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Brands Under the Influence: The Benefits of Social Media Influencers

Posted By: Heather Prather on November 18, 2015

Social Media Influencers

While celebrity and spokesperson brand endorsements have become a staple marketing go-to tactic (hello, Captain Kirk!); in the age of social media, so has partnering with a “celebrity” of the social media world = A Social Media Influencer.

It’s true that widespread partnering with Social Media Influencers is still in its infancy, there’s no doubt that collaborating with them is making big bucks for those brands who do it right. Top Social Influencers garner massive followings that remain engaged with their content. Really engaged. Like, they eat it up and wait with bated breath for the next post, so it stands to reason that this type of partnership can turn a little-known product into a household name in no time flat. In addition to being a great way to reach a specific audience and showcase a brand’s offerings, Social Influencers strive to build trust with their followers, so when they promote a product, it also builds trust in the overall brand. Bonus!

The Core DNA of a Social Media Influencer

  • They are regular people who are able to relate in an authentic way.
  • Most grew up online and are experts on how to leverage content.
  • They understand today's culture (pop or niche) emotionally, verbally and technologically.
  • They are experts at producing audience-specific content for each distinct platform.
  • They painstakingly analyze their audience and develop content based on their audience.
  • No matter the topic or brand, they build a meaningful relationship with their followers.
  • They consistently interact with their audience to foster a personal connection.
  • Over time, they become a deeply trusted resource for advice, recommendations and tips.

How Influencers collaborate with brands and agencies

Statistically one of the most engaging platforms available, Instagram has over 400 million users. Instagram allows for creative storytelling through photos, text and video snippets. It is becoming increasingly common for brands to work with Instagram Influencers with large followings, because they not only promote via their own individual pages but also across a network of other Influencers via cross-promotion.

Influencers do it all. Top and small-scale retailers, outdoor sports equipment and pet product companies and beyond have achieved success via Influencer collaborations, due to the powerful voice they possess and because they have mastered the art of nurturing their audiences and know how to tell an engaging story with their posts. Followers relate to their lifestyle and see the intrinsic value in the products and services they promote.

Brands are also collaborating with Influencers on other platforms:

Sphero partnered with Vine influencers DAN NampaikidMax Jr, and Matthew Paquette to create videos for the BB-8 droid release on their own Vine channels.

Truth and Vine influencers Jerry PurpdrankLogan PaulChristian DelGrosso, and AlliCattt collaborated on the #BigTobaccoBeLike campaign which aired during the finale of Fear the Walking Dead and the premiere of The Walking Dead.

Taco Bell
Taco Bell invited Snapchat influencer Shaun McBride (Shonduras) to take over their Snapchat account for the day to announce their new dessert, Cap'n Crunch Berry Delight.

Tips for choosing the right influencer for your brand:

  1. Match making is key. Choose Influencers with followers that align with your brand demographic, audience and interests. Inconsistency in brand DNA vs. Influencer may do more harm than good.

  2. Know who you’re dealing with. It's important to distinguish followers vs. engagement.

  • Just because someone has a lot of followers, does not mean they are an influencer. It’s common practice for people to buy followers.

  • When evaluating engagement, it’s important that the potential Influencer has a consistent rate of shares, likes, comments, etc. A consistent rate means they have a dedicated following and the understand what to post, along with the appropriate captions, hashtags, etc. They how to visually engage their audience and tell a compelling story.

  • Good Influencers should be invested in the collaborative process and motivated to create branded content that will resonate with their followers.

  • Best part? If you choose wisely, the results are proven to be long-lasting.

Got a good Influencer story to share or a favorite you follow? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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