It doesn’t matter what size or even what type of business you own, influencer marketing can be a huge benefit to you. If you think about it, famous people have been selling things to the masses for years, whether through commercials or print ads. Influencers just represent a new age of celebrity, and compared to traditional celebrities or commercial actors, social media influencers are actually seen as much more relatable to the average consumer.

In fact, data from MuseFind shows 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. I mean come on, do you really think Jennifer Anniston colors her hair with an at-home box dye kit? ????

Influencers are seen as more trustworthy because they post real thoughts and moments from their daily lives, so their followers actually build a virtual relationship with them, so much so that many would consider themselves to be virtual friends!

Okay that’s all good and well, but what does it mean for your business?

Why You Should Work With An Influencer

Influencers can…

Okay that sounds intriguing…

6 Steps to The Perfect Influencer Partnership

So how do you actually BEGIN to work with influencers? We have 6 simple steps to get you well on your way!

1. Determine Campaign Goals

What are you trying to accomplish by working with an influencer? Brand awareness? Increase product sales? Encourage more user generated content? Before you can properly choose an influencer to represent your brand, you need to know exactly what you want your business to be known for and what you want to accomplish with your campaign.

2. Define Your Campaign Audience

What kind of audience are you trying to reach? It’s important to learn about and identify the exact type of customer you’re going after to help you determine what type of content and which influencer will best appeal to them. You likely know exactly who your target audience is, but you may need to dig a little deeper to understand what type of media your audience is consuming. You want your target audience to align with the influencer’s following.

3. Set Your Budget and Choose An Influencer Type

There are So. Many. Different. types of influencers on social media today, all with completely different followings. There are macro-influencers like actors or Youtubers who have MASSIVE followings, but if you’re not one of the few companies that can afford the $500,000 Kim Kardashashian reportedly charges for an Instagram post, there are other plenty of other options for you! There are also micro-influencers (i.e. stay-at-home moms who share their favorite life hacks with a couple thousand followers). Each type of influencer has its own benefits. So if you’re struggling to get responses from celebrities/influencers, or if they’re asking for more money than you have in the budget, micro-influencers can be a great option for you. In fact, they’re just as or even more effective because of the trust they’ve built with their following and their dedication to building a larger audience. Working with a micro-influencer also allows you to test multiple markets at once to see which get the best ROI. (You can also check out our blog on how to choose the right micro-influencer for tips on getting started.)

4. Choose Your Influencer & Review Their Work

After you find an influencer that works for your brand, take time to look over their page and try to get to know them. Look at what they are posting for other brands to make sure it’s high-quality and they keep their end of other deals they make! Then begin liking, commenting, and replying to their posts to get them familiar with your brand at least a few weeks before you message them. Make sure to include a unique message that directly references things they’ve posted in the past. Some influencers are being bombarded with hundreds of messages a day so you’ve got to find a way to stand out.

5. Finalize Campaign Expectations With Your Influencer

Alright, you did it. You have an influencer and they’ve agreed to post for you! You’re done, right? Unfortunately, not quite. You should be friendly, open to suggestions, but also be extremely clear what your expectations are for the campaign. (Pro Tip: get it in writing and have them sign it!) There’s nothing worse than spending weeks trying to find an influencer and then their post goes out with incorrect or insufficient information about your brand. Or even worse, they never even post (It happens A LOT unfortunately). Don’t forget to thank, compensate, and support your influencer’s posts even after the campaign is over! This helps to build trust with them to keep doors open in the future.

6. Measure Your Results

You’re almost done! Lastly, it’s a great idea to measure your results and determine the level of success you had in reaching your audience with the help of that influencer. How many people did it reach? How many of those people followed your brand after seeing the post? Did the campaign bring in conversions? If the influencer’s reach went above your expectations, make sure to let them know and show your gratitude! If it didn’t meet your expectations, it’s okay! Just take that information and let it guide your decisions going forward about who you choose to work with.

Final Thoughts

OK, so maybe it’s not THAT simple. Influencer marketing requires a lot of time and well thought out planning, but the ROI can be well worth it. If you need help, we’re always here for a one-on-one strategy session. Hit us up here.

If you’ve been in a #MOOD ever since Instagram took away the Recent Hashtags tab in November during the election and stayed there through what we’ll lovingly call the “December Drop” in engagement, we’re here for you. (Isn’t that what businesses are supposed to say now-a-days? ????) But for real… we are.

Every year in December, Instagram rolls out shiny, new changes to everyone’s favorite thing: the algorithm. Add in the distraction of holidays, and this leads to an annual period of low engagement across the board.

Is There Something Wrong With Me If My Engagement Is Down?

This is really annoying, but it’s nothing new, so trust us… there’s nothing wrong with you if your engagement has been down, and it will level out eventually. But in the meantime, we have some tips that may help you boost your engagement, and maybe even get it higher than it was before the recent slump!

Before we get to our #tips for boosting engagement, let’s bust some algorithm myths we’ve seen circulating the interwebs. Is it too soon to say #fakenews? Got it. Let’s get to the list.

The Current Top 3 Instagram Algorithm Myths:

Myth #1 — Instagram Will Punish You If You Edit Your Published Posts

There’s a rumor out there that Instagram will punish you if you edit a post after it is published. There’s even a popular post with what we’re guessing is just anecdotal evidence showing two posts with drastically different engagement, one of which was edited. Here’s the thing. Instagram will not punish you for using a feature they provided to help you. There is tons of evidence showing that editing posts doesn’t hurt engagement. And at the end of the day, if Instagram didn’t want people to edit their posts, they would have never added an edit button. Looking at you, Twitter.

Myth #2 — Instagram Will Punish You If You Use Too Many Hashtags

Here’s another case of “why would Instagram punish you for using a feature they provided?” Instagram currently allows accounts to use up to 30 hashtags per post. If they wanted you to use 10 hashtags, that would be the max. So our advice is to maximize reach by using as many hashtags as you can.

Myth #3 — Instagram Will Punish You If You Use A Partner App To Schedule Posts

Different rumor, same answer. Instagram allows a few official partner apps to schedule and auto-publish posts to their app. Official Partner is code for $$$. Considering Instagram is making money through these apps, it’s highly unlikely that they would punish the apps on their platform. That’s just bad business.

The Current Top 3 Instagram Algorithm Boosting Tips

Tip #1 — Be Consistent

It’s no secret that the algorithm encourages posting as much as you can. But if you don’t have the margin to post quality content every day twice a day (because literally who does?), the next best thing to posting all the time is to be consistent over time. Our advice is to post consistently at the same time over a long period of time, post 3x per week on the same days each week, or posting every other day. Do this for a while and see if anything changes!

Tip #2 — Use Reels

Specifics about the algorithm are usually debated, but one that is agreed upon across the board is that Instagram Reels are currently boosted and favored in the algorithm. If you’re not posting Reels, the algorithm is going to punish all your posts. If you post Reels, the algorithm will reward you with engagement across all of your posts, not just Reels. So if you have the margin, get your creativity on.

Tip #3 — Use #AllOfTheFeatures

Instagram likes when you use all of the things, and we mean all of the things. Feed posts, Stories, Reels, IGTV, Shoppable posts, lions, tigers, and bears… oh my, that was a dad joke. Sorry. Anyway, this includes special features on Stories like the “I Voted” sticker, polls, sliders, etc, etc. So buy in… do all the things… make a deal with the Devi— Okay too far. I think we may be in a #mood, too.

Final Thoughts

We know this seems like a lot. If you can’t do it all, don’t go crazy trying to keep up with the Algorithm Joneses. Just do what you can when you can. Try some of these tips. A little change is better than nothing. And as always, if you’ve thought about outsourcing social media for your own sanity and to maximize your ROI, we’d love to help!