Indigo Online: Getting the right influencer

‘Influencer’ is one of the hottest buzz words in social media at the moment, but who exactly are influencers and what can they do for your organisation? Very simply, influencers are people who can use their large following on social media to promote products and events. Some like to stick to things they like, others open the floor and invite companies to let them experience products and services in exchange for publicity across social media.

Great! So you’ve found the biggest influencer you can get your hands on and you’ve handed them a pricey cheque and some free products. But the publicity isn’t bringing as much as you’d hoped to your organisation…… What’s gone wrong?

The number of followers isn’t everything: it’s not about finding the biggest influencer, it’s about finding the right influencer for you.

The right influencer will be someone who posts content that’s relevant to your industry. A food blogger rocking several million followers, isn’t going to have the right audience if you, for example, are a manufacturer of car parts. A car blogger with a few tens of thousands of followers, might seem meagre by comparison, but that audience is going to be much better suited to getting your message to the right people.

Whether an influencer approaches you or you approach them, doing research into what topics they post about will give you a good idea about whether the influencer is a good fit, and can also help generate ideas of how the influencer can show off your products and services.

So now you’ve got your eye on a particular influencer, how do you know they are the real deal? In the past, we’ve spoken about the potential pitfalls of social media advertising and unfortunately, influencers are not exempt from being not quite what they seem.

If an influencer has many tens of thousands of followers, but is only getting a few likes and generating a few comments, the chances are good they do not have a very engaged audience at all. A post can be viewed many times, but that means little on social media unless those views are turned into engagements – something a successful collaboration with an influencer should achieve.

Influencers can be a great way of drawing  attention to your organisation and its services, but don’t be starstruck  by large amounts of followers and jump in blind. Take some time, do your research, make sure the influencer is everything they say they are and make sure their content is right for you and your audience. Get that right and you’ll be set to benefit from exposure to a new audience.

Erith McKean
Social Media Executive