Reach out to influencers #LikeABoss

The Internets favorite people can help your business succeed

by AT&T Business Editorial Team

The age of the influencer is here, and your business should be reaching out. Influencers are people who have built a trusted follower base on various social media outlets, and many of them are open to advertising products and services they love and believe in.

Influencers are not celebrities, although celebrities have been used as influencers for quite some time. What’s different is that this new type of influencer is a marketing genius on the inside, and an above-average joe on the social-realm outside. And they’re effective: 92 percent of people trust recommendations from people over brands, even if they don’t know them.

Sold? Awesome. But don’t go reaching out just yet, especially if it’s to all the influencers you can find. You’ll need to know some things about your business and your soon-to-be influencer before you start, but you’ll be using these influencers #LikeABoss in no time.

Know your target audience

If you own a whiskey brand and you use an influencer with thousands of avid fishing followers, it wouldn’t resonate effectively. OK, maybe it would with some – but wouldn’t you want to reach thousands of habitual mixologists instead? Find out what kinds of hashtags your target audience uses and see who they follow, then find an influencer who matches those interests and habits.

Know your influencer

If you think you’ve found an influencer that resonates with your target audience, think again. Yes, really. Don’t think a massive following is important; you’ll need to consider quality over quantity here. How do these followers interact with this person, and do they trust them? Would you? If you’re nodding, go ahead and get in touch, and throw in some internet points to them via likes and comments in the meantime. But be patient, you’re not the only brand trying wedge into their feed.

Know your control

If you’re looking for a simple paid post, most influencers would find it easily doable, especially if your product or service fits well within their posts and general day-to-day. But it’s important to know, and accept, that these influencers are popular and trusted because they’re picky about everything they post. Go ahead and give them the reins, or have a conversation about how they think your business would come across to their followers – they know them better than you anyway.

Know how to measure your ROI

Likes and comments and shares – oh my! These numbers do not translate into ROI. (Sorry for rhyming.) It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers or the wonderful comments followers make when your influencer finally makes your perfect little post. But take a look at your referrals and sales in the time frame right after your influencer post or campaign. If you’re seeing what you want to see, keep in touch so you can reach out to them again.

If it doesn’t translate into the sales you were expecting, it could be your brand doesn’t quite fit with the influencer or their audience. And that’s OK. Now you know at least one influencer who doesn’t work well for you, and you can continue your search to find the one that does. That’s influencer marketing #LikeABoss.