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How to Define Influence on Social Media

You’ve been in the marketing game long enough to know that a message that comes directly from a brand isn’t nearly as powerful as if that message was conveyed by real people. 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends, family – even strangers – more than traditional marketing messages. To keep your brand thriving, developing an influencer network to increase brand reach is more than just preferable – it’s essential. 

What Is Social Media Influence?

Before you can find the brand influencers who will help your company, it’s important to understand what social media influence is. Don’t confuse audience size with influence. The influencers you select to impart your brand’s message must first have the trust of their audience. The opinions and reviews they share must carry weight and have the potential to do two things:

  • Spark a conversation.
  • Inspire a change in behavior.

Identify what your brand wants to accomplish. Do you want to see growth in your follower base? Do you want to create more sales? Brand influencers should have the power to engage your target audience in a conversation about your brand and ultimately prompt conversions.

What Type of Influencer Fits Your Brand?

There are varied types of social influence that can be broken down into the following three main categories:


The Celebrity Influencer:

When you think about brand influencers, the first type that likely comes to mind is the celebrity influencer. Celebrities have large platforms composed of a wide range of people from every demographic. Just turn on the television – every day a new celebrity partners with a company to mold consumer perception of their product or service.

While some of the top social media influencers are celebrities, it’s not always the right fit for your brand. The celebrity’s persona could completely overshadow your product or service rather than producing the conversations and conversions you hoped for. The celebrity’s platform may not contain enough of the target demographic you are speaking to. Furthermore, celebrity influencers can be expensive! There are plenty of upsides to celebrity endorsements, but is it worth the cost? 

The Expert Influencer:

The expert is the type of influencer who has professional knowledge on the topic – and their audience knows it. When they endorse a product or service, the audience is highly likely to believe them since they’ve proven they know what they’re talking about. These social users are leaders in their industry. They can be a valuable ally because their audience is typically highly customized, built of people who not only are interested in their field, but actively seeking out knowledge about the expert’s domain. 

The Consumer Influencer:

The consumer is an everyday person, but an everyday person with something to say. They have an audience that may have been built through blogging, posting photos or simply staying active on their social media platform of choice. They are typically extremely engaged with their audience and they know how to use the platform expertly.

Many brands overlook this group, but partnering with a consumer, or micro-influencer, could be the most powerful way to grow an audience from the ground up. They’re authentic and they’re used to casually sharing with their followers. They could already love your brand, or they may fall in love once they’re introduced. 

Identifying Your Influencers

Identifying the most powerful influencers for your brand is the first step in forming a successful influencer marketing campaign, so it’s the most important. Examine the following qualities in a potential social media influencer:

  • Relevance: Does the influencer’s personal message align with your brand’s? The content they post is fulfilling the needs and expectations of their audience. Will the endorsement of your product or service fit with the persona they have already cultivated on their micro-influencer platform? Are they talking with your target demographic? 
  • Engagement: This characteristic is less difficult to Engage means to occupy, attract or involve others in a conversation. Does the influencer have an ongoing conversation with their audience? When followers are commenting and sharing with the influencer regularly, it shows a high level of trust in the influencer and the likelihood of gaining conversions rises. 
  • Reach: When you define influence, follower count must be factored into the equation. Audience size will play a role in whether the influencer can offer a significant return on investment.

Build Your Social Campaign  

Are you trying to find the right influencers for your brand’s next campaign? Are you looking for your brand’s most passionate customers? Are you excited to utilize user-generated content to grow your reach? Better yet, are you ready to build an influencer marketing campaign with clear objectives, a brilliant strategy and measure the actual ROI along the way? Pixlee can help – get in touch today.

 

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Michaela Mendes

Freelance writer, passionate entrepreneur, music nerd, traveling foodie.

Social Media Informer