Social media is a fast paced, complex, and increasingly dynamic field. Instagram posts per day number around 95 million, making it challenging for brands to break through and reach their desired audience. The world of social media influencers and bloggers acts as a bridge between brands and the consumer. Influencers, if carefully chosen, bring authenticity to a company's message, broaden their reach, and brings them directly in front of a potential customer. Here are a few tips for mastering the unchartered landscape of bloggers and influencers, one post at a time.
- Choose wisely. There are thousands of bloggers out there, some with organic, large followings, numbering in the millions (think Kylie Jenner). Before deciding on an influencer it is important to determine whether their followers are people you actually want to reach. Does their content match or complement your brand messaging? I recently was approached by a marketing company seeking a collaboration with a Hollywood starlet who is widely known for partying and more than a few well publicized mug shots. Her reputation and personal profile did not match the company brand and though she had a decent following, it would not have been a good fit for a partnership. As much as I love #catsofinstagram, a blogger who is widely known for cat shots will not have followers who are interested in purchasing #dogtreats, and that's just how the social media cookie crumbles.
- Who cares? There are bloggers who have modest followers yet huge engagement with their posts. Numbers matter, but what matters more is whether the audience will actually connect with your message. A cursory glance through a blogger's content will show you whether their followers actually comment / like / repost their posts and also whether the tone of their writing matches your company's brand message. Low engagement with large followings generally indicate "bought" followers. You should also consider previous collaborations to see whether the existing partnerships match the look and feel of your business before deciding to move ahead. If an Influencer has worked with other companies whose customer base matches the one your company would like to meet, that is a good indication that a partnership would be a good fit.
- Contract. Get a contract in writing that establishes the rules of engagement. What can they post, how often, for how long and what will you as a company do in exchange. Social media may seem to be "less serious" than other business models, but it is a huge industry, and growing- and though many companies may be new to the whole brander/influencer ethos, contracts are an important part of protecting any company's interests and I would not recommend going into a partnership without one.
- Hashtag show me the money. Last and by no means least, establish your metrics that you will use to determine whether this partnership worked for you. #turnersbeach #yummymummy #islandstyle #ilivewhereyouvacation are all hashtags that I tend to use on my social media platforms. They match my existing brand messaging and are easy to search for and track. Companies should have their own hashtags which match their overarching message and influencers should be encouraged to use it in their posts so that you can increase not only brand awareness but allow others to find and engage with your brand.
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