Selling your brand means bringing it where the people are, and where they are is the internet. Social media is the courier of the most relevant conversations happening right now. Who are having these conversations? Your potential customers. The people – bloggers, pinners, facebookers, tweeters – at the forefront of these conversations are the people who can most influence how that conversation evolves and if your brand will be a part of it. Those people are called influencers, and choosing the right one to promote your brand could give you the launch you are looking for.
Influencers: Who Are They?
- Active Supporters: Who is already talking about your stuff? You can crawl social media and find advocates who are already promoting your brand. Check through likes and mentions to see who is on about you and what they are saying. If you want to broaden your search, look for people who are active in the conversation about a product you offer. If @MrSleekTuxedo is frequently hashtagging about white dinner jackets, he is someone you would consider approaching about your line of formal menswear.
- Bloggers: Why do people write blogs? Because they are passionate about a thing and they want to share it with as many people as possible. That is exactly what you want to do – it’s like a match made in Victoria Beckham’s closet. A blogger who is passionate about what you are offering is likely to already have an audience listening to what they are saying. They have the power to direct your potential customers toward you, through what they are already doing.
What Do They Look Like?
- They have Reach: How many people are connected with your influencer? A desirable influencer will already have a ready audience. Even if you find a youtuber that is a perfect fit to promote your product, if he doesn’t already have a following he won’t be influencing much. How many followers does this blog, this Twitter or Instagram account, actually have? Count unique followers to determine how many ears are actually hearing what your potential influencer is saying.
- They have Engagement: Who is really listening? Engagement on any platform is a sign that people are hearing what an influencer is saying. How often is @RedHalterStrap being retweeted, mentioned, or liked? How many times has your blogger’s newest post been shared or commented on? If the answer is none, then your influencer is more like a tree falling in the forest alone – no one is hearing it. Engagement shows that people are listening, and interested.
Which One Is Right for My Brand?
- Needs Specific: Are they part of your niche? This is where you start paring down the list of potential influencers you’ve garnered so far. Get in there and really read what it is they are saying. A cosmetics blogger is only helpful to you if she is using the type of cosmetics you are offering – if you don’t carry the hypoallergenic products she really needs, this is not a good fit for you. Taking your time with this step is very important. These are social media super-connectors, and a bad review will go a long (and unfortunate) way.
- Platform: Are your customers on their media? It’s no secret that different platforms of social media attract different types of audiences. What are the demographics of their followers? Are they the 18-24 year old males that are buying your suede shoes? Probably not, if your influencer is a Facebooker. This is especially true for fashion, whose vivid flair lend themselves to visual media platforms.
Finding just the right influencers might require a bit of legwork up front. You want to make sure the blogger or Instagrammer you choose will be on board with what you’re about and promote it in an authentic way. But the time and effort you put into pinning down the right outlet is like putting gold into the world of word-of-mouth. There is no price on great publicity.