How to incorporate influencers and partnerships into your social media strategy

By April 5, 2018

There’s no doubt that word-of-mouth referrals are the most powerful form of marketing any organisation can hope to stimulate. However, the reach of traditional referrals is always going to be limited which is where social media influencers come in.

Instead of one customer talking to a handful of friends about the great experience they had with your organisation, your customers can share this feedback with thousands of people via social media.

Even more importantly, the friends or followers of that individual trust that person and their opinions. Research has shown that trust in a brand is crucial to the buying decision and so if your organisation can demonstrate genuine relationships with partners, 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on that social media reference.

So, we know that influencer marketing can provide great opportunities for organisations, but if you’re new to the world of social media influencers, how do you get started? and how can you ensure your influencer campaign is a success?

Identify your objectives and set KPIs

As with any strategic campaign planning, the first step is to outline what you want to achieve as this vision will help you to stay on track and inform decision making along the way.

Don’t forget that these objectives should link back to your wider business aims to ensure your social influencer campaign directly contributes to the development of your organisation.

Once you have identified objectives for the campaign, it is imperative to set some metrics by which you can analyse the performance of the campaign.

Examples of objectives and potential KPIs include:

  • Brand awareness — measured by the number of brand mentions as a result of the campaign.
  • Encouraging self-service — measured by clicks or visits to your website demonstrating how effectively the influencer redirected people to your website to find information. This is a particularly powerful objective for public sector organisations where encouraging the public to self-help is exceptionally efficient.
  • Driving business development and increasing revenue — measured by total net revenue from the campaign which is the profit on sales attributable to the campaign divided by the cost of the campaign. Alternatively the conversion rate is a great measure, which is the ratio between the number of clicks and the number of sales.
  • Brand recovery after a crisis — measured by sentiment change, this metric will tell you how your brand is viewed by the influencer’s audience.

Understand your audience

The next step is to start thinking about the types of influencers or partners that would resonate with your audience and that they ultimately trust. To do this, a deep understanding of your audiences is key. If you have not profiled your audience before it is a great exercise that will help to inform all elements of your content strategy — find our guidance on this here.

Audience factors to consider and match with influencers:

  • Age and gender
  • Marital status (i.e. are they single, or do they have partners and children that may influence their interests and needs?)
  • Interests and motivators (i.e. are your audiences more interested in experiences or luxury goods?)
  • Location (i.e. are they all based in one city or spread out across the UK?)
  • Hobbies (i.e. are they passionate about sports or music or shopping or fitness?)

Search for relevant influencers

Once it is clear who your social media audience is, start searching for potential influencers and partners that will be relevant and authentic.

It is important to bear in mind that research has shown as an influencer’s follower total rises, the rate of engagement (likes and comments) with followers decreases and so size of following is less important than quality of engagement.

To narrow your search down, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the size of their following and are they active on social media?
  • Does their current content fit with your brand values, or products and services?
  • Is their social media activity engaging?
  • Is this influencer relevant to your customers, relatable and attainable?
  • Is this influencer authentic and trusted in their field?
  • Where is this influence based?

Location is a particularly powerful element – these examples showcase Jemca Car Group’s work in supporting local sport teams and individuals they know their audience love.

Measuring impact and maintaining the relationship

Of course, once the first phase of your campaign is complete, its time to evaluate the impact against your KPIs. This process can be supported by tagging influencer content as part of a specific campaign in CrowdControlHQ, to ensure you can separate off this content to analyse it in isolation.

These reports will then either indicate a success first time as your audience profiling has allowed identification of fantastic influencers, or perhaps the results show that there is more work and tweaking to be done. Either way, maintaining a strong relationship with your influencers and partners will help to continue to improve and develop your campaigns and in many cases your partnership will develop over time as those partners become brand ambassadors.

We hope that these quick tips will have helped our readers who may be in different stages of their journey with social influencers/partners. We’d love to hear your experiences, contact us @CrowdControlHQ to share your insights!