We have recently been reading some fascinating research by Twitter, highlighting the value of influencers on the social network. The research included some key stats such as 49% of Twitter users rely on recommendations from influencers and when users are exposed to both brand and influencer tweets purchase intent increases 5 fold.
So with these key statistics in mind, can we all benefit from the ever-increasing popularity of social media influencers?
But before we delve deeper let’s take a look at…
What is a social media influencer?
A social media influencer is someone that can help drive action within your target audience, such as a buying decision through social media activity.
They may be a blogger, an industry expert, a YouTube sensation or a trusted reviewer, but it is vital that they’re suitable for your audience and are able to influence action.
Jay Baer wrote in a recent article about the importance of not confusing audience with influence. Although a certain individual may have a large following, are they likely to encourage action to the benefit of your organisation? Using Jay’s very own words, ‘True influence drives action, not just awareness’.
So how do you go about identifying the right influencer for your organisation?
Identifying suitable influencers
Identifying suitable influencers for your organisation is by far the most important stage of an influencer marketing campaign and will ultimately determine the success (or failure) of your campaign.
With an in-depth understanding of your audience’s behaviour, you will already have a good idea of their content consumption habits and the social channels they are most active on. This will allow you to focus your efforts on finding suitable influencers who will create content that will resonate with your organisation’s audience.
In addition to this, and possibly the most important factor when identifying a suitable influencer is credibility. For years, credibility and trust has underpinned the marketing principle behind celebrity endorsements, and this key factor translates directly when identifying a social media influencer.
As suggested in this guide to influencer targeting, an effective way of identifying suitable influencers is to employ social media listening functionality. By monitoring relevant accounts and related topics for your organisation, you will find active community influencers and be able to quantify their popularity and their ability to drive action, ultimately proving their credibility.
Once you have identified the right influencer for your organisation there are key factors you must consider, including:
- Paid vs Unpaid – How will you compensate your chosen influencers? If paid, you will have to ensure full disclosure across all content. You may have spotted in recent news that Warner Bros. amongst others have been fined heavily for failing to disclose influencer paid promotion. Therefore, it is vital to consider when opting for a paid approach, how you will ensure full disclosure within any content created. There are also further considerations to consider, check out this interesting infographic on the topic…
- Mutual Goals – This is especially important if your answer to the last bullet point is unpaid… To ensure a successful relationship with your social media influencers, it is vital both parties have mutually beneficial goals. Outline each other’s goals and work out how you can help each other.
- Key Messages – Cleary define from the outset what the call-to-action of the campaign is and how this will be communicated to drive maximum impact. Through this you will ensure all content is created with a clear objective, avoiding the potential of miscommunication, which could ultimately impact campaign success and ROI.
- Content Creation Process - Work closely together to find a suitable content creation process to ensure brand messaging is integrated, but avoid restricting influencer creativeness. Ultimately they know what works for your audience, hence their success at influencing. Check out this great article, which discusses why you should give influencers space to create…
In summary of this article, we have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts to ensure your social media influencer campaigns are successful and abide by advertising regulations.
Do’s and Don’ts of social media influencer campaigns
- Concentrate on finding a suitable influencer that has credibility and resonates with your audience – The success of your campaign relies on the effectiveness of the influencer. Ensure they have the ability to inspire action across your target audience
- Develop mutual goals – Ensure long-term successful relationships with your chosen influencers by developing mutually beneficial goals.
- Set performance benchmarks – Before initiating your social media influencer campaign, set performance benchmarks so you can monitor the success of the campaign at various intervals.
- Experiment, Measure and Respond – In relation to performance benchmarks, consistently experiment with the delivery of your influencer campaign to identify most effective approaches. With frequent opportunities to measure results you can monitor performance, and alter approach styles if necessary.
- Confuse audience for influence – As Jay Baer rightly said, don’t fall for large audiences, as they may not represent influence. True influence drives action, conversions and ultimately ROI not just awareness.
- Fail to disclose paid influencer campaigns – If you choose to pay your chosen social media influencer, avoid any legal repercussions by ensuring full disclosure within promotional content. (E.g Warner Bros.)
- Restrict creativity – You have chosen your influencers based on their success within your target audience, so ensure you don’t alienate their audience by restricting content creation.
With the clear potential of social media influencer marketing, is your organisation prepared? We would love to hear your thoughts!
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