Let’s paint a picture. Say you’ve been able to get buy-in at your organization for an influencer marketing campaign or program. Great!
Given you have a specific project in mind, the next step is finding the right influencers for your campaign.
Now is when the real work begins. To start, go to your influencer tool of choice and type in the keywords depicting your vertical, brand or product. Likely you’ll be inundated with hundreds of names. While you can easily sort this list by authority score and see biographical information, how do you identify the best influencers for your influencer project?
Let’s run through a few tips that will help you separate the best influencers from the crowd.
Reach is important, but look beyond sheer numbers
One of the first metrics that jump out when you’re scoping out influencers is their follower count. Sure, it’s great to find a batch of influencers who have 100,000+ followers, but reach isn’t everything.
Many influencers who’ve amassed a huge audience have done so by working with multiple brands as ‘professional’ influencers. Therefore, these individuals have a saturated channel that’s likely full of #ad and #sponsored. It’s also likely their audience isn’t captivated and their engagement rates aren’t high.
Instead of gravitating towards influencers that have 100,000 or more followers, start by aiming for those with 10,000-30,000. Not only will you find these influencers are more responsive when targeted and pitched correctly, they’re also more apt to work together and will engage with you on an ongoing basis should you desire to do so.
Look for influencers who talk back
What’s true on social media is true in real life; no one likes a blowhard. When assessing influencers, consider influencer conversation rates – and how much that prospective influencer is interacting with his/her audience. Ensure your influencers are speaking with their audience, not at their audience.
Also worth looking at: the individual’s tweets, ensuring that at least 30-40% of their tweets are in reply to their followers. This is a good ratio to guarantee that the influencer’s desires and actions are in the right place for this audience you and your brand wish to target.
Ensure the influencer is right for your brand
When evaluating an influencer marketing platform, ensure you can not only look at influencers numbers and Twitter bios, but also the specific text they tweet out. Sysomos MAP and Influence enable you to use these text analytics to evaluate an influencer’s messaging to ensure it’s in the confines of your brand’s messaging. For example, if an influencer tweets a high number of curse words or inflammatory messages out or something similar, your brand should move on to another influencer target.
Pro Tip: Sysomos MAP allows you to analyze an influencer’s Twitter channels’s word cloud and also run a word cloud on their followers. Using this facility, you can ensure a match of the influencer to your brand’s motives but that of their community as well.
Find the individuals who follow the rules
Disclosure is a big thing in the influencer marketing realm. For US based influencers, The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on content publishers who don’t disclose the fact that they’re receiving compensation (monetary or otherwise).
As brands and agencies, there’s pressure on us to ensure influencers are disclosing, so be sure your prospective influencers are disclosing when they need to be. Use your social listening/monitoring tool and ensure they’re using #ad, #sponsored or a similar hashtag when they need to be.
In conclusion, be picky
I hope these tips have given you context into which what makes an influencer most appealing to your brand/project. Please reach out on Twitter to continue the conversation, or leave a comment below!
(Photo credit: Flickr user grongar)