Could influencers be the key to getting your content seen on social media?
There’s no denying the value of social media from a brand perspective. It gives you a chance to connect with users on a more personal level than advertising, it allows you to build a genuine two-way relationship with your audience that you can leverage long-term, and it gives your brand a personality that users can understand and identify with.
There’s only one problem – and, annoyingly, it’s a pretty major one. With social media’s ever-changing algorithms, how do you ensure your content gets seen, and seen by the right people?
How do algorithms affect your social media performance?
Remember those heady days when you’d done the hard work of building a sizeable, engaged audience and all you had to do was post a message on your social channels and they’d actually see it.
That all changed significantly when the social networks altered their algorithms. Now, content you post may only reach 1-2% of your following. Posts that get good early engagement will reach a larger percentage, but still won’t get anywhere near 100%.
If you want to increase that number, you’ll either need to pay to promote your post (now we know why the algorithm changed), or find another way to boost your reach.
How can social media influencers help?
If paid boosting doesn’t appeal, asking influencers to create social content around your brand – and potentially share some of the content you produce – is a great way to increase reach without lining the pockets of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Influencer posts can also be a more effective tool than paid posts. People are more likely to trust and engage with content from someone they choose to follow, rather than something ‘promoted’ onto their timeline. After all, research shows that 83% of consumers trust recommendations from people they consider to be peers, 88% trust online reviews and recommendations from people they don’t know as much as from friends, and 53% of women reportedly make purchases due to influencer posts.
That’s not to say you should never run paid activity on social media though. It can still offer a great way to reach a large volume of people, and if the content is good and you’ve targeted the right audience, the engagement and response will be strong.
How to work with influencers to boost your social media profile
There are many ways to work with influencers on social media. You can provide them with a product for review, run a competition, recruit a large number of influencers or work with just one or two.
You can also pay to amplify influencer posts so they reach a larger and more specifically targeted audience. This helps you get the content seen by more users, and gives the influencer the benefit of potentially gaining new followers.
If you’re working with more than one influencer, or even with one influencer across more than one post, it’s a good idea to use unique tracking links such as UTM or po.st, which measure the effectiveness of each post. This will help you analyse the ROI and make decisions on how to shape your future content plans.
But remember that social activity, with or without influencers, is not always about trying to generate an instant upturn in sales. “It would be a mistake for any business to commoditise any partnership or campaign that has an influencer at the heart of it, as it’s more than just shifting product,” Lillian Betty, head of strategic partnerships at TI Media told Marketing Week. “It’s about brand identity, keeping the right sort of company and ensuring your brand is being shown in its best light with the best partner.”
What are examples of brands seeing high-impact social media results by working with influencers?
A Silk Almond Milk campaign utilised 258 fitness and food influencers to create content for the brand’s ‘Meatless Mondays’ initiative. Households exposed to the influencer marketing purchased 10% more products than a control group who didn’t see the activity. The ROI of the blog posts alone (not including other social activity) was 11 times higher than the ROI of banner ads over a 12-month period.
Old Spice toiletries brand carefully selected influencers to give a boost to their fitness-led “if you can run it, you can own it” competition. This involved using GPS tracking apps to run around streets or a park to draw the shape of something you want to win.
The three influencers picked by Old Spice were popular with their core demographic and were also ideal for having a lot of fun with this proposition. Millennials are 44% more likely to promote a product on social media if they’re rewarded, and the influencers helped leverage this #runoldspice content initiative very successfully.
3 key things to takeaway about how influencers improve your content marketing distribution
- Your audience will trust influencers on social more than a paid post
- Give an influencer a product to review, a competition to be part of – or a content idea they can play with and have fun with
- Track the influencer activity for reach as well as engagement and sales, because it’s just good for your brand to keep good company