The modern world is full of brand new concepts when it comes to business and the media. Who would have thought that there would be people out there that could upload photos to Instagram and make money from it?
Years ago, this would be a completely alien idea. In fact, if you speak to the older generations - this is still a totally alien. So how would we explain what influencer marketing is to your Mom? Let's get back to basics...
What is a social influencer?
A social influencer is an individual that has built up a credible reputation online in a certain field.
They use social media to grow their personal brand, which is themselves. Social influencers usually have large followings on their social media accounts. They usually have the power to persuade others and to influence them due to their trustworthy reputation and popularity appeal.
Why do we need them? Who do they reach?
Social media influencers have access to a larger audience on social media than small brands do. Their audience varies widely but it is usually a younger audience that finds them appealing.
We need social media influencers to help persuade our audiences to buy our products or services. As their audience respects them and wants to be like them, they will try out the products shown on their social media accounts and profiles.
They can use their social media story function to advertise products that they use and therefore, the audience will want to go out and buy that.
Using social media influencers is a very effective way to reach an audience and gain interest in your brand and sales.
How to engage with a social influencer.
You need to do your research first and browse Instagram and find social media influencers that work in your industry. Find the ones that are within your niche. There are some great tools to help you do this, such as Social Flame and Hey Influencer
Once you have found someone that you think that would be a perfect fit to your brand and your industry, you may just need to flatter them... Directly reach out to them, like their content, comment and interact in a genuine way - try to build up a relationship and establish trust.
Keep it honest and real, just like you would if you were meeting a person in real life - and be conscious that many of these Influencers have hundreds of businesses and people contacting them each day all with the same agenda. The really "big deal" Influencers with millions of followers are celebrities in their own right and also have ego's so probably won't respond ... don't get your hopes up - you've been warned! and then if on the off chance that they do, wow - it could mean the jackpot for your business...
The rise of the Micro Influencer
It's actually "Micro Influencers" who are the best place to start if you are new to reaching out to people - those Influencers with smaller followings probably will respond and to be honest a few of these Micro Influencers promoting your business to their niche audiences are far more likely to be great for your business long term anyway.
Either way - you’ve got to stand out - sell yourself and your brand and show them how special your product and service is and how you would love them to help you out. Create an amazing pitch.
The relationship between an influencer and a brand needs to work both ways too, so as much as the influencer is showing the business’ items on their profile, the business also needs to mention them in their posts and share the influencer’s posts and profile.
Who are some of the worlds best social influencers around?
Some examples of the best social media influencers are;
- Kylie Jenner who has a whopping 142 million followers on Instagram
- Ariana Grande who has 161 million followers
- Beyonce has 130 million and;
- David Beckham has 57.6 million followers.
Some of the best UK social media influencers have come from reality TV, such as The X Factor or Love Island. These celebrities are always being targeted by smaller clothing brands and make up brands to advertise their products.
These short term celebrities tend to have less followers, but include the likes of;
- Stacey Solomon who has 2 million followers,
- Laura Anderson who has 1.5 million followers and;
- the winner of this year's Love Island; Amber Rose who has 2.2 million followers already.
Make It Happen In Your Business
Social media influencers have really changed the game of marketing and advertising. You can reach out to anyone that has a large following in your niche, develop a relationship with them and then pitch to them why your brand should be one to team up with. It really does help open up business’ reach and help to bring in the sales.
- Take a structured approach to your Social Influencers - be purposeful in who you want to target and how you intend to build a relationship with them.
- Remember - it's far better to target one or two meaningful relationships than doing a scattergun approach with a mass request to hundreds of Influencers who might at best be an OK fit.
- Set up an Excel spreadsheet and list all the potential influencers who might work for your business, list their profile @handle for easy reference, how many followers they have and potential topics of mutual interest - you way in.
- Prioritise your top 3 to start with and begin by following their accounts on Instagram, like their content on a regular basis and comment where appropriate. You want it to look natural. If they pose a question - answer it - be part of the conversation, just like you would a real friend.
- When you feel that your likes and comments may have registered their attention, direct message the Influencer and don't forget to compliment their work / content! Flattery will get you everywhere!
- Record and monitor in your Excel spreadsheet the interactions you have had to date, and if any follow up is required etc - make it a living log so you always know exactly where you are in conversations with your Influencers.
- As your conversations grow across a number of different Influencers, consider using a paid for, dedicated technology platform such as BuzzStream to help you manage and automatically record your Influencer engagement for you.