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Opinion

Tips for using social media influencers

By 28th May 2019 No Comments

28th May 2019

Tips for using social media influencers

Jack Brodie

Jack Brodie

The term ‘influencer’ is a new one, but it has rapidly become central to PR and marketing. A glance at Google Trends shows that no one really used it until the early part of this decade (it properly took off around 2015), but its centrality to the way we live now is clear in the fact that around half today’s consumers depend on influencers for their purchasing decisions[i].

While the idea of getting admired figures to promote products and brands is a pretty well-established one, today’s influencers really are something new, powered by the internet and social media. They have the potential to make a powerful difference to any brand or product, and are ignored at the ignorer’s peril. So, here are a few tips on working with them.

Choose the right one

There are lots of influencers out there, meaning you need to do your research. Google is best, but also look at the hashtags people are using on Twitter. While searching, keep in mind what kind of audience each influencer probably commands, and how relevant this is to your purposes. Are they about the right age? Have roughly the right amount of income? Do they live in the right country? Most of the clues will be there in the influencer’s content. As will the most important of all: do they have the right feel for the brand you’re working with.

Choosing the right influencer is particularly important, since authenticity is at the core of the influencer phenomenon. The reason so many people follow influencers, hanging onto their every word, is that they can sense their genuine passion for the subjects they talk about. Use the wrong influencer and there’ll be a disconnect there. Even if they agree to work with your brand (and money does talk), the content they produce for you will be missing the magic that made the whole thing worth doing in the first place.

Consider their reach

There’s no doubt that reach matters – but don’t forget that quantity is only half the battle. An influencer reaching 2k relevant people is preferable to an influencer reaching 200k irrelevant ones. A good way to get a sense of the quality of the influencer’s audience is by glancing over their replies and comments. What you want to see are signs of genuine, meaningful interaction. If these are absent, that’s a red flag. And look at their content, too. Is it any good? If you don’t think so, you’re probably not alone.

Most influencers are aware of what you want to know and offer this information in helpful media packs or graphics on their websites. Here you’ll find stats such as total unique views, followers across the platforms, and gender and location breakdowns. You’ll also find their prices – which are often the most decisive stat of all.

Now what?

Once you’ve identified the right influencer for your project, you need to know exactly what you want to do with them. There are usually a number of possibilities, but a good option if you’re dealing with products is to send them one to be reviewed on their channels. You may also want to discuss the possibility of a product giveaway, as this can be a very effective way of generating interest.

Another good option is sponsored posting, the cost of which will depend on the influencer’s power and status, and could be anything from around £100 to well into four figures. Finally, it could be worth organising an event. Inviting several influencers to a forum or show at which your brand is being promoted can generate a lot of coverage – as can a public event around a particular influencer, especially if they’re a household name.

If you want to learn more about social media influencers, get in touch with us here.

[1] Digital Marketing Institute

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