3 Tips Before Approaching a Social Media Influencer

In a world driven by more than 290,000 Facebook statuses per minute, 95 million photos posted on Instagram each day and breaking news in under 140 characters, brands are challenged to break through the noise and engage their audiences in an authentic, standout way. A solution growing in success rate and popularity: strategic social media influencer campaigns and collaborations. Skift defines a social media influencer as “someone who has the ability to cause effect or change behavior.”

Melanie Ross from MARS Media, LDPR’s digital media affiliate, explains that collaborating with different personalities can tap into a like-minded audience that will naturally be attracted to your brand if it’s the right partner. “Working with influencers creates unique content in the perspective of that influencer, and that generates awareness for your brand beyond your own reach,” says Melanie.

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In the past 2-3 years especially, PR and marketing agencies have rapidly been shifting focus to influencers in order to amplify brand awareness in the social and digital space, and produce engaging and meaningful content. Considering 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and 70 percent of consumers trust peer experiences posted online (according to recent Nielson data), this is a huge opportunity for brands to humanize their products. So where are these influencers digitally? SKIFT knows… Blogs, Facebook and Instagram rule this space.

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The opportunity for influencer partnerships in the travel PR space is huge, and rapidly growing. From Instagram takeovers of brand accounts and sharing real-time travel experiences through social media, to sponsored content production, this rising new media landscape has become an integral part of modern PR campaigns.

While each program and partnership is different, here’s three quick and important tips you need to know before approaching an influencer to work with your brand.

  1. Content is King. Who is telling your story?
    • Make sure influencer personalities and posts fit the messages brands are trying to convey.
    • Similar to traditional media, there are niche categories of influencers from travel to food to design to “dogfluencers” (our new favorite!). What category is most important to the campaign or message? And can you see the brand fit into that influencer’s current content?
    • Image quality. Are visuals clear, centered, savvy, beautiful?
    • Does the tone and personality of the influencer match the brand? Pay attention to photo captions and editorial… does this align with brand voice or the voice of the guests/ consumers that brand is trying to reach?
  2. Is the influencer’s audience going to care?
    • How large is the following?
    • Is their audience engaged? See the amount of likes, re-shares and comments on posts. Sometimes accounts with smaller followings but more engaged audiences result in more impactful results. If influencers have a huge following but the engagement seems low, this could be an indicator of a “bought” audience.
    • Does the influencer collaborate with other brands that could be aligned with the audience your brand is trying to reach? Three’s company. More opportunity to reach multiple, like-minded audiences.
  3. Establish a hashtag and metrics
    • #s provide easy tracking tactics
    • #s also allow others to find and engage with the conversation and content surrounding a brand… it’s a digital snowballing effect if that content is good.

According to Skift’s survey of 1,753 global influencers and 102 marketers, authenticity is key when posting on social platforms.

An example… LDPR partnered with @skinnygirlfatfood for an Instagram takeover documenting the ultimate foodie adventure around New York City. With stops at Royalton and the Sky Terrace at Hudson New York of Morgans Hotel Group, our feed was soon filled with delicious grams that followers were clearly eating up. In less than 48 hours, the LDPR Instagram account grew by more than 10%!

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According to a recent Luxury Daily webinar on key influencer marketing predictions, hosted with TapInfluence, there has been a major shift in the way an influencer’s impact through a brand partnership has been tracked. In 2013, media value was the most important. In 2015, reach and amount of views were considered the main metrics for success. In 2017, engagement, overall brand awareness and revenue/ sales increase will play a significant role in the way an influencer’s success is tracked (especially with new social features rolling out such as Instagram’s ShopNow feature!).

Keep an eye on this space and in the meantime, social media influencers are double-tap worthy in our book. Have any questions? Ask us in the comments!

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