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05 June 2018 by Danielle Brill

7 Questions to Ask When Partnering with Social Media Influencers

It’s one of the hottest topics doing the rounds in social media talks with more and more businesses warming to the idea of partnering with them. Influencers: those individuals who have significant influence over their sizeable social media follower base. Are you thinking of partnering with a social media influencer? If so, do you have concerns about making the right choice? This article is all about helping you to make an informed choice that will ultimately lead to a more rewarding experience. Here are the seven questions you should ask when deciding whether to partner with an influencer.

1. Is there an alignment of values and interests?

With so many options it can be challenging to ascertain exactly which influencer is a great fit for your business. Keep it simple by first identifying your business’s values and then evaluating whether they overlap with the influencer’s. You may also note whether the influencer engages in topics that align with your business’s interests. For example, if your business produces high-protein energy bars, it would make sense to partner with an influencer who leads an active lifestyle, follows a protein-rich diet and engages in topics relating to health and fitness.

2. Is there an alignment of audience demographics?

From age and gender to location and interests – you know your target market inside out; and the influencer should be able to supply you with details on his or her target market, too. Using this info, you will be able to determine whether there is an alignment in audience demographics, which is vital to achieving any real results out of the collaboration. If you specialise in custom jewellery for brides across the country, for example, it would make sense to partner with a fashion blogger who regularly shares unique finds with their relatively young, national follower base.

3. How are they perceived by members of the target audience?

If you were to ask members of your target audience their thoughts on the influencer, what do you think they would say? Ultimately, you’d want the influencer to be someone they admire; someone they know they can turn to as an expert source on a particular topic. If you’re not 100% sure, browse through the kinds of feedback the influencer receives on their profile and social media posts. Seeing the comments and reviews, positive or otherwise, is a great way to gauge the general sentiment of their audience – which should ultimately align with yours. 

4. Have they worked with related businesses, products or services?

While you wouldn’t want to partner with someone who simultaneously endorses a competitor’s products, it’s reassuring when an influencer has collaborated with related businesses. For example, if you run a nail bar, see whether the influencer has worked with makeup brands, hairdressers or tanning salons. This shows that they have an understanding of the beauty industry and will be able to recommend the best ways to engage with the audience based on previous experience.

5. What kind of engagement do they receive?

Follower count is one piece of the puzzle - the influencer also needs to receive high engagement. This includes comments, likes and shares – all of which point to how well the influencer’s content is received and how supportive the audience is. Engagement is usually measured as a percentage, with benchmark engagement rates varying depending on the industry, platform and follower count. It’s therefore vital to conduct some preliminary research, taking into account these three factors, before evaluating the influencer’s engagement rate.

6. Are they inherently good communicators?

In addition to communicating ideas and selling products or services through social media posts, does the influencer also have a knack for interacting with their audience in the comments section i.e. do they actively respond to the queries they receive? You may also trust your instincts based on how they communicate with you. When their responses are open, friendly and timeous, it points to their professionalism and dedication – and it just makes them that much more wonderful to work with. As someone once said, “Communication and trust are two main ingredients for a successful relationship.”

7. What are the mechanics of the agreement?

Perhaps the most important questions of all – what can the influencer offer, and how will they be remunerated? There are a number of ways to pay the influencer, ranging from monetary compensation to an exchange of free products or services. Influencer marketing goals also vary and can include everything from gaining new followers and leads to increased brand awareness and sales. Specify exactly what you’d like to achieve and it’ll be easier to measure the success of the campaign once it's complete.

Plan a Successful Influencer Campaign

Online Innovations has a thorough understanding of the social media space and can assist you in orchestrating influencer marketing campaigns. We also specialise in complete social media management for brands and businesses on a monthly basis.

If you’re interested in our services, please give Bronwen a call or email her for more information.

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