How to Use Social Media Influencers in Your Ecommerce Strategy
A great way to grow your reach when marketing your ecommerce store is through collaboration on social media. Social media influencers have been able to make a living through partnerships with brands and this doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. We’re going to tell you what you need to know about social media influencers and how you can approach them to incorporate them into your strategy.
What You Need to Know About Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers can do a lot for your brand. If this wasn’t true, then the trend would have died a long time ago. Much the opposite, 89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective, according to data from SocialPubli.
Types of influencers
Believe it or not, there are different classifications of influencers, usually categorised by the number of followers the influencer has. Generally speaking, there are 4 types of influencers.
Mega-influencers are in the category with the most followers, typically in the millions. These are normally people who have become influential because they are also famous. Usually, their fame doesn’t come from their social media efforts alone. They have a diverse audience with a wide range of interests.
Macro-influencers are the next level down from mega-influencers. Their follower count is typically between 250,000 and a million followers. These are likely people who have become popular worldwide or nationwide through social media and the internet. They’re likely to have a good idea of what social media content resonates well with audiences.
Micro-influencers will have a smaller follower base than macro-influencers – around 10,000 to 250,000. These people tend to focus on a more specific niche audience and as a result, can be topic specialists or industry experts. The relationship between the influencer and their followers is likely a lot stronger and they’re generally a lot more relatable to the average person. For example, a micro-influencer recommending an affordable make-up range may seem more genuine and have more influence than seeing a celebrity with millions of followers using a luxury, high-price brand that the average person can’t afford.
Nano-influencers typically have 1,000 to 10,000 followers but will have a significant impact on their community. Their posts are not as polished as other influencers on the scale but they do suggest authenticity. They tend to have a lot more one-on-one communication with their followers, which is more intimate and engaging.
Which influencer type is best for your business?
The influencer type you choose depends on your social media marketing goals at the time. Obviously, working with a mega-influencer is going to provide you with a lot of reach extremely quickly. However, due to the diversity of their audiences, they don’t always guarantee a high conversion rate.
Imagine Beyonce showcasing a niche product such as a vegan snack bar that’s suitable for coeliacs. Not everyone that follows Beyonce is interested in this. People follow her for different reasons, whether this is her music, her fashion, her feminism, her motherhood, the reasons can go on and on. The majority of these people wouldn’t be interested in buying your snack bar, but they’ll definitely hear about it.
On the other hand, if you find a micro-influencer who’s niche is dedicated to vegan food suitable for coeliacs, then you’re going to be promoting a product to over 100,000 people that are interested in what you’re offering. You won’t reach millions, but your conversion rate might be higher.
The further up the scale you go, the more people you’ll reach. The lower down you go, the more authentic and genuine it seems. Sometimes the influencer with the most followers isn’t always the best for your brand. Think about what your goals are.
Which social media channels to use?
Instagram is widely known as the most important social media channel for influencer marketing. If you’re going to invest in influencer marketing, here is best. No other platform has the reach nor the built-in capacity for branded and sponsored posts and partnerships.
However, depending on your strengths, you may receive better results on another platform such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, if that is where you succeed best.
How to approach influencers
Firstly, do your research. Identify a number of potential candidates and look at their social media activity before making a decision to reach out. What is their following like? What sort of engagement are they receiving on their posts? Make sure their follower-to-engagement ratio is adequate. Having 100,000 followers is great but if they’re only receiving a handful of likes or comments on each post, are they going to be influential enough for your campaign?
Also, be aware that some social media users buy their followers to give them the appearance of a large following. If you’re unsure, check the quality of their engagement. Are the comments generic and spammy or are they actually related to the unique content of the post?
Make a connection
Once you’ve done your due diligence, you’re ready to make a connection. Before sending your proposal, you could start by showing appreciation for their work. Like some of their content, follow them and engage with some of their content.
Then reach out to them via the channel you want to work on. Some influencers will sometimes have an email address where they prefer to receive their collaboration requests. Make sure to personalise your message by using their name, complimenting them on their work and explaining your campaign.
Highlight what you’re offering in return for their work. How will it benefit the influencer? Are you offering free products or payment in return for the collaboration? You could even present the offer of exposure by reposting their content on your own channels.
Points to remember
Be direct. If they’re good at what they do, influencers will likely receive a lot of requests. Get to the point and cut through the noise.
Ask them if they’d like to follow up and always make sure to chase them up at least once if they don’t respond after a few days.
Ensure you’re respectful regardless of the outcome and don’t burn bridges just in case the situation develops in the future and they develop into the perfect fit.
If the influencer is happy to work with you on the campaign(s), make sure you establish some ground rules. Try not to be too restrictive that it limits their creativity, but make sure the influencer isn’t going to head in the wrong direction with your brand. Maybe you have certain hashtags you’d like them to use or certain colours you’d like included in the visual.
Once you’ve finalised things with your influencer, it’s time to fulfil your end of the bargain and enjoy the rewards that the collaboration has brought you!