Three Reasons Why Brands Should Partner with Social Media Influencers
posted on 9th May 2018
What is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is a user who has established credibility in a specific industry. These influencers have direct access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
Social media is an ever evolving industry. And while it has made it easier to connect with our friends and family, it has also made it easier to engage with our favourite celebrities and brands. As a result of its prevalence, we have seen a new age ‘celebrity’ reign – the Social Media Influencer. It’s the buzzword we’re seeing on resumes and Instagram profiles.
For brands, this brings so many new opportunities to bring consumers even closer. Partnering with influencers is often compared to the modern-day celebrity endorsement, enabling them to reach a specific target audience and develop the brand’s image in a unique way.
Why should brands partner with Social Media Influencers?
1. Social Media Influencers are seen as more relatable and attainable
Celebrity endorsements are generally used by brands because of the reach a celebrity has with a broad and diverse audience – just think of Selena Gomez’s 136 million followers on Instagram. But celebrities also project a sense of unattainability. Influencers on the other hand are much more relatable. They have established credibility with a specific industry – from makeup to travel to fitness or even gaming. Their loyalty and engagement is proven to be higher due to the genuine and personal connection with their followers, offering brands highly targeted, loyal and engaged audiences.
2. The endorsement is considered to be more authentic
As consumers, when we see an advertisement with Britney Spears singing and dancing in Pepsi’s warehouse with truck drivers as her backup dancers, we know they’re paying her the big bucks. This creates a sense of skepticism. But when consumers see influencers posing with brands on Instagram or talking about them in a Snapchat video, there’s already a sense of trust that has been built up follower by follower, post by post. They’re considered opinion leaders and are aware of the latest trends. In fact, 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than traditional advertising or celebrity endorsements (MuseMind).
3. Influencers create quality content that engages their audience
Influencers are experts at creating content that strikes a chord with their audience. With an inherent understanding of their followers, they know what works and what messaging will resonate. They may even create content that your brand itself didn’t think of, and with Snapchat and Instagram stories, it’s even easier to engage with audiences in real time.
That said, there are always a number of elements to watch out for when partnering with influencers. Like any endorser you choose for you brand, you want to make sure their values align with the values of your brand. You don’t want to get into a situation like what Adidas is facing with Kanye West right now. Do the research and make sure the influencer reaches the audience you’re targeting in a way that is a positive representation for your brand. And lastly, don’t forget the power an influencer has with their audience, no matter how your brand interacts with them…
A few months back, UK beauty and lifestyle influencer Elle Darby contacted hotels in Dublin, while planning a weekend holiday. She got in touch regarding promotion to her 107k followers on Instagram and 127k subscribers on YouTube in exchange for free/discounted accommodation – a practice common between businesses and influencers. Unfortunately, Elle contacted the wrong hotel owner in Dublin and an all-out battle ensued sparking a debate on how social media influencers do business with business owners. That’s an entirely other blog post for a different time, but if you want to learn more you can read about it here.
No matter how you feel about social media influencers they offer a unique opportunity for brands to connect with loyal audiences, building awareness and engagement in a way that cannot be matched through more traditional advertising.
Katelynn Spaid, Social Media Coordinator
Katelynn Spaid moved to Dublin from Austin, Texas in March 2017 to work as the Social Media Coordinator for Neworld. She received her degree from Texas Tech University in Public Relations, and has extensive experience in social media management, content marketing and sales. At Neworld, she has developed an appreciation for branding and its relationship with design effectiveness. She admires the creativity and enthusiasm of her colleagues and is happy to be a part of the show by promoting and celebrating their work.