Traditional marketing is great for business, but in today’s world, social influencer marketing is even better. Social media has disrupted the balance of power between brands and customers. Social media networks provide a platform for people to easily connect with brands, as well as share their opinions to thousands of people in seconds. With the adoption rate of social media increasing everyday, more people feel empowered to share their personal experiences with brands to give consumers an authentic viewpoint. This sharing of content is dramatically changing the way people make purchasing decisions because they no longer only rely on what the brand says. They look for the recommendations of others, and now they can access social proof from people they trust anytime, anywhere.
Easily Grow Your Brand With Social Influencers
These days, most brands have a strong online presence with one or more social media managers to post content and engage with their audiences. Most marketers understand the importance of having a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account because it is proven to positively impact the business. But employing someone to maintain an online presence isn’t enough anymore. Marketers need a scalable way to reach new people on social and quickly convert them into a customer.
Marketers are beginning to realize the best way to grow their brand is through social influencer marketing. Statistics show that, “92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other people—even if they don’t know them personally—over promotional content that comes directly from brands” (Nielsen). By teaming up with the right influencers to spread your message you can reach thousands, even millions, more people in a more effective manner. Brands that leverage social influencers to spread their message are seeing up to a 10X increase in conversion rates.
So how do you know which influencers you should recruit?
The Rise of Authentic Social Influencers
McKinsey recently conducted a study on social media’s influence on business, and what they found was there is an upward trend of influencer marketing for years to come. The rise of social media networks has given everyday people the opportunity to create and grow their personal brand, and thousands have done so successfully. These socially savvy people provide value to brands because they have proven they know how to grow a loyal following, create consistently engaging content and inspire trends. Therefore, authentic social influencers can serve as an extension of your marketing team and reach the people you’ve never been able to. Brands should take time now to invest in finding the right people to help them build a successful company for the future.
So what classifies someone as a social influencer? It is anyone that has a high level of credibility and respect with an audience. So much in fact that their opinions influence others to take actions.
An authentic social influencer can be:
- A loyal customer
- A passionate brand advocate
- A dedicated fan
To maximize your ROI from social influencer marketing you need to identify your desired personas. What do you want your influencers to look like? What do you want them to post about? How many followers should they have? These are just a couple of the questions you should ask yourself before recruiting social influencers. Keep in mind the success of your campaigns is directly related to the people you choose. Focus on finding authentic industry experts with large followings who genuinely believe in your brand and product.
Why is Social Influencer Marketing Valuable?
According to McKinsey, “The impact of social media on buying decisions is greater than previously estimated and growing fast.” This is because brands who have implemented social influencer marketing strategies know how valuable it is to their success. Social influencer marketing is great because it can (and should) feed authentic user generated content right into your digital marketing campaigns. It is proven that consumers sharing a brands message generated more than double the sales that resulted from paid advertising. Influencers are not only driving sales but brand loyalty. Customers who were acquired through social influencer efforts have a 37% higher retention rate. An extra bonus is that influencers have proved that they like to tell their friends and family about brands who sponsor them and share information about the brand, outside of any contracts or obligations.
What Does the Future Holds for Social Influencer Marketing?
Do any of us really know the future of social media and influencer marketing? Not really, but we can look at the data and see that social influencer marketing is not only here to stay, but on the rise. Brands are beginning to allocate a much larger percentage of their marketing budgets to influencer initiatives.
Experts are saying that there will be a return to authenticity, or leveraging everyday people who positively advocate for the brand instead of paid celebrities. Consumers are already getting tired of placed, scripted and insincere posts that are coming from brands and paid influencers. Brands should provide a general message but look to trusted influencers to spread that message in their own voice.
Build strong relationships with social influencers by recruiting them to an official program or network. Get to know the people in your social influencer network by monitoring their social activity, regularly communicating with them and understand their goals. Then you can strategically use your network of influencers to target specific audiences. This will increase participation and quality of content from social influencers because they will feel like they are an important part of your brand.
Like all good things, social influencer marketing will change and evolve over time as it adapts to the latest trends and technology. Make it a priority to continuously learn the emerging influencer marketing strategies so you can grow your business successfully.
Savvy marketers are already capitalizing on the opportunity to grow their brand with the voice of their customers, fans and consumers. If you recruit passionate and dedicated influencers to participate in your marketing campaigns you will increase profits, reach new customers through influencer’s well-established networks and increase brand trust.
Read more: Is Influencer Marketing the Next Golden Ticket? [Infographic]
This article interested me because the article discusses a trend in marketing that I have definitely noticed myself. The “social influencer” has been on the rise recently, and will likely become even more powerful as social media continues to grow. I have personally noticed the trend of “paid” posts on Instagram. Occasionally, popular people on Instagram will post about this new product that they absolutely can’t live without. These posts are usually obvious paid advertisements in the disguise of a “real post”. Seemingly every celebrity on Instagram now a days is using some sort of teeth whitening system. What brand is their favorite you might ask? The brand that pays them the most is their favorite, of course. For most people, it is glaringly obvious that these posts aren’t genuine. I would doubt if they actually lead to significantly increased sales. However, that does not mean using “social influencers” cannot be effective. I would argue that, if done correctly, using “social influencers” could be tremendously effective (even way more effective than any traditional marketing strategy could ever hope to be). Take for example the fashion industry. The fashion industry has done an exceptional job of utilizing social influencers to their advantage. It is common practice for brands to send celebrities free clothes. When these celebrities are seen out and about in these clothes, people all of a sudden are dying to have them. Anybody familiar with Kanye West understands this effect. For whatever reason, anything he is seen wearing will often skyrocket in popularity and exposure soon after. Whether this is justified or not, it is undeniable how powerful the right “social influencers” can be in today’s modern world.