Social media provides new opportunities for marketing and brand awareness that were not available in the past. This is because the tried and true methods of leveraging the popularity of famous people was typically used in traditional media through contact of their representation or agencies. Basically, if you wanted to use a famous person in an ad you would need to negotiate with their management in order to come up with a fee schedule that would adequately compensate them to appear in your advertisements. With regards to social media, there are an enormous amount of people online who have generated large followings without the traditional methods of singing, acting and modeling. These people have become famous within a specific social media platform by providing value of some kind to their followers, and most of them have done so without representation. This means that in order to leverage their fame for presentation of your brand, you will probably be contacting them directly through the platform they use. There may be other methods of contact, but since they are probably keenly aware that putting contact information onto the platform which has garnished them fame is a recipe for large amounts of stalkers, they protect themselves by picking and choosing the messages they return via the platform itself. The ways of contacting famous social media personalities is not the point of this article, and instead we are concentrating on picking which social media influencer is best for your ad campaign.
Businesses who wish to co-opt fame in order to present their brand to large groups of people are usually first attracted by follower counts, which is essentially the measure of fame within individual platforms. A person may have over a million followers on Tik Tok but almost no followers on Facebook, so marketing managers must be keenly aware of the platform itself, and if that platform lines up with the demographic you are trying to reach. You must then narrow your list of potential influencers by looking at how many followers they have and what the general tone of their messaging is. Some influencers are not going to line up appropriately with your brand, no matter how famous they are. It is important for brand managers to dive into the actual analytics of each influencer that is chosen as being appropriate. This is because social media followings can be very diverse as far as the engagement that they actually have with their audience. Some influencers will have built large follower lists using certain methods but then are not engaging with those followers regularly because the content they are generating now is no longer attractive. This phenomena exists because once you follow someone on social media, it is a rare instance that you unfollow them unless they do something that completely offends you. Social media influencers can build enormous audiences of followers who count as connections, but who also completely ignore the feed of the person they are following. This is why engagement is far more important than actual numbers of followers. A brand manager is going to want to look at the amount of likes, shares and comments that each post from their potential influencer gets on a regular basis, being especially careful to watch out for automated posting bots and farms that exist. Influencers can fake not only the amount of followers they have, but also simulate engagement using bots that comment on their posts and like them as well. These spam comments will generally be disconnected with the content, and will also take on the same types of tone on multiple posts. If you get a sense that the comments and likes are all coming from a select group of profiles who are also appearing disconnected from the content they are commenting on, you may have found an influencer who is pumping up his or her numbers to appeal to brands like yourself. The fees that these influencers are going to charge per post to brands in order to represent products within their content is directly connected to the amount of obvious followers and engagement, so keep a watchful eye out for those who are attempting to appear famous instead of actually being famous.
Once you have found an influencer who maintains a style that fits your branding goals and who also has a large following of actual users, you will want to contact them and negotiate a deal. There are few rules as far as how this can work, but it will usually involve product placements within posts or videos along with tracking methods like affiliate link or special code. If you are simply seeking brand awareness the project may simply involve the influencer using your products within their presentations without pushing sales. All types of placements will obviously involve compensation of some kind, but most influencers are open to almost any type of negotiation.