Being influenced to buy something, believe in something, or to try something has been occurring since someone had something they wanted you to buy or try. Before radio and TV, people shared what they liked and didn’t like about products and companies. As technology changed what we were exposed to, so did the way we viewed products and technology. And it’s changing even more with all of the access to the various social media platforms.
A Very Brief History:
We have all seen influencers on TV and heard them on the radio for years. Many athletes, entertainers, and other individuals have given their voice and recognition power to products, and this, in turn, can create trust in the product. After all, if they are using it, shouldn’t I? What is happening now is that the “normal” person (not just celebrities and athletes) has been able to create a following as an influencer on social media. Any individual that is trusted by you and others can be an influencer if that person has some connection to you and your needs and wants. If you think of influencers as someone’s friend, then you get the concept of what an influencer is in this market now.
Do You Need Influencers?
As a business, no matter the size of your company or what you are selling or what services are being offered to your clients and customers, it might be worth it to have some influencers (or even just one) touting your company. A good influencer can help drive engagement and communication to your brand. Think of them as the word-of-mouth communication you get when you’re talking with your friends about a product or brand they love.
In the world of Social Media, it is important for you to make your presence known. Up to 51% of adults visit Facebook several times a day, as well as visiting all other platforms frequently (YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter). Teens are using Instagram and Snapchat most frequently, but Facebook is accessed almost as much. An online presence for you can be as important, if not more so, than advertising on TV and radio in this day and age.
What To Do?
Ok, you believe that it’s important, but how do you find and utilize key influencers?
- Figure out your market and learn how they like to receive information from you.
- Find out who might already be out there talking positively about you and your products.
- Find and follow as many experts as you can. Do an online search for “content marketing” and then research within those platforms for influencers. Following them will help you see how they work. Look at sites like BuzzSumo, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Search out those that might be willing to be a key influencer for you. Do your research and find out what they are talking about and sharing and if it would align with your morals, message, and product.
- Determine if those people are credible, trusted, experts, and willing to collaborate with you.
- Create a relationship with those people and see how you can help each other. React to their posts, ask their opinions, and research who follows them. Is it your target audience?
- When you find someone you like and trust, reach out and ask. If they are willing, create a plan with them that spells out what you want from them in terms of social media mentions, videos, testimonials, etc. Be prepared for there to be a cost to you for this.
- Work with them to create content that is useful and engaging.
- Figure out where you want their presence to be used to your advantage – which platforms are your best assets?
What Makes Someone an Effective Influencer?
You don’t need to have a well-known celebrity to be an effective influencer. Face it; most of us couldn’t afford that anyway. But knowing why someone is a good influencer will make it easier for you to know if they are right for you.
These characteristics and qualifications create effective influencers:
- They believe in what products they are endorsing and speaking about.
- Look for people that have cultivated relationships and have become leaders within their niche.
- These people are trusted as an expert, a reviewer, a blogger, and a trusted voice. They are seen as reliable and knowledgeable.
- The connection you would have with them needs to be authentic and real. If you have to try to fit a square piece in a round hole, it’s not going to be a good fit or an effective use of your time and energy.
- The influencer is engaging and interacts with their audience daily.
- Find someone who is relevant for the audience you are trying to reach.
- Are their postings quality posts or are they just posting to post? You want someone that is influential, not just busy!
- A social media influencer should know who they are speaking to and engaging with. This translates into someone that can speak to your core demographics and speak for and with you!
Now That You Have Them:
- Be transparent about the relationship. Let your customers know that the influencer is being compensated.
- Track your ROE and ROI – are you seeing increases when they share, post, or comment? If not, this may not be the person for you. If they are, track what happens closely to see if you need to increase their reach.
- Always thank them publicly for helping you or working with you.
- Collaborate so they have some ownership in the content. Influencers are more likely to promote your product or service if they have a vested interest in it.
For more information or to schedule a presentation about Key Influencers, contact us here at Burgie MediaFusion. We’d love to help out.