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Influencer's! Changing the way businesses do business

How to leverage influencers on social media to grow your business

Let's face it: consumers everywhere trust and act on the words other people say, as against what corporations or advertising firms say. This is the sole reason why using influencer has become a powerful and efficient marketing strategy.

Leveraging influencers on social media simply means ‘influencer marketing.’  

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a revolutionary form of marketing that focuses on identifying and selecting individuals who are influential and leveraging them to reach a particular segment of people. 

These individuals can be any person ranging from politicians to celebrities, activists or other prominent personalities. 

Why companies have no choice but to embrace leveraging influencers on social media

The modern concept of influencers denotes people like footballers, basket ballers and other professional athletes, singers, movie artists, and more. All of these set of influencers have a huge follower base on different social media platforms, which has earned them the name of ‘social media sensations,’ ‘gods of the internet’ and many other attributes. They are not called the social media influencers for the sake of it. Most of these personalities have millions of followers and hundreds of thousands of retweets each day that can change the life of a business in a matter of days and sometimes seconds, with just a single post or advert. 

For example look at Kyle Jenner tweet of "sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad". That stock declined 1.3B after that tweet.

A 2018 Pew Research Centre reports that 68% of people in the US used Facebook, 35% used Instagram, while Pinterest has 29% users. LinkedIn and Twitter have 25% and 24% users respectively. Since there is nothing that promotes sales more effectively than the conventional word-of-mouth marketing, it makes sense that influencer marketing wield much persuasive power that they can ever imagine. 

For instance, 92% of consumers pulled in a survey say they trust the traditional word-of-mouth recommendation more than any form of advertising.

Again, 40% of the millennial generations says their favourite YouTube personality relate and understand them much better than their friends.  

This represents a significant shift in consumers perception, one that can quickly alter consumers buying behaviour.   

For companies, the importance of embracing and leveraging influencers on social media to grow their business is of paramount interest. The essentials of influencers marketing and the need to leverage them have become even more apparent. For instance, 94% of marketers confessed that leveraging influencers on social media has been a success for their business. Another 51% of marketers said they were able to attract higher customers after using influencer marketing campaigns. In two separate findings, emarketer suggest 40% of the people that use twitter said they purchase an item after seeing an influencer tweet about it, while 31% of consumers spread across Europe and the US said they bought a service or product after seeing it in an Influencer post. Such is the power of influencer marketing and the more reason why companies must seek to leverage influencers on social media to grow their business. 

…the idea that a small number of special individuals have an important effect on the belief, opinions and consumption habits of a larger number of ‘ordinary’ individuals has become conventional wisdom in the word-of-mouth marketing community,” stated Ducan Watts,

Yahoo Principal Research scientists and formal professor of sociology, Columbia University, in a thesis called “Measuring Word of Mouth."

From the foregoing, it is clear that companies have no choice but to start using influencer marketing to boost their business, and here is how you can do it.

Define your goals

The first thing you need to do is to define what you want an influencer to help you with. There are many objectives your business can achieve through leveraging an influencer on social media. These include but not limited to raising brand awareness, reaching a new market segment, increasing sales, and more. With your contracted influencer’s brand mentions, social shares, reach, earned media, direct traffic to a wide audience, and more, the results are almost inevitable. 

Look for the right influencer

Not every influencer on social media that can serve your business purpose. Social media audience is highly diverse, and one audience group may not be able to help another audience group. 

You need to consider the influencer’s model; what he or she represents. You have to know his/her size and type of audience, interest, average age, location, and gender. Factor all of these with your business model and determine if it will fit in with what you want. You have to take up the challenge in this area because 70% of marketers still complain that they find it challenging to get and leverage the right influencer. 

One quick way to search for a strong influencer is to look into the hashtags they are using and view the discussions they engaged in. This will give you a prelude to what they are and what they stand for. 

Get familiar with the influencer

After you have found your ideal influencer, the next thing is to get to know him/her. Your quest to reap big from influencer marketing will depend on how familiar you are with your influencer. Create time and make judicious use of it to communicate with the influencer. Make your goals and expectations known to him, including your campaign vision, and also allow the influencer to do the same. When you do this, you will be able to align your approaches and as well collaborate effectively. 

Select the appropriate social media platform

Before you can select a social media platform for your influencer, ask yourself these questions; are my target audience available and active in this platform? What is the size of the audience the influencer has on this platform? What about the demographics of the platform’s community? Which content style works better on the platform? Will I be able to meet my intended business objectives in this platform?

After you have carefully think this through, you can proceed to select your desired platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. 

Final thought

The advent of the internet and growth of social media has forced companies to start reassessing their marketing strategies. One has to realize that millennials and their offsprings are glued to the digital screen. Most millennials identify with YouTube, Instagram and other social handles over other platforms like cable and the newspaper. The purchasing power is in their hands and they are disruptive. There is a reason why actors like Dwayne Jonson and Will Smith and many other entertainers have created Youtube channels and other social media platforms. If they want to stay relevant, they must conform, or fall into the dungeons of obscurity. If your business must stay relevant, you must consider leveraging influencers on social media; as they are the future model of digital marketing. 

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