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How to Find the Right Social Media Influencers for Your Business

Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin

Using social media influencers correctly can boost your brand awareness and increase your sales.

  • Influencer marketing is on the rise, with 63% of marketers working with at least 10 influencers per campaign. 
  • Business owners think audience engagement is the best way to measure the success of their influencer partnerships. 
  • Picking influencers in your niche can help improve your traffic, sales and engagement. 
  • Instagram, Facebook, and blogs are the most popular places to promote your business using these social media personalities. 

Consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if it's recommended to them by a friend. Many people view social media and blog influencers as friends, so a recommendation encourages their loyal followers to check out the company being mentioned. When a business owner or marketer works with an online personality to promote a product to their audience, we call this influencer marketing. 

Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the best tools business owners have at their disposal. A staggering 63% of marketers work with at least 10 influencers when they launch a new campaign. That number is expected to rise as marketing teams learn how to create meaningful connections with these internet celebrities. 

There are plenty of benefits to using this social media strategy to spread brand awareness, increase sales and improve engagement. In fact, social media plays such a critical role that 89.3% of business owners claimed that social media is somewhat or extremely vital to their success. 

If you're new to the world of influencer marketing, you probably have some questions. We are going to walk you through the various steps and decisions you must make if you want to use this valuable strategy 

Consider your marketing goals 

First, you'll have to decide on your influencer marketing goals. There are several great benefits you can achieve by working with the right personalities. Some of the most common goals business owners establish when working with internet personalities include:

  • Increase sales by dollar amount or percentage 
  • Improve engagement rate on social media 
  • Boost website traffic
  • Grow their email list

Your goals will determine the steps you'll take as you move forward. For instance, if your goal is to spread brand awareness and increase website traffic, you'll want to work with a macro-influencer, which consists of someone with a broad audience between 50,000 and 300,000 followers on any given social media channel. The reason you'll want to work with a larger channel is that you can reach more people with your brand. 

If you want to improve your sales, you may want to consider working with a micro-influencer. Micro-influencers generally have between 2,000 and 50,000 followers on their website or social media channels. These influencers are great for hosting a giveaway, promoting real customer stories, or by offering detailed product reviews. 

These activities require a more refined audience. Since micro-influencers specialize in one niche, there's a better chance that the consumers checking out your contest or product reviews are genuinely interested in your business.  

Once you decide on the goals you hope to achieve by using an influencer, it's time to move on to the next step. 

Fine-tune Your customer personas  

Before you approach an influencer, you should take some time to learn everything you can about your target audience. There's a good chance you've developed customer personas based on your target audience. In essence, customer profiles are designed to give you a ton of valuable information about the people most likely interested in your product or service. 

You'll want to review your website and social media analytics for common trends among your audience. For instance, if you notice that 80% of your audience is under 25, there's a good chance that you would benefit from an influencer who caters to a younger audience. 

Additionally, you can learn about your customer's pain points and use that information in your marketing material for influencers. For instance, is featured on many popular YouTube channels. Their goal is to find good jobs for people, even if they have unique personalities and skills. This message ripples through all of their sponsored influencers in the form of fictional people with silly personality traits finding their dream job. 

It's essential that you understand your customers before you start looking for influencers. Failure to flesh out your customer personas could result in you picking out a partner that doesn't resonate with your target audience. 

Now that you understand your goals and customers, it's time to start looking for influencers. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and blogs are the most popular platforms for these internet personalities. 

You'll want to start your search on social media because 31.24% of all referral traffic stems from a social media platform. In other words, you have a better chance of seeing substantial results when marketing on YouTube or Instagram. 

Influencer blogs are also beneficial to business owners. There are plenty of reputable websites that are looking to feature you in a piece, both of which result in more visibility. If you offer your product or service to the blog, they may be willing to write their own reviews and personally expose your brand to their audience. 

When you're searching for influencers, you should always keep their target audience in mind. Their audience's goals and demographics must align with your own for the best chance of success. There are plenty of nuances you should stay mindful of in your pursuit. For example, if your demographic is women in their 30s, you wouldn't find success partnering with an influencer that targets teenage girls with fashion tips. Remember that your target audience should be a significant portion of the influencer's audience. 

You can learn about influencers by reading their archived blog content or checking out influencer posts they've promoted in the past. 

Set clear expectations

Narrow down your list of influencers and start sending our warm emails. Let them know that you've checked out their content, and cite some of your favorite pieces. Your goal is to show the influencer that you've spent time looking at their content and seeing if they are a good fit for your business. 

Once the influencer responds and the conversation gets rolling, set clear expectations. We suggest deciding on the following factors: 

  • One time promotion, or extended campaign
  • Payment (money, promotion, products, etc.)
  • Engagement expectations 
  • The type of content 

You'll find that addressing these issues helps frame the deal, so there is a mutual understanding. You'll also want to consider creating and sending custom URLs that you can track for future sales, discuss whether you'll allow them to promote on your website in the future, and of course, signing a contract. 

Follow up and review analytics 

Working with influencers means you'll have to follow up and review your analytics information regularly. Pay attention to details like traffic, engagement and sales from the influencer's social media channel or website.

There's a good chance that some influencer partnerships will fall through. Sadly, this happens with many partnerships, and it's hard to avoid. If you stay on top of your influencer campaigns and analytics, it will become easy for you to determine whether a partnership will work out on a long-term basis. 

Over the course of your career, you'll work with plenty of great influencers that help you reach your target audience. Now you know how to find, hire and negotiate with these social media personalities and bloggers. 



Image Credit: ViewApart/Getty Images
Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin Member
I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.