You’ve probably heard the term Influencer in relation to social media marketing, but do you know what it means? In short, an influencer is someone with a social media presence who can promote your business or product in a believable way. Most importantly, they have a group of followers.
The preceding description may sound familiar. In fact, an influencer probably makes you think of a spokesperson. There are definite similarities between the two, but there are also distinct differences. An old-school endorsement (see Mean Joe Green in the classic Coke commercial below) is all about a celebrity being paid to sell a product. The influencers of today have a pre-existing connection to the product or industry they’re promoting. Or the promotion creates a tie to the influencer through their expertise. That’s what makes them valuable business partners.
Influencers tend to have clout for a couple of reasons. First, they were likely chosen because they have knowledge about what they’re promoting. If not, the promotion is going to be tied to the reason they have followers. Second, their reputation and personal brand are on the line when they partner with a business. So if they endorse a product that their followers don’t like or that goes against their established reputation, they suffer for it.
So what does an influencer do? They use their social media influence to your advantage. Whether through a Tweet, an Instagram video or a Facebook post is between you and your hired gun. You may be surprised to learn that sixty percent of people consult a blog, vlog or social media post before considering a product purchase. What probably won’t surprise you is that influencers are a great way to connect with a young target market.
Macro vs. Micro
In the world of influencers, there are big fish and little fish. What separates a macro influencer from a micro influencer is the number of followers. That specific threshold is disputed, but let’s say a micro influencer has under half a million followers and a macro influencer has more than a million followers. Basically, a macro is a celebrity, while a micro is more on the order of a normal person. While a star may be more recognizable, a well-known blogger may actually have a bigger impact. On Instagram, you’re ten times more likely to get a like or comment using micro influencers.
Is using an influencer worth it? Many would argue yes! In fact, eighty-eight percent of customers trust online reviews by strangers as much as a recommendation by a friend. The decision is really based on your marketing budget and what you’re promoting. You could pay $30,000 for a Tweet from an influencer with 3-7 million followers, but only $400 for the same endorsement from an influencer with 50,000 followers. If you can reach your audience through an influencer, spending some of your budget this way could pay off.