Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Using Influencers for Social Media Marketing

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:

  1. They are active and engaging where you want to be noticed. Not all influencers are strong in every popular social network. Some may be rock stars on Instagram and TikTok but not on Twitter or Facebook. The greater their audience numbers on more social media channels, the more likely they command higher rates.
  2. They talk about or promote things compatible with your brand. An influencer who creates recipes and produces cooking Reels on Instagram may not be the right person to promote your insurance company. While there could be creative ways to weave in a non-related product or service, you are better off picking an influencer doing something related to what you do.
  3. Their audience is the audience you want to reach. Whether you’re trying to promote your company to consumers similar to the ones who are already your customers or are looking to attract a different target market, make sure the influencer you select can demonstrate that they are able to reach the right audience for you.
  4. They can provide metrics that prove their influence.Someone on social media can look engaging and successful at a glance, particularly if they are paying to boost their post interactions. Influencers should be able to show not only a higher number of likes, shares, and comments on their posts but actual conversions to sales or other tangible results of their promotions.
  5. They have a rate sheet ready to send you. While there is always room for negotiating and customization, a professional influencer already knows their value and has some set rates they can share with you as a starting point for a discussion. If their rates are out of budget, don’t walk away immediately. Be honest about your budget and ask what they could do for you with that amount. Some influencers are willing to start with a smaller budget and work up to bigger ones over time.

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:

  • Pay per post or tweet.
  • Pay per video (Reel, TikTok, etc.)
  • Pay per Story (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat)
  • Pay per blog post.
  • A fee to promote and attend an event (and post to social media).
  • A fee for a product or service giveaway or contest.

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