Finding, Connecting, and Working with Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers present a whole new form of advertising. Read on to discover who they are, how to find them, and what it’s like to work with them!

Did you know that 46% of people rely on recommendations from online influencers? Or how about that for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, a business makes $6.85? Collaborating with social media influencers bring new opportunities when it comes to promoting and advertising your products. From reaching whole new audiences to niche groups, influencers give brands the chance to communicate with their customers in a new way. Read on to discover who these influencers are, how to find the right one for your business, and how to connect with them.

  • Who are influencers?
  • How to find them
  • Connecting and establishing a relationship

Who are influencers?

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Influencers are people who have a strong presence on social media

Who exactly are social media influencers? They are people on social media platforms- especially Instagram and YouTube- who don’t necessarily have millions of followers (although some do), but have loyal and engaged followers. Some are celebrities, some aren’t, but influencers can drive 16 times more engagement than paid media, so if you’re looking to shake up your social media marketing, influencers could be the way to go.

How do you know if someone’s an influencer? Unfortunately, there aren’t guidelines set up for who categorizes as one. However, there are still a few ways to gauge whether or not someone is an influencer who could be an asset when it comes to promoting your products.

Follower count

There are three typical categories that influencers can fall into.

  • Mega-influencersMega-influencers are people who have millions of followers. Think celebrities and prominent public figures. Unless you’re a big, global brand such as Calvin Klein, chances are these influencers aren’t for you.
  • Macro-influencersMacro-influencers typically have between 100,000 and 1 million followers. Depending on who you are and what your product is, this could be the influencer choice for you!
  • Micro-influencersMicro-influencers have less than 100,000 followers, but these can be the ones you want to work with. Even with a smaller follower count, micro-influencers often have a committed fanbase and high engagement on their posts. Don’t overlook them!

Influencer type

Another way to evaluate if someone is an influencer is to look at profile and see what category they fall into. Influencer “type” can include:

  • Journalists
  • Bloggers/vloggers
  • Artists (including actors, singers, etc)
  • Experts and thought leaders from your niche
  • “Regular” influencers (in other words, everyday social media users who are gaining an online influence organically)

How to find them

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‍There are a lot of tools when it comes to finding influencers!

Now that you know what influencers are, generally speaking, let’s go over how to find the right ones for your brand.

Online Tools

There are a few online tools that will help you to find influencers.

BuzzSumo has an influencer suite where you can search for, find, analyze, and contact influencers! Their search tool allows you to filter based on location and topics, and the program will give you a look into an influencer’s metrics. It’s not free but it does offer a 7-day trial to test the waters.

Followerwonk is a free tool created by Moz that allows you search Twitter profiles and bios based on keywords, location, name, or url. It will give you an inside look into a user’s tweets, followers, and social authority, among other things.

Trendspottr is a program that analyzes Instagram profiles and helps you to find influencers on that platform. It will also give you an insight on emerging trends and hashtags, so you can keep a pulse on what’s going on in the Instagram world. Like BuzzSumo, this tool isn’t free, but they do offer a week-long trial.

DIY Research

If you’d rather browse the socials yourself to get a feel for influencers, be my guest! Just keep the three Rs of influencer marketing in mind…

Relevance. Even though they might have pretty pictures on their Instagram, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the influencer is right for your brand. Make sure that an influencer is sharing content relevant to your business, and has an audience that fits your target.

Reach. It’s important to know how many people an influencer is reaching because it’s going to transfer into how many people an influencer is reaching for you. Make sure they’re worth the investment.

Resonance. Resonance speaks to metrics such as likes and post engagements. You want to hire an influencer who resonates with people, and in this case, bigger isn’t always better. A person with 5,000 followers who are all actively engaged can be better for business than someone with a fanbase of millions and low engagements.

Connecting and establishing a relationship

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Find an influencer, reach out, and start collaborating

Once you find an influencer that fits your brand, shares you audience, and has fantastic metrics, it’s time to reach out to them! There are different ways to work with influencers, so let’s go over a couple of them.

Gifts

If you sell a product, consider sending your influencer a freebie. If they really are a good fit for you, they should already have an interest and passion for the industry you’re in and would love your product!

Sending free gifts gives you an opportunity to gain exposure. To maximize your chances of getting onto the influencers YouTube or Instagram, send them a quick email introducing yourself, explaining what your product is and why you would like to send them one. This is a great way to start a relationship with an influencer!

Collaborations

Offer to collaborate with an influencer and sponsor their post. Work together to create a campaign where they show off your product and offer their followers a coupon code in exchange for some free products or other compensation. Just be careful with how you go about it- followers can get fed up if an influencer has too many sponsored posts and blatant advertisements. However, if you make your posts intentional and genuine there shouldn’t be a problem!

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Influencers offer brands a whole new way to appeal to their audience. Even with a smaller follower count, influencers can have high engagement and give business’ exposure. There are a ton of tools out there for finding influencers, but the old DIY research is always a tried-and-true method. Once you have found an influencer you would like to work with, reach out by sending them a freebie, or cut straight to the chase and work out a deal. You won’t regret taking advantage of this progressive form of marketing and advertising!

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