What is a Social Media Influencer?
The Business Dictionary defines it as:
“Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. In consumer spending, members of a peer group or reference group act as influencers. In business to business (organizational) buying, internal employees (engineers, managers, purchasers) or external consultants act as influencers.”
In short, A Social Media Influencer that is social media user that has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer generally has access to a very large audience and they can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
Why do organisations engage Social Media Influencers?
Companies engage with social media influencers as apart of their marketing strategy primarily to assist with relationship building. Influencer’s audiences can be small or large and they can reach consumers via social media networks that your brand may not have been able to. This strategy is becoming the focus of many brands and organisations looking to optimize the social space. If executed correctly, influencer marketing really does has the ability to reach niche audiences and create a greater impact than traditional advertising methods.
Engaging with the Wrong Influencers:
Brands must remember that the influencers that are hired will be representing your brand. It’s not just about the number of followers the influencer has. You need to consider interests, demographics, market segments, and more abstract variables such as attitudes, self-image and expertise in a particular field. Like anything, it is really important to your research!
How to Choose the Right Influencers:
You have to have clearly defined boundaries about the types of influencers that you want to represent your brand. The first step is identifying the “who” For example, you are B2B brand focussed on technology in the Aged Care Sector. The next step is all about finding those in that space that have the most influence. Consider the influencers community, followers and engagement just to name a few.
Be careful of social media accounts that are lacking in authenticity. I recently came across a social media account that has a very large social media following and their Bio simply indicated that they were an ‘Ambassador and Influencer’. Not a mum. Not a Celebrity. Just an influencer. An influencer of what I wondered? The account promoted every product known to man and in fact, the products promoted opposed each other (e.g. some healthy gut products and some hangover cures?) When you examine the post engagement, you could see it was poor and the number of comments was notable across the account. This type of account does not have any real influence in any specific or targeted area. Relationships happen when the brand thinks about building real connections with real people that are influential in their defined space.
Biggest Mistakes Influencers Make:
As an influencer, you’re your biggest asset is your audience. It is really important to safeguard your channel carefully. Nobody knows your audience better than you do.
Don’t be afraid to say no to brand deals. This can actually help your success in the long run. Think about this: if I say yes to this, what I am saying no to. If you don’t believe in the product and you feel like you could jeopardize the trust built with your audience, just say “no.” You do not want to build any level of untrustworthiness with the audience that potentially enables your influencer income. You also don’t want to end up on a Biggest Social Media Fails list!
There are some great examples of the good and the bad of influencer marketing here: https://relate.zendesk.com/articles/good-bad-influencer-marketing/