Throughout the experience, I’ve always been told that influencers don’t work when it comes to improving a company’s brand awareness. I agree, to some extend. There is a majority of influencers out there who claimed they are ‘social media influencer(s)’, but don’t have any idea how to even read or analyse Google Analytics report, Iconosquare or any analysis related. Some even made terrible mistakes on increasing the brand’s awareness to either continuously spam people’s feed or limit to a single post update each day which makes no sense. Or advertising similarly again and again.
So, are these social media influencers still remain valuable in the digital world? Well, the answer is a resounding ‘YES’. It’s all a matter of how you select them for collaborations. Here’s a few things you should consider before hiring an influencer.
Each time I ask “What do you do before hiring the influencer? What do you research about them?” The answer has always been a resounding “We hire those with high amount of followers and likes!” I was surprised at the time and still am today as some brand still believes that is the case.
Entrepreneurs need to understand that all those followers and likes do not mean much these days since it can be bought for as cheap as RM50 in exchange of a couple thousands of followers and likes. So, I thought this would be a good time to share on the methods on selecting the most suitable influencers.
A good rule of thumb would be to have your own influencers’ selection process.
Whenever you see an account with thousands of followers and likes but you have no idea who he or she is, and the comment section is filled with spam messages or no comment at all, that’s where you need to be careful. These are strong indications that the account is a fraudulent one.
I’d recommend to pay more attention to the comment sections. We need influencers who do not shy from replying messages from strangers. View the way the influencers reply to each comment, take note of the manner and how helpful the influencer was in the conversation. View as much comment sections as possible before approaching the influencer for work so you’ll get a clearer picture of the candidate’s experience and work ethics.
Contact his/her using DM since most influencers prefer this method of communication. Explain what your brand intends to achieve and the reason you are contacting them. Upon agreement, start interviewing them to better understand whether he/she is suitable for the work.
Once the interview is over, I’d also ask if the influencer won’t mind if I get the social media account(s) to be analysed. You can even do it on your own by simply use softwares such as Iconosquare to determine whether the influencer is right for the job using data obtained. With permission of course.
You don’t need to be a special analyst of Iconosquare to understand the data. I’d advise you pay attention to every data in the report, but if the task seems too heavy for you, you can always opt focusing on key info such as the ‘demographics’ and the ‘preferred terms by the influencer’s followers’.
Obviously, more data is helpful to get successful social media campaign. However, by simply picking these two data, you’ll be able to devise the right combination of promo, advertising and campaign to emotionally connect with the audience.
Promo Code for Performance Tracking
If you feel convinced the influencer is suited for the job, another method I’d recommend is to pass each of them with a unique promo code for performance tracking purposes.
For instance, the selected influencer, let’s call him Joe, will be given the promo code Joe88 in which he will use this as part of his campaign. Apart from giving discount to Joe’s audience who keyed-in the code, it will give us a mean of tracking how much of Joe’s audience ended up buying your product. A strong usage of the promo code tells you that Joe is a very influential influencer and he can be considered again for future jobs.
My Final Two Cent
Be careful when you select influencers to work with. Stop believing in the idea that amount of followers and likes are vital for success – since these can be bought nowadays. Instead, investigate their pages and look through the comments. The more engagement in the comment section, the better. Paid accounts can be identified easier as comment sections are not easily available for purchase – even if they do, you can spot a spam comment easily.