How Influencers Can Help Your Brand on Social Media
*This post was contributed by our Social Media Director, Stefanie Baum.
When I was in college, I still believed that print would survive. Mind you, I graduated in 2010, so this was really just a blatant act of denial. I loved the idea of trained, professional journalists disseminating the news on a tangible piece of paper. But more and more, journalists have turned into bloggers and it turns out there’s a lot of room for brands to use bloggers to sell their products and spread their message. I didn’t want to believe that bloggers would be the movers and shakers of my generation, but here we are. It’s a blogger’s world, and we’re reading (and buying) in it.
Bloggers have become so influential, studies suggest that followers are more likely to trust their suggestions on brands and products than their friends (in real life). A recent study run by Annalect and Twitter found that 40 percent of millennial respondents said they have purchased something after seeing an influencer’s post on social media. In the same study, 20 percent said they’ve shared posts from influencers.
How Can Influencers Actually Increase ROI?
Influencers are tastemakers. Twenty years ago, purchasing behavior was directly influenced by friends, family, trusted figures such as athletes and celebrities, but now, bloggers, Youtube, Vine and Instagram stars are also determining what’s cool and when. Influencers can be valuable to brands by:
- Wearing/using product
- Writing a review about product/experience/service
- Showing how product can be used with other products
- Exposing your brand to wider audience
- Increasing brand awareness and recognition
- Building, solidifying and expanding trust in your brand
- Tapping into a sector your brand may not otherwise reach
How Can Brands Identify Influencers?
Manually, it takes a lot of digging and research across various social media platforms to identify influencers. Alternately, brands can participate in a social listening survey, where a team of marketers will determine keywords and plug them into software that essentially combs the web to see what people are saying about your brand, competitors, products and other subject areas relevant to the predetermined keywords. This research process is incredibly valuable to brands and can help marketers develop sticky content that will produce increased ROI.