Social media is a huge marketing component for most businesses. Brands use social media to market their businesses in different ways. One example would be social media influencer marketing, which is pretty much like traditional celebrity endorsements.

Social media influencers are personalities with loyal following on social platforms. They partner with brands from time to time to endorse their products thus driving traffic, subscriptions and consequentially, sales. In return, they are compensated often in monetary terms. Sometimes compensations could be free products or cross promotion.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Social Influencer

Since Influencer marketing comes with costs, you need to ensure that every partnership you sign up for helps you meet your business goals. This means that you need to make sure you select the right social media influencer to work with. Here are some factors that you should consider:

1) Your Marketing Goals

To hire the right influencer, you need to be clear about the objective that your campaigns should achieve for your business. Basically, there are three main goals to choose from:

  1. Brand awareness: Do you want to increase the awareness of your brand amongst your customers? If so you may want to choose an influencer with a higher number of followers
  2. Securing sales: Do you want to make sales from your influencer marketing efforts? Then you need to reach the right people who are interested in your product, and those that can afford it.
  3. Mix of the two: Sometimes the goal is to make more sales while increasing the visibility of your brand. Generally you’ll then look for an influencer with large and highly engaged followers

2) Working with Influencers Directly vs Social Media Agencies

Do you want to work with influencers under an agency or directly? There are pros and cons to each of these methods.

With Agencies, you can find the right people quickly using their in-built technology. Agencies also generally have a seamless communication system in place and you are usually protected as an advertiser. This however, does come with an additional cost. Thus working with agencies can be expensive.

Working with influencers directly may be more cost-effective since there is no middle-man involved. There is also probably more flexibility when it comes to negotiating the charges. This however means that you are in charge in finding these influencers yourself and the process can be quite exhausting without a proper system in place. Some influencers may be quite a diva and working with them may not be very straightforward.

3) Your Budget

Unless you have something to offer to the influencer as a form of a barter trade, you gonna need a budget. This means there is a limit on how much you gonna spend per campaign.

There’s generally no official market rate on how influencers charge, and it really varies from one to another. Hence you should conduct proper research and don’t just settle for the first few influencers that you come across.

If the charges are too expensive, maybe you want to offer a cut from each sale they bring you via an affiliate link. Alternatively maybe 5 micro influencers may be cheaper than 1 macro influencer. Remember to look at the sums and see which makes the most sense.

4) Influencer Platforms

Depending on your industry and the business goals, you are better off with influences from certain platforms than others.

For instance, Instagram is great for brand awareness and niches such as fashion thrive well there. Twitter or Facebook may work for Technology related businesses as each post can incorporate a link to website providing more details. TikTok on the other hand generally attracts younger audience

When deciding influencers based on the platforms, you need to know where most of your target customers hang out. Is it Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Youtube?

5) Audience Demographics

When hiring a social media influencer, another thing you need to consider is the demographics of their audience. Where are they located? What gender or age group are they? What are their interests?

If your product is specific for certain market, then you need to find influencers who match your target audience. It doesn’t make sense hiring an influencer in a tech field if your product is in the beauty industry.

6) Influencer Size

Apart from the target audience, you also need to consider the influencer’s follower size. While it’s tempting to go for big influencers with hundreds of thousands of following, it may not always be a wise move to make.

Remember you need the right audience, not just any audience. The right audience can relate with your brand and can take the action that you want them to take, whether signing up to a newsletter or purchasing that product you are promoting.

We can categorize influencers based on the size of their following as follows:

  • Nano: less than 1000 followings
  • Micro: less than 10,000 followers
  • Macro: Less than 100,000 followers
  • Mega: More than 100,000 followers

In some cases, Nano and Micro influencers have more engaged and niched audience than Macro and Mega. Although Macro influencers still have loyal niched audience they may not be quite as engaged. This category is great for building brand awareness without burning a budget. Mega influencers on the other hand are quite expensive and their audience not quite as niched.

7) Posting Frequency and Engagement Rate

Influencers who post quality content regularly are likely to have a more engaged audience than those who don’t. You don’t want to go for ones that have irregular posting patterns

You also want influencers who have engaged following. You can determine engagement by seeing the number of comments, likes, and shares that their posts get. Make sure you through the comments to see if they are relevant to the posts as well, or if they are genuine conversational replies.

8) Reputation

While most influencers are generally nice to work with, there are bad apples as well. Many a times you may come across influencers with bad publicity where they are embroiled in fights or spats with other influencers, or advertisers. In some extreme cases they could be very negative publicity where they are politically vocal or caught on camera for the wrong reasons.

Hence be very sure you do your research to ensure the influencer you’re about to engage is has a clean background

In a Nutshell:

There are several factors to consider when hiring a social media influencer, but what matters most is finding one whose audience matches yours. Ignore that and you might as well be burning your budget carelessly. Ultimately you should strike the right balance between quantity vs quality, depending on your budget.