Social Media Marketing continues to be the latest in effective digital marketing – and with it has come the rise of the social media influencer. A social media influencer is someone with a large, highly engaged following on a social media platform or several platforms – initially, social media influencers on Instagram were primarily sought after for posting sponsored photo or video content promoting products to their followers. Social media influencers – from those who have carved out a niche and built a following around a specific topic, and developed a reputation with their followers for being honest with product reviews and recommended items. Their authenticity is especially important to businesses because today’s consumers are savvy to ads – while digital advertising still works, it’s typically re-marketing that works best — which is when a consumer sees an add after already visiting your social media page or website – and influencers are a great way to get that first visit from a trusted source in today’s social proof-first marketplace.
How Influencers Can Promote Products
Influencers are now all over several different social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, SnapChat, and Facebook. Because they have authenticity and specialize in a specific niche, the products they promote – while FTC rules require influencers disclose paid partnerships – come across as a personal story about their experience.
1. Product Showcases
One of the easiest ways to get influencers to consider showing your products is to provide free samples or free products to the influencer. The free products allow the influencer to incorporate the product into their lives. When a product is integrated into the influencer’s life when they show the product, it is a more organic experience for the public and their followers.
Having a hashtag for your product can help people find your product line. When an influencer uses the hashtag, people can follow the tag and view any other posts related to that product. The best way to think of this is a virtual form of word-of-mouth advertising.
3. Brand Representatives
Another great way for influencers to promote a product is to allow them to become a brand representative or a brand ambassador. The influencer can give their followers a coupon code, and for every purchase that uses that coupon code, the influencer gets a small percentage of the profit.
Finding the Right Social Media Influencer or Influencers
When you are attempting to find the right influencer for your product, you cannot merely look at their number of followers and send them products. You need to find an influencer that would have background information on your product and know how to use it. For example, if you are making a product suited for small business owners or entrepreneurs, you shouldn’t send it to an influencer that specializes in fashion and beauty.
It’s not all about the numbers – here’s how to ensure you find the right influencer to partner with to promote your product or brand:
Focus on Reach
When you find the influencers in your product niche, it is very tempting to look at how many followers they have and start to engage with them. However, it might be more beneficial to find an influencer that engages their followers more with fewer followers. Micro-influencers – those with 10,000 – 20,000 followers who are deeply engaged…meaning they comment, like and repost the influencers content…can be much more beneficial as far as ROI and long-term retention than an uber-celebrity with millions of followers.
How Often They Post
You might have found the perfect influencer; however, they might not post consistently or very often. As a business professional, your goal is to get the product in influencers’ hands without it seeming like an ad. If an influencer who doesn’t post very often suddenly starts showing your product, it will be a red flag for their followers that they are being paid or not being genuine.
How They Engage Their Followers
Suppose the influencer simply posts content and does not receive any comments, responses, or likes. In that case, this could be an indication that their followers are not returning to their profile or blog very often – or even worse, they have “fake” followers. Engagement is key to truly understanding the value behind partnering with an influencer.