Within the last few years, we’ve seen a new marketing trend surface.
Companies are now working with social media influencers to help gain exposure.
This partnership involves the influencer posting about a company’s product in exchange for some sort of compensation from the company.
What is an influencer?
There are various types of influencers (which we’ll discuss momentarily), but in general, an influencer is described as someone with a strong social media presence and following who may “influence” their audience.
When an influencer posts about a brand or product, the company gains exposure within the influencer’s audience, which should overlap with the company’s target audience.
This allows the company to tap into the influencer’s community to hopefully influence some of that community to buy the company’s product or service.
In other words, influencers are like very personal advertisements for a company.
Who qualifies as an influencer?
There are three main categories of influencers: micro, macro, and mega influencers.
Each influencer type is distinguished by how many followers the person has on any one social media platform.
A micro influencer will have between 500 and 10,000 followers and could be a blogger or even an individual not tied to their own brand. (To note, some influencers may state that they are an influencer within a social media bio, however, many will not.)
Macro influencers have between 10,000 and 1 million followers, and these people may be bloggers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, journalists, etc.
Mega influencers have 1 million or more followers, and because of the enormous following, this group typically consists of celebrities, athletes, etc.
What matters more: the number of followers or the level of engagement?
Of course, there’s more to consider than how many followers an influencer has.
An influencer should also have an engaged community on social media.
This means the influencer’s social posts receive likes, comments or shares that are aligned with the total number of followers she has.
For instance, let’s say someone has 2,000 followers on Instagram and gets 30 likes per post.
This would not represent a very engaged following. If followers can relate to the content that’s being posted, they’ll be more likely to engage with it – or like or comment on it.
How can an influencer help my business?
An influencer can benefit your business by putting you in front of their audience, and consequently, driving traffic to your business and increasing sales.
They will be able to drive traffic for you because you’ve chosen to partner with an influencer whose followers align with your target customer.
For instance, if your target demographic is women ages 25 to 45, you’ll want to ensure the influencer’s audience consists of the same.
So, when the influencer posts about your product or mentions you in the caption, the people who see the content are the same people who would typically visit your store.
What are some of the benefits of working with influencers?
The best type of influencers for local lingerie shops to partner with are micro or macro influencers with most of their following located in your area.
When the influencer includes your store in a social post, that post will be seen by many of their followers that can geographically get to your store.
Given the influencer has good things to say about you, she can also influence her audience with her positive reaction to your product and/or brand.
If you are an online lingerie store, you could partner with an influencer located anywhere in the country, as long as her audience overlapped with yours.
How do I contact an influencer?
The best way to contact an influencer is via email.
If there’s an influencer that you’d like to reach out to, check their social media bio for an email address.
Depending on the type of influencer, the email address may be for themselves, an admin account or an agent.
If you don’t see an email address, you can try researching the person online to see if an email is listed on any other platforms.
If you’re unable to find an email, you could try messaging the influencer on social media.
How do I pay an influencer?
Influencers are paid for their work, but the compensation varies.
Influencers may charge a flat fee for a social post with payment secured via PayPal.
Or, depending on the price of the item, an influencer may do a social post in exchange for free product.
Of course, pay rates will depend on the influencer’s number of followers, engagement rate, etc.
To initiate an efficient partnership with an influencer, don’t look for the most affordable influencer with the most followers.
Instead, focus on finding someone who aligns with your overall brand, whose audience is like yours and is someone who accurately represents your demographic.