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Incorporating Influencers into your Social Strategy

It’s in the name ‘social’ media. Social platforms have transformed into the ultimate space for collaboration, communication, and brand awareness. Among the sea of users come the front runners; social media influencers.  The bread and butter of social media marketing, influencers help brands gain recognition and build following on their platforms. Social influencer marketing has transformed into a multi-billion dollar market, with over 70% of brands incorporating some form of influencer collaboration into their marketing strategy.

Influencers leverage their large and loyal following, driving engagement and word-of-mouth communication to your brand often at a higher rate than standard organic methods.  Working with a social influencer is not a one-way street, these partnerships are designed to be mutually beneficial. Substantial effort is needed to help the influencer succeed and to develop a symbiotic relationship between the advocate and your brand. When done well, influencer-brand partnerships can result in lucrative long-term relationships with plenty of collaboration opportunities.

Tips for Influencer Marketing Success

Do your due diligence Social networks have been plagued by bots for years. Check to make sure any influencer you’re considering working with doesn’t have a high percentage of fake followers. You can do this by checking out some of their posts and see if the level of comments/engagement is proportionate to their follower count. A high follower count, while enticing at first glance, is all for naught if a large percentage of that following is fake.

 

Know your audience Every successful influencer marketing campaign starts with knowing your audience.  Take time to do your research. You can work with influencers who have millions of social media followers, but if their audience doesn’t fit your brand, their message won’t drive the leads or new customers you’re looking for from the relationship.  Another crucial component of your due diligence is defining which platforms will best reach your target audience.  For example, technology products tend to fare better on YouTube and blog posts whereas beauty and lifestyle brands perform best on Instagram.

 

Consider which types of campaigns would yield the most success There is no, one, “right” way in which brands can collaborate with influencers to bring awareness to their brand. Sponsored posts, are paid-for by brands for the influencers to write posts about the brand, leveraging their audience to hopefully push traffic – and revenue – to that growing brand. Giveaways and contests often generating a lot of buzz about your business or your products as followers feel incentivized to engage with this type of content. A giveaway combined with influencer collaboration and bring huge success and growth in your own audience.

 

Relinquish (some) control Authenticity is crucial in influencer marketing. Maintain oversight, but allow the influencer to do what they know will resonate best with their followers and respect their best judgment. Encourage them to exercise creativity, and avoid trying to micromanage them.  Outcomes of your social collaboration will ultimately have more success when the influencer’s following engages with content they feel is authentic to their influencers voice.

 

Don’t expect immediate results Nothing worth having comes easily.  Popular influencers can shine a very big spotlight on your business, but converting those eyeballs into sales will realistically take time. Securing a brand partnership with an influencer is only half the battle. Be patient and test several campaigns before trying to assess your ROI.

 

Think beyond sponsored posts While sponsored posts are a great start, the greatest opportunities for brands lie beyond that. Get creative with your promotions, for example: if you own a restaurant, you could collaborate on a special “secret menu item” with an influencer. They’ll be invested that much more if they can provide their followers an exclusive special item on your menu.  Successful influencers have very loyal audiences, and these audiences are much more likely to engage with content they feel is unique to them as being a part of a large follower base.

 

Always negotiate prices Don’t just go for the rate card price. There is often room for negotiation, especially if you are buying multiple posts and seeking a long-term relationship. Even if you have your heart set on working with a specific influencer, be sure to get pricing from other influencers with a similar reach/following to develop a frame-of-reference, and so that you have all the facts to negotiate a fair deal.

 

Not Sure Where to Start?

Let PMC help! Our social media strategists know how to find influencers that align best with your brand and create meaningful relationships. Contact us to learn more at 401-667-7777.

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