|Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.|
Using Influencers for Social Media Marketing
You’ve heard about Influencer Marketing and want to find an influencer to help you market your business. Where do you start?
First, understand what a social media influencer is and what they can and can’t do. An influencer is someone who has built a loyal and attentive following in social media and is able to influence their audience to take some kind of action such as attending an event or purchasing a product. While they can sway some of their followers, they can’t guarantee how many of their followers will act.
Celebrities are considered influencers because many of their fans pay close attention to what they do, wear, eat, where they go, and how they live their lives and then try to emulate them. Influencers charge money to promote a company’s products or services to their social media following or expect free products or services or both. Celebrity endorsements in social media command high fees, often out of reach of small businesses.
One type of social media influencer that can work with smaller companies is a “micro-influencer.” These are people who have built a more modest but active and loyal following, usually in the thousands or even in the hundreds versus millions. Because their followings aren’t as large as celebrities, they can’t command the same higher fees but can still be an asset to a promotional campaign. Some studies show that micro-influencers are able to consistently influence more people overall toward making purchases than celebrities. A local celebrity can be a micro-influencer and could have a stronger influence over people in your community than a national or international celebrity.
Think of influencers as paid company spokespeople who not only put your product or service in front of their audience but add their own perspective and flair to the promotion. Influencers are required, by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to disclose when they are paid to promote someone else’s product or service or receive free goods or services. This helps consumers understand who and what is behind a promotion that appears in their posts. Even with disclosures, savvy influencers spend time building trust with their followers and their transparency only boosts that trust.
Some things to look for when choosing an influencer include:
Regardless of your social media marketing budget, you should be able to find an influencer who is willing to work with you and stay within your budget. Most influencers enjoy being creative and finding fresh ways to promote products and services to their followers. Be clear about your goals as a company and the goals of the particular promotion you’d like them to support.
Some common ways influencers charge include:
Influencers may also offer packages or bundle together several offerings at a discount. Some may come up with other custom offerings such as developing an exclusive recipe using your product or hosting their own event to introduce your service.
To get the most out of an influencer relationship, tap into their creativity and be open to their ideas. You are more likely to have a successful relationship with a social media influencer when you find out what success means to them and keep their goals in mind as you reach yours.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman