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Social Influencers ar(e) people who have well-established social time lines with high engagement. We see celebrities endorse products all the time. If I say “Oprah” you say ___________. The wonderful thing about celebrity, is that it isn’t just the big guns who can be helpful.

Think about it. Who’s the celebrity in your child’s school? The Principal. Who’s the celebrity at the gala you’ll be attending next week? The Emcee. You can bring Influencer marketing down to a local level, by finding the people who offer substantial online social influence in your community.

How To Choose an Influencer:  

  • Check their timelines. Do they behave in a manner you’re okay with having tied to your business?
  • Check their audience. On Twitter, click on their followers and see if they are real people.
  • Check their past endorsements. Are you engaging an Influencer who appears to move from business to business, rather than being a loyal user?
  • Who are they endorsing?
  • Do they appear to be genuine in their endorsements, or is it just the product of the month?
  • Would they actually pay to use the services they’re getting for free?
  • Do they reflect the characteristics of the audience you’re trying to reach?

Once you’ve identified an Influencer you feel will be valuable:

  • Use the Influencer for a long period of time. A single hit, or a one month stretch means that they’ll appear to love you, and then stop talking about you suddenly. We see this with gym memberships all the time. Why was the gym so awesome for a month and now suddenly it’s another gym? Be very aware of the message you’re potentially sending.
  • Maintain the relationship after the promotion. Assuming the relationship was positive, don’t just drop them at the end of the campaign. Maintain an online relationship.
  • Be cautious. Before entering into an agreement and putting your brand into their hands, be sure that you’re not engaging someone who will turn on you if you don’t meet their demands. See who else they’ve endorsed, and ask the company what their experience was like. Someone who always needs things for free and rarely pays for services isn’t the best choice, regardless of audience size.
  • Measure results. Ask for the analytics. Discover what worked, and what didn’t, how far you reached, and if possible, what you sold directly because of the campaign.
  • Be transparent. Anyone who is engaged to talk about you in exchange for product should make it clear in their timeline using #sponsored or #ad .

As an aside, creating a powerful social account and getting paid to wear someones sunglasses in Bermuda isn’t a bad gig. Follow Social Talent on LinkedIn for more tips on Influencer marketing, on a much grander scale. It’s a fascinating emerging industry!