Social media has changed the way marketers work. Influencers are seemingly everywhere for every imaginable product, and anyone with a large (or even small) audience can call themselves an influencer. So how should marketers choose an influencer to partner with, and what are the key qualifications an ideal influencer should meet? Read on below for our top three suggestions.
Authenticity should be the goal for all content creation, including influencer content. To gauge whether an influencer is genuine, marketers shouldn’t be relying only on a high number of likes and video views (especially because some social networks, like Instagram, are removing the number of likes/views from public viewing), but rather manually (i.e. humanly) screening influencers over a period of time. See how their audience engages with them, and how the influencer engages back. Are there real conversations taking place between the influencer and their audience? Is their audience responding positively to their content? Do you, as a marketer, feel that the influencer has the right tone, personality and messaging that you want your brand to align with? These are all important questions to consider if marketers are going to invest in an influencer.
Real followers and views
Analysing whether an influencer has real followers and views can be challenging, as there are services online that allow people to buy likes, followers, and views. The only real way to get a sense of whether someone has a fake audience is to review their audience engagement. If the influencer has thousands of followers but no likes or comments on their posts, this is a good indicator that their audience might not be real. Another good indicator that an influencer may have a fake following is if their following steadily decreases over days without any real reason (e.g. they have posted controversial content). There are tools online that can help marketers scan and analyse social audiences, but sometimes your own pair of eyes that is (hopefully!) familiar with social media best practices is the best way to get a real sense of an influencer’s audience.
If you choose to partner with an influencer, you are associated with them the minute you go public with your partnership, thus, it is important to review the influencer’s history to ensure you know not only the potential benefits, but potential risks. If they’ve posted controversial or offensive content in the past, resulting in a backlash from their audience, this may not be an influencer you want to associate your brand with. It’s hard to predict what an influencer will post in the future, but such is the nature of partnerships in every industry. Choose an influencer that aligns best with your brand tone and messaging, and someone who you think will truly bring value to your audience, as well as theirs.
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