The lines between brands and people are blurring every day, especially when it comes to social media. "Social media influencers" are individuals who have a significant following on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Some of these follower counts are pretty astounding and exceed the social media presence of large corporations. While companies could feel a bit jealous of the online success these social media influencers are achieving; many brands see these individuals as valuable opportunities to gain exposure and credibility online!
Who exactly are social media influencers?
Social Media influencers are individuals (or sometimes a small group) who have gained a large following on one or multiple social media platforms. Most of these individuals specialize in a specific area of expertise and have a substantial social "influence" in that industry.
Take Chiara Ferragni for example, a fashion influencer with over 10 million Instagram followers. Her online popularity has helped her work with top brands like Gucci and Guess. You can pretty much find a social media influencer in every contemporary industry.
These influencers don't even need to be people either. Meet Doug the Pug! Doug has over 10 million social media followers, has over 1 billion Facebook video views, and has even starred in music videos with top artists like Katy Perry and Fall Out Boy.
What value can these influencers provide to a business?
You might have already guessed the first type of value these influencers provide - their vast amount of followers/reach! Almost any piece of content they post is guaranteed to reach a high volume of people.
Companies see value in this high amount of reach and will send free products to these influencers or even pay them to feature a brand product in social media post or video.
Social media influencers can also provide credibility to a brand (at least in the eyes of their fans). Imagine you're a brand who produces cooking utensils/equipment. You might benefit from having your product featured by a top social media influencer in the food/cooking industry like Rosanna Pansino or Jamie Oliver.
People who respect these public figures will most likely start having more respect for your brand or discover you if they haven't already!
Okay sweet! What are some tips for choosing influencers for my brand?
1) Make sure your influencer is relevant to your brand
It wouldn't make much sense to have a health coach promoting a bag of potato chips (not that they likely would, but you know what we mean). The more aligned your influencer is with your brand, the more natural the endorsement will feel!
2) Watch out for high-risk influencers
Most of us have heard about the Logan Paul controversy by now, and this isn't the first (or last) time something like this is going to happen. People make mistakes, but these mistakes can be extremely costly if associated with your brand!
You can't always predict what an influencer is going to do in the future, but you should spend some time analyzing their character and making sure it aligns with your brand's values
3) Sometimes less is more, look into micro-influencers!
Micro-influencers are the same type of individuals as we've been discussing, except they usually have smaller followings than the social media titans in each industry. Micro-influencers are generally less expensive, have less brand-competition, and can fit into more niche markets. You don't always need to chase down Doug the Pug, sometimes opting for Orso the Corgi (3.8K Facebook followers) can be the right move for your brand!
We expect social media influencers to continue to play a vital role in the social media success of many brands in the future. Have you taken the time to make a list of what influencers could help promote your brand?
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