In our previous blog post, we talked about The 5 Types of Social Media Influencers and how they can be leveraged to help reach certain business goals. From nano to celebrity influencers, choosing the right type of influencer is important, but there are other things to consider when “shopping” for an influencer with whom to collaborate. 

The amount of social influencers who inflate their numbers with fake accounts is increasing, so it can get tricky to find an authentic influencer who’s the right match for your social media marketing campaign. That’s why we’re going to lay out some of the key areas to evaluate when you’re searching for your perfect match. 

Think About Your Business Objective

One thing to always keep in mind is your business goals and campaign objectives. Ask yourself: Does their page and their content align with my brand? By the time you start your search for a social influencer, you should have some ideas on how you want to incorporate them into your campaign’s digital strategy. Whether the goal is to increase sales, followers, or brand awareness, take a look at the type of content they are posting and how their followers engage with it. 

Do Some Research

Hashtags – Researching hashtags that your brand is already using on social media is a great place to start your search to get an idea of what conversations are happening. You might even be able to identify influencers who are already promoting your products organically. Because they believe in your products, they have a greater chance of converting their followers into evangelists for your brand. 

If you specifically want to see what type of content influencers are posting, then you can do a search for #ad, #sponsored or #promotedpost. Social listening can also help you with this research to refine your overall digital strategy. You can follow keywords, hashtags, and topics that relate to your industry, which will direct you to the influencers you’re looking for. 

Content Quality and Audience Engagement – Content quality and engagement are very important factors when evaluating a social influencer’s profile. Make sure to read through some of their posts and the comments within them. The comments will tell you if the content is resonating and how the audience is reacting to it. If they have great content, you’ll see a lot of people tagging their friends, asking questions, and getting personal responses from the influencer. If the influencer can drive genuine conversations with their audience then that’s a good sign.

Authenticity  The way the content is written will give you some insight as to whether or not the influencer is authentic with their audience. Influencers who incorporate a personal story that can tie directly into the product are seen as more authentic and tend to get higher engagement rates than those who post generic content just for the sake of posting, which can seem rushed and insincere. Part of the influencer experience is being able to start conversations with their audience and keeping them engaged with relevant content.

As you go up the influencer tiers, follower counts increase and it can be difficult to tell if these followers are “real” people. Social influencers with fake followers are not the way to go and will definitely impact the authenticity of the influencer, but most importantly, your brand. If you do work with a macro influencer or bigger, there are social tools you can utilize to evaluate their social profiles for any fake followers or engagement.

Use a Social Influencer Platform

Looking through various social influencer pages is very time consuming, but necessary in order to get a better understanding of who they are and whether or not they’ll be a good fit to promote your products or services. But, if you know you want to hire an influencer with a wider reach, you can save some time by using a third-party social influencer platform that people use to connect with popular influencers online.

There are a handful of influencer platforms you can use like HYPR, for example, which will analyze influencer profiles, their audiences, connect you to the right influencers, and include other tools like campaign management and analytics. Some features might charge an additional fee, so be sure to evaluate a few platforms that have the tools you’re looking for. 

Conclusion

Influencer marketing will continue to dominate Instagram and partnering with the right person can help your brand succeed on social media. In order to avoid any mishaps or mistakes that can cause your brand to be seen in a negative light, brands must do the necessary research and ask the right questions because, in today’s world, the only way to really connect with people is by being authentic.

New Target works with clients in various industries including digital strategy, web marketing, social marketing, and e-commerce development. We create comprehensive digital strategies and sales funnels to take users on the proper journeys to help maximize sales. Whether you need a fresh website, content creation, digital strategy, paid campaigns, or a liaison to help bridge the gap between your brand and a social influencer, we have the tools and the people to make it happen. To learn how we can help, fill out our project form to get started.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.