Social media has spawned a new generation of product spokespeople. Gone are the days when only athletes, musicians and celebrities endorsed products. Instead, brands are turning to social influencers.
Today’s hottest brand ambassadors are self made. These social influencers got their starts by posting online reviews or funny videos. That may not sound very impressive, but over time, those internet celebrities amassed the type of online followings that any brand would covet.
Those audiences help influencers generate more engagement per post than most mass consumer brands—without approaching the same media budgets. The content creation frequency among these influencers is also impressive, similar to what publishers might produce:
The potential of social influencer marketing is only just coming into focus. To illustrate its power for increasing awareness and driving engagement, we’ve identified some of the most successful influencer–brand partnerships on social.
We’ve pulled out the three reasons why your brand should be using social influencers .
- Reach and Accessibility
This is by far the most important reason to employ social influencers. Here’s why:
- Social influencers have some of the largest followings of any groups outside A-list celebrities and online publishers. Using influencers, brands can direct their messaging to a wider audience potentially turning those people into new customers, or at a minimum, bringing their products top of mind.
- They use their audiences to generate millions of video views . Recorded video generates 3x more engagement than the most-engaged non-video posts. And Facebook Live videos generate in excess of 10x more comments than recorded video.
- Regardless of your brand, you should be able to find an influencer whose fans and followers share interests with your audience, and explore how to engage them accordingly.
To illustrate, Ironside Computers partnered with Brofresco, a gaming influencer, on a sweepstakes campaign. The two don’t have significantly different sized followings, but Brofresco’s audience is far more engaged on Twitter. He generated 200% more actions (likes and retweets) per tweet than Ironside through May.
Brofresco’s tweet outperformed Ironside’s retweet 105,000 actions to 2,200 actions, a difference of 4,700%. The campaign also was beneficial for Brofresco, who picked up 37% more followers as a result.
- Trust and Authenticity
The size of social influencers’ audiences underscore their authenticity, particularly when these audiences have grown without the assistance of huge paid budgets. If millions of people are willing to follow them freely, they must be doing something right.
- Social influencers boast some of the most loyal audiences on social. Their audiences engage and share content, becoming brand ambassadors for those influencers. Those audiences could do the same for brands.
- Some influencers post endorsements for products that don’t even compensate them. Pay attention to your audience. The perfect influencer may come to you .
- Sure, any brand with pockets deep enough could get a Stephen Curry or Justin Bieber to endorse its products. But does that even make sense? Taylor Swift and I both use Apple products, but I can’t relate to her. Influencers are inherently more relatable not having been in the spotlight their entire lives.
To illustrate, consider the Instagram campaign between Coca-Cola, AMC Theaters and Lele Pons, who got her start posting humorous 6-second clips to Vine. Pons posted about a special being offered at AMC Theaters for teens with the hashtag #cupgrade that generated more than 234,000 actions.
By comparison, Coke’s most-engaged post
through May generated 47,000 actions (likes and comments) and it featured Selena Gomez
, who has a sizable following of her own. AMC's most-engaged post
this year generated 2,300 actions. AMC’s #cupgrade campaign, which featured seven posts, generated a total 3,970 actions.
Pons’ single post generated nearly 5,800% more engagement than the rest of the campaign.
These influencers are basically social media professionals. For many of them, posting sponsored content is how they make a living. And they’re at the forefront of the latest trends that drive engagement.
- They produce content native to the platform in which they post. Think Facebook Live, Vines posted to Twitter and memes on Instagram. And they post more often than your brand (see above).
- They’re highly active on all social platforms. While some influencers have larger audiences on one platform over another, they’re likely to have fans and followers where your audience is most engaged.
- Because they make social media their jobs, they’re in the know . Influencers know more about building an audience and developing brand loyalty and keeping those fans and followers engaged. After all, it would be tough for them to make the case that they’re the right partner for your brand if they can’t engage their own audiences.
On Facebook, Kristen Leanne posted a Facebook Live video about her day at tarte cosmetics, which generated 34% more engagement than a similar Facebook Live video tarte posted. But tarte’s post generated more than twice as many views as Leanne’s because tarte tagged her in the video and it was broadcast to both of their audiences.
Want to find out which influencers represent the best partnership opportunities for your brand? Schedule a customized demo today to learn more about Shareablee’s Brand Affinity tool.