Social Media Influencers Are Taking Over – What You Need to Know
At the Colorado for Puerto Rico and Mexico Concert Benefit, I ran into one of the nicest ladies that said to me, “Oh I know you, I follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin…and all over social media!” This meant so much to me. If she only knew…I held myself back because I wanted to give her the tightest and longest bear hug ever!
In an age of digital media and online connectivity, social media influencers are becoming major players for word-of-mouth communications. Do you have someone that you follow? I sure do. His name is John Mayer! So dreamy!!
Okay. Social media influencers are people who have amassed a large following on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. What sets them apart is the authenticity and credibility that they’ve created for themselves, meaning their followers can be persuaded to buy through sponsored posts online. A huge bonus for companies wanting to utilize these popular figures in their marketing strategies.
Remember when the Bachelor first aired in the early 2000s? After the show had ended, most contestants went back to their daily routines in their normal lives. Nowadays, even the contestants who don’t “win” are almost guaranteed to have opportunities relating to social media influencing. Take, for example, Becca Tilley: though she was runner-up during Chris Soules’ season, her charm and likeability landed her over 1.1 million followers on Instagram and partnerships with companies such as McDonald’s, Lays, and DIFF Eyewear.
So how are companies taking advantage of this emerging marketing channel?
Companies such as DIFF are partnering with these influencers directly by creating limited edition sunglasses and encouraging the influencer to post pictures of their designed product. DIFF’s website even features an entire page where you can shop their Instagram, featuring posts originally shared by these social media influencers. By creating a product in partnership with these influential figures and encouraging them to share their created design to their large following, the brand is able to receive a lot of positive exposure.
Yet despite this seemingly ideal strategy to take advantage of popular channels, there is a risk to pushing your product towards these figures.
In recent months, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established new rules making sure that influencers are fully disclosing when they are being paid to post about a product or service, often using the hashtags #ad or #sponsored. While most people are already bombarded with advertisements in their daily routines, people can get very upset when they see sponsored posts coming from people they view as genuine… which decreases the effectiveness of the partnership and even the image of your product.
As a whole, incorporating sponsorships with social media influencers can greatly boost brand awareness, though companies should be wary of potential negative effects.
Here’s a go to guide, created by Stella PR + Marketing, on how to get the most out of your influencer relationships. So listen up!
What You Can Do to Utilize Social Media Influencers:
1.Ask yourself if your company/brand even needs the increased exposure.
Assessing your company’s capabilities is especially important to avoid biting off more than you can chew. As a smaller company, you wouldn’t want to partner with a spokesperson who has 1 million followers if you know your company couldn’t realistically fulfill those increased orders.
2. Find the right influencer that aligns with your values/industry.
While influencers want to be genuine and honest about your product, you should also look for an influencer that you want the brand to be associated with. This means you should be proud to have this person speak about your product and you should want to associate with this person.
3. Assess their audience.
Even if an influencer is smaller, a dedicated audience is better than a far-reaching audience that isn’t influenced very easily.
4. Keep a goal in mind.
Though you should allow the influencers to have creative control, make sure your objectives/goals are clearly defined for them. Ensuring that your intent is apparent will not only allow you to guide the conversation, but it will also help them to have an effective post.
Would you consider using social media influencers to meet your company’s goals?