencers in your social media marketing strategy
Now that you have your influencers – let’s use them!
One of the main components of an influencer program is to perpetuate conversation about your brand in the online community. Influencers should be active members online, liking, commenting, and joining relevant conversations about your brand and topics surrounding brand culture. Perpetuate marketing campaigns by having your influencers share special events, sales and promotions through their social channels.Give influencers specific codes that the customer can use at checkout. This will allow you to track the ROI with your influencer relationships. Create awareness through hashtags – Influencers use specific hashtags that relate to your company, products or events.
- Tracking influencers
Tracking your influencers is almost as important as having them in the first place. The benefits go beyond making sure they are following up on their promises, it extends to cultivating the relationship between brand and ambassador, as well as making them feel like an important part of the team (because they are).There are several (free) tools out there that will help you with this, including Klout, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and more.Whatever your niche, social media influencers can be an asset to your brand. Influencers create content, create brand identity and drive brand loyalty. Add an influencer program to your social media strategy and see the difference!