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The rise of the social media influencers

Are they worth it?

How many times do you scroll through your social channels each day and see the word ‘#AD’ across your feed? It’s merely impossible to use social media any more without some sort of promotion, product placement or sponsored ad catching your attention. Whether you love it or loathe it, influencers are dominating our social media-infatuated world, and they look like they’re here to stay.

Part of my day-to-day is to manage a variety of social media accounts, engaging with our audiences in an effective way and turn these engagements into results. There are lots of opportunities to use an influencer, but they’re not always the way to go. So, how do you know when’s best to use one?

Outputs

Before you start any campaign, you should decide on what you want your outcomes to be. Do you want to generate leads? Gain new followers? Sell a product? Whatever you decide will form your strategy and how you want to achieve your outcomes.

Strategy

Once you’ve decided on your outputs, you need to start your strategy. What’s your audience demographic? What social media platforms do they mostly use? Do they even use social media? What’s your budget? Is an influencer even going to help with what you’re trying to do?

£££

Influencers don’t always come cheap! So nailing your intended outcomes and producing a strategy that’ll work is really going to help you here. Everyone has a different rate, so it’s important to do your research before agreeing to any partnership.

Friend or Foe?

Did you know there’s a free tool you can use online called ‘IG Audit’? You can type in anyone’s Instagram handle into its system and it’ll give you a simple break down to show you if that person’s followers are real or not. Literally.

You may not know it, but lots of people actually buy their social media followers -which are usually just bots who spam the ‘gram and make your follower count look a bit better. But, this is SO bad in terms of engagement! Bots cannot fulfil clear call to actions -and actually just act as a bit of a dead number at the top of your profile. We really recommend auditing someone before paying for their service. Your influencer may have 2 million followers, but if 70% of its followers aren’t even real -are they worth parting with your money? Definitely not.

The ‘influencer’

Decision time! Who’re you going to use? Whether it’s a local travel blogger or Love Island’s latest recruits, there are lots of opportunities to reach out and get someone to endorse your brand. Just make sure they’re the right person for the job who will generate you results.

At Orchard, we’ve used lots of celebrity endorsement over the years but it’s clear that the shift in online advertising through the use of influencers has changed the way in which we use social media. The best thing about being an influencer is anyone can do it, so you’ve always got lots of variety to choose from. The worst? Brands can sometimes over-use influencers, which can actually be quite off-putting. Have you seen your favourite celebrities pushing the same product with the exact same messaging? In my opinion, that’s lazy advertising, and I guarantee you’ve just thought of a brand who is guilty… we certainly did!

If you’re not sure how influencers can help your brand and you’re in need of some extra support, get in touch, and we’d be more than happy to define your aims and determine the best social media strategy for you.

talk to our pr & social media team

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