When Is The Right Time To Engage A Social Media Influencer(s)?

One of the most frequent questions I get from corporate clients is when should I engage a social media influencer? It doesn’t even have to be a “celebrity” influencer, but just someone with a significant number of followers. Enough followers, that it moves you to engage their audience.

Social media influence is a form of advertising, branding, PR and potentially sales all wrapped up in one. But it is also unique in the sense that there is very little data that would compel you to utilize this vehicle, yet the potential is so great it is like a drug and you can’t kick the habit once you have started it! The following are 5 tips on how to know when its the right time to execute a social media influencer plan:

5. When money is an issue. Social media influencer programs can be very cost effective, if done correctly. I work with several aggregators who do a great job of sourcing the most dynamic influencers at very minimal cost. My agency also puts together these types of programs ourselves. In fact, we have 200+ mommy bloggers on our database, thousands of others.

4. When your company needs sales. I don’t think enough CEOs and entrepreneurs see the volume and velocity of sales a social media influencer program can produce! If you have a moment, go to Instagram and follow@fittea. Fit Tea is absolutely one of the best social media marketers in the world with 1.7 million followers on Instagram alone. How they post, who they utilize, the discount they get because they are aggressive and have developed almost a bidding war from celebrity talent agents to get deals with the brand is unheard of!

3. When your internal and/or external PR efforts have stalled or never actually gotten off the ground! I am not a PR agency hater. I love my friends and associates in the PR world but for smaller start-up, entrepreneurial endeavor and/or crowdfunded company, it is easy to see why you want a PR agency. Sometimes it is harder than you might think to get anyone of any significant size and influence in the media to care what you are doing. Social media influencer campaigns can be not only economical but they can really expand your branding, sales and marketing components far beyond traditional executions!

2. When you see your direct competitors increasing their social media platform followers! Part of building a business is also building a community of consumers and like minded individuals onto your social media accounts. To have this community you need to be consistent in building content and making sure the content is relevant and interesting. If it is, using a social media influencer strategy to leverage your content into their own communities with the opportunity to become more aware of your community is very attractive and cost effective. This is especially true if you have a strong re-marketing campaign and database management strategy

1. When you have tried everything else and you want to try a hail mary before you go bankrupt! This unfortunately is very true and happens every day. The realty is that many start-ups, small businesses, entrepreneurial companies spend a lot of money and never really understand the market, the consumer and their buying habits. This is so true especially with millennials and Gen Yers. Their tastes and the trends they follower change like underwear. Basically, everyday! A social media influencer campaign might just be your last best effort to go “viral”, gain an audience and stem the tide that has been flowing against you.

Social media influencer campaigns can be as sophisticated as any other execution in the marketing mix. But if done with forethought, strong insights into the audience of the influencer and keenly target who you are going after, these types of programs can be massively successful. If you have interest in a program like this, or if you are looking for celebrities for a social media influencer campaign, DM me and let me know. Or use the comment section below to share your experiences with influencers. I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly!