How Influential Are Social Media Influencers?

A few months I was working on a social media campaign for an upcoming event and I suggested we reach out to a social media influencers to help push and create conversations around the event. Unfortunately, my suggestion was turned down and we had to practically push out the messages for ourselves.

Now, there is this popular mindset people have about not wanting to pay influencers so much or paying them at all for pushing a brand/product/service/event. We always want them to do things for free. I use to have this mindset too until I realised that these influencers actually put in a lot of work to build their social media following over the years, creating engaging content and driving conversations. (This applies to influencers who didn’t buy fake followers tho).

I don’t really blame people who have this mindset because some influencers are very lazy and don’t put so many efforts into campaigns they are hired to push thereby sending negative signs to current and prospective clients

I remember engaging a very popular Twitter influencer about 2 years ago to moderate a paid Twitter chat. This influencer messed up the whole thing despite getting paid for it and providing contents and I thought I would have done a better job if I moderated the chat from my personal twitter handle

Who exactly is an influencer?

According to Influencer Analysis, An influencer is an individual who has above-average impact on a specific niche process. Influencers are normal people, who are often connected to key roles of media outlets, consumer groups, industry associations or community tribes.

The truth is some influencers don’t know when to stop, I refer to these set of influencers as ‘followers miss road’ because they didn’t set out to be influencers but due to the large following they have gained over time, they became influencers. They have little or no knowledge about social media as an art of communication and how it should be used strategically for marketing, they just go on and on posting without any form of creativity thereby spamming the timelines of their followers ( I either put these sets of influencers on mute or just un-follow them)

There has been the debate about social media influencers declaring and informing their followers which of their tweets is paid for so they can decide to engage with them or not and maybe charge them for engaging with the ‘paid tweets’. I don’t know how I feel about this but I will allow you (readers) decide if it’s a good idea

With over 8 years experience working with and around social media, I might have a few suggestions for social media influencers:

  1. Don’t buy followers: Every aspiring influencer thinks buying followers automatically guarantees them the influencer title, it goes beyond that. Being an influencer requires you to know how to drive conversations and grow your social media following organically. If you know how to do this, you won’t have issues getting your audience to follow or engage with whatever campaign you are promoting
  2.  The Art of Engagement: You need to know how to engage your followers and not just tweet or share a series of tweet every day till the campaign ends. I know some brands/agencies are guilty of sending a few numbered content with guidelines on how they should be shared. This process is too monotonous and tiring to your followers. Now imagine I follow 5 different influencers who have been contracted to tweet about a new product for a drink brand for 1 week, I have to endure through reading the same tweets from different handles on my timeline for 1 week, FAM! One whole week. You people should please have pity on your followers, we sef we be human beings o
  3. Invest in yourself: That you have over 10,000 followers on Twitter doesn’t mean that you have arrived or know everything about the platform. You need to invest in yourself, read books, articles, follow blogs, videos that help understand the platforms you aim to influence or already influence better. You can’t keep repeating strategies, It shouldn’t always be about the money, you should be interested in serving your clients and your audience better with every campaign.
  4. Carve a niche: Don’t be an everywhere belle face social media influencer, carve a niche for yourself. I feel uneasy sometimes seeing an influencer who is supposed to be talking about pokriyan marketing for a diaper brand. I know it is very hard to say no to the ‘quick cash’ being a social media influencer brings but you can decide to be an influencer known for strictly promoting entertainment or sports or lifestyle or non-profits or tech or whatever industry you think you fit and decide to be the best at it.
  5. Be consistent: Don’t wait for your next promoted campaign before you engage your followers, they are part of the reason why brands hire you, be consistent with engaging them, let them have a feeling that they are not just your money bag, care for them, celebrate them if and when you can. Appreciate them too
  6. Stay in your lane: This is a bonus track, it’s a thankless advice, being an influencer doesn’t make you the most knowledgeable person on social media, sometimes learn to stay in your lane and be civil with conversations that do not concern you

Do you have more ‘unpaid advice’ you would like to share with influencers, we would like to read from you

Thi article was first published on The Brand Jury but slightly edited here