Social influencers aren’t a new concept. Industry leaders have been using celebrities to represent their products since… well, since Hollywood’s early existence. Open a vintage ladies’ mag and you’ll find Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Taylor shilling beauty products. These early pairings of celebrity and brand are no different than Selena Gomez’s partnership with Coach or Nike’s original 7-year deal with LeBron James. The $90M price tag on James’ contract with the athletic giant shows just how valuable celebrity endorsement can be in creating a successful brand.
Movie stars and sports phenoms aren’t the only MVPs in modern marketing. As digital marketing has grown and social media has become an everyday experience for most consumers, the rise of the “social media influencer” has occurred. These are the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat users who have a loyal, sizable following. While some are notable names, many are just everyday bloggers or vloggers (video bloggers) who captured global audiences: for example, British beauty queen Zoe “Zoella” Sugg and Grumpy Cat owner Tabatha Bundesen.
“There really is no ‘typical’ influencer anymore,” says Nick Christensen, Social Media Manager at Commit. “At one end of the spectrum, you have celebrity influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers and fans. You also have micro-influencers, who have smaller communities [with] established niches that may be more suitable for what you want to do.” The difficulty for marketers is determining which social media influencer is the right fit for your business.
Ideally, influencers should share goals or passions with the company. There’s also a “sweet spot” for the number of followers you want your influencers to have – and it’s probably not where you’d expect.
According to Markerly’s research, social media influencers with 1,000-10,000 followers had the most consumer engagement. That’s good news for companies afraid of LeBron’s hefty price tag! While the public may be swayed by a major-name endorsement, users actively engage with social media influencers at a much lower level of celeb status. “Social media influencers are important because, in the eyes of businesses, they have a personal connection to the audience,” says our Senior Director of Influence, Janelle Brannock.
“Maybe the influencer is a YouTube personality or a blogger or an entrepreneur or countless other things. No matter the individual, their opinions are highly valued by their fans and it becomes more likely that when they mention a product or service, their followers will purchase or use it. Brands would be smart to utilize influencers in their content strategies.”
Finding social media influencers for your business is as easy as hopping onto social media platforms and typing in industry keywords. Opening a restaurant? Look for food bloggers and travel writers that cover your area. Have an established beauty brand? Find highly viewed “how-to” videos on YouTube or Instructables and research their contributors. Once you’ve found a prospective match, check their social media bios or contact pages for an email address or phone number.
If there’s no public contact info to reach an influencer, send a private message through their preferred social media channel. “You’re welcome to engage with their content through likes and comments, but any serious inquiries to partner up should be done professionally through the avenues they’ve established,” says Janelle. Once you’re in touch, chat with the influencer to determine whether they’re a good fit for your brand, and negotiate compensation.
By partnering with influencers who are in touch with your target market, you can increase brand awareness – and ultimately, sales of your product or service. Contact Commit Agency today to see how we can help you connect with social influencers and grow your business.