What You Need to Know About Social Media Influencers

By Thomas Griffin,
business.com writer
|
May 12, 2020
Image Credit: comzeal / Getty Images

Influencers are an excellent way to grow your social media marketing campaign.

Are you looking for a new way to grow your business? Social media influencers have grown in popularity since websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube started accruing unimagine traffic. Over 3 billion people use social media today, and as a result, influencers play a more prominent role than ever before in helping businesses reach their audience. 

Social media influencers are internet personalities that use their presence online to create content and cultivate an audience. As a business owner, you can reach out to influencers for collaborations on future content. 

Consumers tend to turn to influencers for product recommendations, information and reviews. An impressive 92% of U.S. consumers shop online, and influencers can play a significant role in how people engage with your brand. 

Let's take a look at a few things you should keep in mind if you're thinking about hiring influencers to promote your brand. 

There are several types of influencers 

The first thing you need to know is there are several types of influencers. When you first start researching potential partners, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where you should start. 

There are three different types of influencers based on the size of their audience. The most common variety is called a microinfluencer. These individuals usually have 1,000 to 100,000 followers on their social platform. 

Many business owners like working with these folks because they usually create plenty of niche-specific content. In other words, they have a targeted audience that they reach through their videos, posts or images. If you're looking for a way to reach a specific subset of consumers, microinfluencers can help you connect with these individuals through their promotions.

Next, there are macroinfluencers. These people have between 100,000 and 1 million followers on their channel. Again, these influencers are great for reaching targeted customer bases. The advantage here is you can expose your brand to a more substantial following while still working within a specific persona

The last significant type of influencer is known as a celebrity influencer. As you can imagine, celebrity influencers have millions of followers and a vast reach. Celebrity influencers are great if your business is brand new, and you want to show your target audience that you exist. The massive number of followers means you're going to reach plenty of new people, but many of them might not have an interest in your product or service. 

Understanding the various types of influencers can help you make smart decisions when you're designing your marketing campaigns. For example, if you wanted to promote a giveaway, a celebrity influencer would get you the most bang for your buck because of their audience size. Similarly, if you wanted to promote a new product in your store, you would want to work with a smaller influencer, because they have a more reliable connection to your audience. 

Influencers can't build social proof alone

Have you ever bought something because a friend told you it was a good product? If so, you've experienced social proof. In a nutshell, social proof occurs when someone makes a buying decision based on the opinion of others. 

In many cases, influencers help build social proof for your business by recommending your website to their followers. The subscribers, in this case, see your brand as more reputable because an influencer they trust, said that your site is worth their time.

While these internet personalities can do wonders for encouraging trust, they can't act alone. You have to create your own forms of social proof to confirm information relayed by the influencer. 

There are plenty of ways you can add social proof to your website. Start by adding the option for customers to leave reviews. Believe it or not, 97% of people look for reviews before making a purchase. Allowing feedback allows new users to see the experiences others have had with your company. Consequently, the reviews could be the deciding factor when it comes time to complete their order.  

Additionally, your brand should have an active role on the social media platforms where your influencers reside. You want people to watch a video from a creator that introduces your business so they can follow and engage with your brand. 

Make sure you're working to promote videos, share praise on your profile, and consistently deliver exciting content in your posts. When social media users see that brands are active, they start to trust the company a little more, and the shared reviews help you build more social proof. 

Influencers know their audience

The influencer ultimately decides what they post on their channel. While hunting for social media personalities to promote your brand, you're going to find people that fit your needs perfectly. But if you want them to promote content that they are not interested in sharing, you have to respect their decision instead of remaining persistent. 

Not only will you build a bad reputation in influencer circles, but you'll also waste plenty of valuable time and money trying to develop a connection that doesn't exist. If you can't agree, move on to someone who has a place on their channel for your content. 

Influencers know their audience. A surprising 80% of internet users have at least one social media channel, which means people will naturally navigate to channels that catch their interest. Creators know what kind of content their audience wants to see because they've worked with them for years in some cases. 

As you navigate the social media landscape, you have to keep in mind that these people know their audience. If they don't want to promote your content, they likely have a reason for their decision. Perhaps they worked with a similar brand in the past and didn't get good feedback from their subscribers. Whatever the reason, you should be willing to accept the fact that sometimes you won't be able to make a deal. 

You'll need to make some tough decisions

Finally, you should prepare to make some tough decisions when hiring social media influencers to promote your brand. Content creators work in every industry imaginable, and you're going to have your hands full deciding on whom you should hire. It's not possible or beneficial to hire a ton of influencers all at once, but you should have a small group of people that you use to promote your brand consistently. 

Don't make a split-second decision about which influencers you should use. Instead, spend time getting to know plenty of different candidates and narrow the list down to a select few that you think would work well with your brand. 

It's worth noting that not all influencer partnerships last forever. You should regularly assess the performance of the people promoting your business with personalized links and analytics tracking. As you're looking over the data, you may have to let some of your influencers go after the contract expires. Always base your decision on data-driven sales analytics and measurable customer feedback

Conclusion

Social media marketing is here to stay, and influencers will remain a large part of this strategy. Now that you know a little more about the process of hiring and marketing with an influencer, you'll have a much easier time generating sales and traffic with these social media celebrities.

I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.
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