What are Social Influencers?
As social media deepens its roots in societies around the world, opportunities for brands and companies to capitalize on the influence of these networks are growing. Social influencers, users on social media who have established credibility in a specific industry and garnered a significant following, present an intriguing way for companies to increase their reach.
Recently, though, social influencers have been surrounded by controversy due to fraudulent events and dishonest event marketing, dampening the general outlook on influencers.
Yet, it would be a mistake to assume that social influencers can’t help a business build a recognizable brand. Here are a few ways social influencers can help your business build a brand, and grow a reputation.
Increasing Targeted Brand Awareness
Whether you’re a fan of the new wave of social media influencers or not, they do tend to have significant followings. No matter the industry your business is in, it’s highly likely that your target audience is on social media. In fact, 79 percent of Americans have social media profiles in 2019 according to Statista.
By capitalizing on the loyal following of social media influencers, companies may put their brand and messaging across to their target audiences in seemingly authentic ways. This can be an invaluable tool for companies that are seeking to break through in an industry, or even for companies that seek to strengthen their positioning in the mind of consumers.
How to Vet Influencers
While there is undoubtedly a lot of good that can come from working with social media influencers, there are certainly stories of things going wrong as well. Here is a great blog from Forbes on ways to vet these influencers before you make any kind of investment with them. A few crucial take aways from the blog include ensuring their audience isn’t purchased or fake, and that their following is organic.
Generating Relevant Leads
Building awareness of your brand is undoubtedly part of the battle, but unless that brand awareness is converting into business, then there’s no tangible benefit to the marketing campaign.
The key to effectively utilizing social influencers is by identifying those that are within your targeted industry. While it may occasionally be beneficial to improve your brand recognition on a general level, targeted marketing is always the key to lead generation. By reaching potential clients and customers on a social network, through the medium of a voice they know and trust, your lead generation efforts will almost certainly improve.
Low Cost, High Reward
Generally speaking, marketing campaigns with social influencers really aren’t that expensive.
The return on investment though, while not always guaranteed, can be significant. In fact, according to Convince and Convert, “Influencer marketing can yield ROI as much as 11X that of online display ads.”
When you consider why influencer marketing can, in some cases, be more effective than display ads, you begin to understand the value of these types of campaigns. Being introduced to potential customers with calls-to-action from a trusted source, as opposed to display ads that can feel somewhat random and insincere, are simply a more effective introduction to your company.
While there are undoubtedly benefits to social media marketing through influencers, there are fraudulent actors in this space as well. Do your research on individual influencers before making financial commitments, and take a look at articles like this one from Sprout Social on how to spot fake influencers.
But, assuming you’re working with authentic individuals, social media influencers can have a major impact on your brand’s identity and recognition.