Worth around 23 billion pounds in 2016, and predicted to be worth 34 billion pounds in 2019, Social Media is an immensely profitable avenue of the internet. And with such high revenue on a global scale, entrepreneurial individuals are quick to exploit this opportunity to make money, and make a name for themselves.
From Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat, these users, also known as Social Media influencers, are everywhere. Usually followed by hundreds and thousands of people, they reach large groups of people and generate thousands of impressions (views) from excited audiences who engage.
This presents an opportunity for brands to dive in and leverage this to reach their target audience with minimal effort and expense on their part.
How do users become Social Media influencers?
The path to becoming a genuine Social Media influencer can be a long one. If the influential user has no previous famous background, for example, (they aren’t on television or a famous singer), so becoming a Social Media influencer is all about generating a consistent flow of fantastic content that users will want to view and share.
Whether it’s videos, blog posts, or something else entirely, these users have crafted their content production to ensure it offers both SEO value, value to the reader, and has a shareability element that’ll keep their content moving about the internet - in some cases even going viral.
From there, they garner more followers, which leads to a bigger audience, which then allows them to start developing a social following that big brands will be desperate to get their hands on. These are what we’re going to call Organic Social Media Influencers - the people who have worked hard to craft their own digital persona and are then benefiting from it.
The other type of Social Media influencers are celebrities. Some have millions of followers on Social Media, and because of that, they are great cash cows for promoting products that would benefit from celebrity endorsement, perfume or jewellery for example.
It’s a quick way to reach users - but celebrities usually use this as a revenue stream, and thus will want paying - whereas users with less followers might be open to promoting products simply with freebies. It’s all about judging who is worth more to your product, and making sure they have they reach they are claiming they do by checking followers, the follower quality (for example, lots of egg avatars on Twitter is not a good sign), and also checking what other brands are using this influencer.
Social Media influencers are great at selling products for a few reasons. One of the main selling points is that they are authentic brand promoters. This means there’s no agenda for them (it really doesn’t matter whether you sell your product or not), whereas brand marketing naturally has an agenda to drive revenue.
As well as this, Social Media influencers have spent a lot of time crafting their online persona. By doing this, they ensure that they are trusted by their followers, and people also follow those accounts because they relate to the influencer/want to emulate their online persona. This is a fantastic for brands because it allows for authentic and reliable marketing, and it enables brands to do it separate from their own social accounts.
How can brands make the most of Social Media influencers?
The best place for any brand to start when it comes to Social Media influencers is to do their research.
The first thing to consider is whether the Social Media influencer reflects your brand values, and whether your target audience are following them. The followers of the social influencer need to be your customers, and the influencer must be an extension of your brand - a brand advocate, so to speak. Review the influencers style - what’s their header image on social? Profile image? What colours do they use on Twitter? What style is their photography and what filters do they use on their Instagram account? You’ll soon be able to tell if they resonate with your brand or not.
When collating Social Media influencers to reach out to, first create a spreadsheet where you can keep all your research together, and then start searching for those users who you want to plug your product. Selling dummies? You’re going to be looking for mummy bloggers. Selling a new lipstick? Social media influencers who are into makeup and regularly host YouTube makeup tutorials are going to be your best bet.
To find these, firstly take a look at Google. Search for ‘make up bloggers’ and explore their website, because having a blog post as well as influential social accounts will pack an extra punch when it comes to promoting your product - and from there, there will be links to their social accounts which will allow you to assess whether they’re a good fit for your company.
Secondly, browse associated hashtags with your product. You should already be using these on your social accounts because they really maximise your user reach. But if you don’t, and you want to gather together a collection of hashtags relevant to your sector, then use websites such as Hashtagify to find the best ones for you. It’ll provide you with the closest hashtags to the keyword you put in, as well as their popularity - and it will also suggest related tags for you to browse through.
What’s in it for the user?
As we mentioned earlier, some Social Media influencers will expect to be paid. If you reach out to them, they will usually get back in touch with a price list. It’s up to you to judge whether that price is worth it depending on your budget.
As well as being paid, Social Media influencers usually expect freebies of your product. This works in favour of your company, as it will allow them to effectively review your product. Although some Social Media users will take the freebie as the payment, it’s becoming less and less likely for this to happen - and more likely that someone will expect paying at some point down the line.
So before using a Social Media influencer, we recommend that you have a budget in mind and spend it wisely. If you aren’t seeing the results that you’re after, it might be time to review whether this type of marketing is working for you, and whether you’re approaching the right types of influencers.
How to reach out to Social Media influencers effectively
So you’ve found those users you want to reach out to. They have a lot of followers, they have a lot of likes, they’ve reviewed similar products, and it’s clear that they know what they’re doing.
Now you need to reach out to them.
Usually, Social Media influencers will make themselves easy to contact. They’re relying on brands such as yourself to make a profit - so the best way to find them is to reach locate their email on their website, which their social profile will always link to, and discuss your proposition. If they don’t have an email, tweeting at them or sending a message on social will also work.
Always make sure you keep a spreadsheet with who you’ve reached out to, and what their response was. This will avoid you reaching out to the same people more than once, and will be a great reference for when it comes to seeking people to promote another product. You’ll have already done most of the hard work and know who is effective, and who isn’t!
Another great way to get the attention of Social Media influencers is to flatter them. Have a look at their recent posts, explore their blogs if they have them, tell them what you’ve enjoyed reading about. This will show them you’re not just sending mass emails/messages out, and it’s going to encourage the influencer to be on good terms with your brand, too
Social Media influencers
Social Media influencers are a great option for any brand hoping to reach wide audiences on Social Media, and this is especially true if your brand is home to a distinct product or experience.
We hope this blog had given you the information, and inspiration, that you need to start working with influencers with your brand. The rewards of being seen by thousands of people instantly comes with benefits such as more website views and increased revenue. So don’t waste anymore time if this is a new marketing avenue you for you. Get out there and promote your brand with Social Media influencers!
Brandit Global & Your Brand
Promoting your brand on Social Media is a fantastic way of reaching thousands of followers for free, but it’s important to make sure that your brand has a professional canvas to work with.
This means ensuring that your artwork and collateral is consistent on a global scale - and to do this, there is no better platform than Brandit Global.
Adored by our clients, our web to print platform provides you with an online software package that allows you to create your own marketing materials, locked down with your branding, by simply dragging and dropping images and changing text. The approval process means nothing gets published digitally or printed without being 100% on brand, making it the perfect brand guardian tool for the busy marketer in 2017.
To find out more, or request a free, no-strings attached demo, fill in the form below. You can also contact our friendly team on 0161 228 6489.
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