Social media managers and social media influencers can learn from each other.
Social media managers have to maintain a consistent brand voice, while influencers are constantly growing their audiences and building their personal brands through creativity. This combination of social media skills is what makes for the perfect partnership between social media manager and influencer; one that will bring success to both parties.
As a social media manager, it can be hard to know how to best reach out and work with influencers. It's not always easy to get the attention of an influencer and find out who they are willing to work with for collaborations. Finding the perfect fit for your client or brand isn’t always a quick process.
This blog post is designed as an introduction for how social media managers and influencers can work together with the ultimate goal of bringing success to everyone involved in the relationship. Learn how you can use your social network skills in order to make connections that will help build up both parties involved.
Defining Scope of Work for the Influencer(s)
As a digital marketer as well as a consumer, I know the power of influence. I click on social media posts to check out an article, or to buy something, just because someone in my online circle of friends recommends it.
When looking for an influencer, you will first need to set goals for your campaign, create a checklist and define a scope of work for the influencer.
Here are some things to decide before you search for influencer(s):
- Length of campaign
- The ‘ask’ aka what social media content you are looking for
- Tool to use to track the campaign
- Social Media platforms
- Number of influencers you want to work with
- Who will manage the overall campaign
- Which team member will work with the influencers
- …and who will be in charge of community management!
Once you have this figured out, you should decide whom to look for.
- Will you need micro influencers or macro influencers for your campaign? Meaning, how large should their social media accounts/follower count be, how experienced will they need to be?
- Are you looking for platform specific influencers like Instagram influencers, or general industry experts?
Once you’ve got everything lined up and you have a social media strategy for using the content that you will be asking these influencers to create, it’s time to search!
Where To Find Influencers
- First and foremost, I recommend you look to your online community! Look to your current customers, Facebook group members, affiliates and those who engage with you and your brand already! Look for people who’ve tagged you, who are sharing about a positive experience they’ve had with your brand. This should be your first search and will yield the most genuine and real content – true testimonials and stories!
- Next, search on native platforms for industry influencers.
Look for industry experts who
- Post consistently
- Engage with their audience
- Create video content
- Share high-quality content
- Have an engaged following
Each platform will allow you to search using topics, keywords, hashtags and Dm-ing a potential influencer is a pretty standard procedure.
- There are free and paid tools available to help you shorten this search.
- Last but not least, my number one tip is to look for content creators!
Content creators are used to making videos and telling stories, which is what you are really looking for!
What If an Influencer Doesn’t Want to Work With My Brand?
When an influencer declines your offer to work with them, do not push it.
You want genuine influencers, those who will use, like and recommend your product or service.
You never want to push someone to create mediocre content for you – it will flop!
Remember to thank them for being honest about not wanting to work with you, and you might ask if they would recommend someone in their network who would be a better fit. Word of mouth from one influencer to another can be powerful.
How To Make The Relationship Successful for Everyone Involved
Here is where I am going to share some real life, relevant tips from social media managers in our community. These tips come from social media managers who are actively working with influencers right now, and have shared some do’s and don’ts that will help you get started much quicker!
Why not learn from others who’ve gone before us, right?
A few month ago, a member of our group asked this question:
“Do you reach out for influencers for your company or clients? The company I work for wants me to now sign up 500+ Brand Ambassadors, a week, to represent the brand well and create content for us.
I think this is an astronomical number, per week, for an outdoor apparel brand. I don’t think this is possible without some type of influencer tool or adding more people to our social media team.
Any tips or insight into this? Thank you.”~Clarke B.
The response from our community of social media managers was amazing!
Here are some of the (best) responses.
- 500 is definitely quantity over quality, and it takes time to build up meaningful relationships with the influencers so it’s not just a transactional exchange (which is disingenuous and doesn’t breed any brand loyalty). That said, there are agencies that can get your product in front of a lot of influencers at the same time, but at a cost. Sounds like you need to sit your client down and manage some expectations.
- If you need to, just remind them that these people will be representing your brand. You want to make sure that you’re on the same page before somebody does something that becomes a liability to your brand as well.
- What if instead of doing ambassadors you run a campaign for user generated content where they have to hashtag it with whatever you want to use and then pick 1 person a month/week to give a free product or discount code to. That way you get a bulk of content to use but people are voluntarily doing it which would = less work for you.
- We did this for my company. Goal was 100 in a three month period and it was HARD. 500 a week is going to honestly be next to impossible. Are you sending them things? Or just giving them a code?
- Messaging 500/week is a lot of manual work, with sourcing, even if you don’t personalize at all. That’s not even considering that the many won’t sign or respond. Consider how many times you’d need to multiply this number to actually reach the signing goal. On top of that, I see in another comment that you’re an employee and this is on top of existing duties. This is a job unto itself tbh, not something you offload onto one employee as a task. It’s a hard no from me. You either won’t be able to hit their goal, and lose, or you will hit their goal and the quality will suffer because you’re not selecting ambassadors who would represent your brand well, and lose. I don’t see a way you can do this, maintain performance, and hit your goal. Are you aiming for visibility or conversions?
- Now, what is the point of this? There’s no way you’d be able to create actual relationships with 500 people per week like others have mentioned. I feel like all your outreach is going to have to be plain and generic which will just read as spam. Finding quality people will be incredibly time consuming, but mass blasting to just anyone is pointless. Not to mention the tracking…I shudder to think of it. I do less than 50 per YEAR, and that is a ton of work. I would find out what they are trying to accomplish here. More content, drive sales? Take that and suggest a better suited strategy. Either reduce that number significantly, run a content-creation campaign, etc. Good luck!!!
- I just did some math on this lol…500 people divided by 40 hrs/week = you’ll be interacting with 12.5 people per hour. Divide the 60 mins in an hour by that 12.5 people = you’ll get to spend 4.8 minutes with each. IF you do nothing else all week, you can spend less than 5 minutes with each person. No way!
- That is an unrealistic number. And even if it was possible, once they start working, managing them is also an endeavor. They would need a team to manage this many people.
- Try finding good influencer that actually fit your brand, that will potential generate sales. This includes going into detail and seeing their actual engagement. And not sending those spam emails nobody does them. Contact them professionally. You could find a few to present your point to your company and you can even mention that nobody answers because it’s considered spam now.
- I have a background in high volume recruiting prior to my social media work, and there is no universe where that is possible…even with a team of 10 it would be tough. Meaningful connections are far better than the surface ones like this would elicit. You can send out free product and ask people to share their thoughts, but beyond that this is absurd.
- What are they offering that they can afford to sign up 500+ Brand Ambassadors weekly? I'm asking as an influencer and someone who runs a group for seasoned influencers. I know that most of us don't respond to random messages on IG nor do we normally respond to cold pitches without budgets. Just some additional insight.
From these responses we learn that preparations and realistic expectations and goals need to be set by management.
When you are asked to set up an influencer program, do your homework and understand what goes into this. Lots of time, effort and money!
I also want to point out the difference between a brand ambassador and an influencer!
Are you Excited to Launch an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
There is a lot to learn when it comes to working with influencers, but the rewards are worth the effort.
Collaborating with influencers can be an amazing way to increase the number of customers coming through your door. Get on board by using your social media skills in order to make connections that will help build up both your brand and the influencer's following over time. The more successful this partnership is, the better it will work for everyone involved!
Are you excited about working with influencers?
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.