What to keep in mind when choosing influencers

‘Influencer marketing’ is a buzzword that has been impossible to ignore over the last few years – and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Take a look at the below infographic, it speaks for itself!

Choosing the right influencers

Influencer marketing is a great way to expand reach, increase sales and create trustworthy recommendations. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that 65% of brands plan to increase spending on this area.

One of the first stages of rolling out a successful influencer marketing campaign is choosing influencers to reach out to. This can be a very time-consuming process, but when done right, the world is your oyster. In this post we’ll be looking at metrics we should be looking at when choosing influencers, in order to ensure they’re the best ones for our brand – and that we don’t get duped by influencer fraud!

Finding influencers

Finding influencers can be tricky, particularly if we work in a niche business area. One way to start the hunt is by using Twitter to search for key industry keywords and locate Twitter profiles with the keyword in their bios and/or username. We can also take a look at who our competitors follow, as this can indicate active people in our industry and help us when choosing influencers.

Choosing Influencers

Meltwater social influencers tool can also be used to discover relevant thought leaders and influencers. Users are able to search through over 500 million profiles in 60,000 different categories, no matter the niche making the process of choosing influencers a whole lot easier! The tool analyses and locates influences on various platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Youtube in one go.

Choosing influencers to boost engagement

how to choose influencers Choosing Influencers

Using our influencer tool we’ve searched for ‘teaching’ as our choice of skill. We can see the most influential social media profiles within the education space.

Choosing influencers that add real ROI

We have a bunch of options, but who do we reach out to?

1) Are they a real influencer?

Choosing influencers to win the race

Tools such as Meltwater Influencers take into consideration a whole heap of metrics to determine how influential somebody is. If you decide to search for influencers manually, be wary of only focusing on the number of likes and followers, since they can be purchased and therefore manipulated. Influencer fraud is a big must to keep in mind when choosing influencers. Whilst social media platforms are working towards removing users and content that have been manipulated by bots, there are still a lot of ‘fake influencers’ out there. Look beyond followers and likes for a better picture of just how influential the influencer is. The comments section can be a giveaway – thousands of likes but only 3 comments? Probably not a real influencer. Are the comments all the same? Probably a bot and not a real influencer. Learn more about spotting fake influencers here.

2) Are they an expert?

Having a huge social community isn’t the be all and end all. When choosing influencers, we need to ensure that they have some sense of credibility. Do their fans trust them? Ideally, we want someone who is an expert in their field so that our fans trust them too. Research and look to see whether they have been asked to speak at events or won awards.

3) Do they have an engaged community?

Before choosing influencers, we should also be taking note of whether the influencer engages with their community (and whether the community engages back!) Fans feel more valued by people who respond to questions and chat to them. Likability is key, not to mention the fact that engagement increases reach. A passive audience that doesn’t take action and just sits and watches the world go by is no good for our brand. We want the influencer’s community to spread our message onto their community, who will hopefully spread our message on to theirs… and so on!

4) How many people are their posts reaching?

Speaking of reach, this metric should be added to the cocktail of metrics we should be looking at to determine true influence, prior to choosing influencers. Why? Because reach can help us understand how many views an influencer’s post is likely to get. The more eyeballs on our content, the higher the chance of boosting brand awareness.

5) Who are they reaching?

It’s all well and good choosing influencers who have an engaged community, but if their audience won’t care about our product, we may as well not bother as ROI will be minimal. Deep dive into the demographics of the community to ensure our brand is relevant to them – particularly if we target a very specific demographic.

choosing influencers to drive brand awareness choosing influencers to increase brand credibility

When choosing influencers, consider their audience demographics such as interests, gender, age group, and locations. Then ask ‘will we be targeting the right people if the message reaches them?’.

Don’t forget that influencers will have different audiences on different social media profiles. The message may need to be tweaked depending on what channel we’re targeting.

6) Have they worked with other brands?

Choosing influencers who have worked with other brands isn’t a 100% no no.  In fact, looking at who they’ve worked with can help us decide if our product is likely to appeal to the influencer and its target market. For example, if we’re an ethical skincare brand, and the influencers worked with other ethical brands, this would be a good person to consider. However, if the influencer has worked with a competitor for a very long time, it can be difficult for us to shift the attention away from our competitor since their assisiaiton with the influencer may stick. Keep this in mind when choosing influencers.

7) Do they post regularly?

We should look for someone who posts multiple times a week since frequency will have a direct impact on other metrics such as engagement rate, reach, loyalty etc.

Ask yourself these seven questions before choosing an influencer to work with. For more advice on influencer marketing, check out our ebook An Communication Pro’s Guide to Influencer Marketing.

Further reading on influencer marketing: 

How to master influencer marketing on a limited budget