You may not realize it, but social media influences much of what we do, from our purchasing habits to our political views and so much more. Chances are you’ve seen recommendations from a social media influencer, but maybe you didn’t realize you were following an influencer. An influencer can be anyone with credibility, industry specific knowledge and a following of target consumers. Social media influencers help persuade their followers to buy certain products, attend certain events and support particular brands. They are experts at influencing their followers via their social media channels.
We often see celebrity and athlete influencers such as the Kardashian and Jenner sisters endorsing products to their fans through Instagram or other social media platforms. They have a large following and a broad reach. They may promote anything from cosmetics and accessories to diet products. Famous celebrities can charge big bucks for endorsement posts and photos. While you may not be able to afford Kylie Jenner or Michael Jordan, there are less notable influencers that can fit your budget.
Many lesser known, or micro influencers can be just as valuable to a particular brand. They may partner with a business or brand in exchange for product, rather than cash payment. Many regular people have become online celebrities through their high level of engagement on social media. No matter who you select as your social media influencers, you need to be sure they match your brand’s mission and goals. Social media influencers need to have established credibility within a specific industry. For instance, if you’re selling fitness equipment, they need to be knowledgeable of the industry and products, such as a personal trainer.
What to look for in a social media influencer
First and foremost, your influencers need to be relevant to your business or industry segment. Their audience needs to be appropriate for your brand and your goals. When researching potential social media influencers, play close attention to their social media engagement. Are they telling their fans and followers what to buy, what to watch or where to go? How many followers do they have and how engaged are their followers? When they post content, how many likes are they getting, how many comments, how many shares and retweets, how many post clicks? A social media influencer should already have a captive audience that they’ve developed over time. Successful influencers will have built credibility and respect within their following. Your ideal influencer will have a loyal audience, captivating content, a high level of engagement and a broad reach.
Four types of social media influencers
- Celebrities – 1 million + followers
- Macro Influencers – 500K – 1 million followers
- Middle Influencers – 100K – 500K followers
- Micro Influencers – 1,000 – 100K followers
Tools to help you find social influencers
- BuzzSumo – BuzzSumo is a tool used by many national brands. It has a search that can help you find key influencers in any topic area or location. The tool can filter influencers and shares by reach, authority, influence and engagement. It will also enable you to see what they share and how they share it.
- Klear – Klear influencer marketing software allows you to easily find influencers in any category and location in the world across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and blogs.
- Followerwonk – This Twitter analytics tool allows users to gather and analyze information on Twitter users.
- Traackr – This platform enables you to discover the right people to engage for your promotional, lead generation and social media initiatives. Traackr works with many national brands.
- Klout – A tool that helps you find well-known influencers. Klout will help to research, manage and engage influencers.
- Hootsuite – Hootsuite can search streams to help you locate social media influencers by monitoring conversations pertinent to your industry, products or services.
When interviewing potential influencers be sure to ask for testimonials and case studies. What has worked best for them in the past? Ask for data showing their ability to covert followers to customers. Also request information as to their experience and what makes them a thought leader in your particular industry. Ask to see samples of their creativity in developing graphic and video posts. Work out a compensation package that works for both your brand and the influencer. Whether it is cash payment or product, the relationship must create value for both you and the influencer.
For more information on how influencer marketing may be able to help you increase revenue for your business, contact Corcoran Communications. Our digital marketing firm provides social media services including social media consultation, social media management and content creation.