media update’s Jenna Cook takes a look at the key things to keep in mind when looking for your brand's next influencer. 

The rise of social media influencers is making it more and more important for your brand to establish connections with consumers.

Your consumers no longer look at your brand through the lens that you construct for them (as they would in traditional marketing) but rather, through the lens that they, along with their fellow consumers, construct for themselves. The truth is that a simple and effective way for your brand to regain control of how consumers see you is by securing a social media influencer.

A social media influencer is a user on social media who has the potential to provide additional value to a brand. They hold the potential to adjust the focus of your consumers by driving authentic engagement because social media is not a tool that can be used to traditionally pitch ideas but rather establish meaningful communication.

When looking for your brand’s next influencer, keep ’the four A’s of influence in mind:

1. Attributes

You’ll want to align your brand with influencers who have a similar message, purpose or identity. Charles Leadbeater, an author and leading authority on innovation and creativity, says in his book We think: The Power of Mass Creativity, “You are what you share”.

In the social media age, this couldn’t be more true, and it is the main reason why choosing the right fit for your brand is vital. Your influencers are going to become the voice of your brand across social media, so make sure you like what they are saying.

2. Audience

Your audience is ultimately the most important aspect to consider when communicating through social media. This is because, through each post, you have the opportunity to build real relationships with your consumer.

Audience engagement is a great way to determine how your consumers have been impacted by your, or your influencer’s, message. Writer of NOW revolution Jay Baer says, “Social media changes the relationship between companies and customers from master and servant, to peer to peer”. It is important for you to close the gap between brands and consumers.

You have the ability to capitalise on the fact that consumers are more likely to trust the recommendations of a peer and, in this case, the influencer.

3. Authenticity

A key point to consider when choosing an influencer is to ensure that they have a genuine image of their own – one that differentiates them from other influencers. This authentic image is something that needs to be communicated through every post – if your influencer is seen as being ‘real’, your brand message will be better received.

“There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them,” says journalist and author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell.

Building this exceptional potential is done by recognising the passion that influencers have for their work and allowing them to do what they do best – influence.

4. Activity

Being active online means that there is going to be more of a conversation between your brand, your influencers and your audience. “Awareness is fine, but advocacy will take your business to the next level,” says Joe Tripodi, in his article Coca-Cola Marketing Shifts from Impressions to Expressions.

Your brand will want to make certain that influencers can meet the following criteria: build your brand’s online presence, create credibility among both of your followings and increase traffic. This is done by having a strong and active social media presence.

Instilling a sense of brand loyalty in your consumers will come from your ability to communicate with your audience through your influencers.

Finding your influencers

Now that you know exactly what to keep in mind when looking for your brand’s next influencer, you’ll need to know how to find them.

The most efficient way to find influencers is to invest in a social media tracking and reporting service, such as amaSocial. This service offers ‘profile tracking’, which allows you to recognise who your brand’s top contributors are.

Determining who is interacting with your brand is a great way to gain insight into your community, and makes finding influencers much simpler. With this information, your brand can directly target individuals who are already interactive.

A service like amaSocial makes getting real-time data on the effectiveness of your social media efforts easy. How, you might be wondering? Their systems track campaigns, brands, topics and profiles across all of your platforms and provide comprehensive reports on all of this data.

amaSocial not only tracks your social media activity but also has the capacity to monitor the efforts of your chosen influencers. It is vital to ensure that your influencers are adhering to the requirements that your brand has laid out. Therefore, receiving reports on the performance of these influencers will allow you to determine how well their efforts are contributing to your brand’s success.

The nature of influence and influencers is changing as the social media landscape continues to evolve. The power is now being placed into the tech-savvy hands of those who are capable of inspiring connections. And brands that want to keep up are having to dynamically change their media efforts to include influencer marketing.
Influence isn’t solely dependant on having massive social media followings. Influencers with small or niche followings can be just as effective. Read about how micro-influencers can change the marketing industry in our blog post, Micro-influencers are changing marketing for the better.