Who Influences the Influencers? An Introduction To Social Media Influencers

Who Influences the Influencers? An Introduction To Social Media Influencers

You may have heard of these mythical social media “influencers” by now. These mostly young, mostly hip social media marketing machines have built up massive online followings. And while many people would kill for 100,000 Instagram followers, most influencers are looking for more than just social validation.

Having a large social media following allows you to monetize your social media accounts. So just like traditional celebrities get paid big bucks to endorse or promote products, social media influencers hype up brands and products to their fans. And since advertisers are always looking for new ways to reach teens and the 18-34 set, social media influencers are often their through line to Millennials.

Who Influences the Influencers?
So how much are these influencers really worth? Just how much reach do they really have? That’s the question posed by a new post on Ad Age. Jason Stein is a social media consultant who told Ad Age that many people underestimate influencers’ influence.

“Advertisers pay for people, they pay for audiences, they pay for eyeballs, they pay for attention, they pay for trust, they pay for influence,” Stein said. “And the only way to continue to engage that audience and retain that audience is to create great content.”

If that sentiment sounds familiar, it’s because content marketing is a key strategy in search engine optimization, too. Unfortunately for businesses, the Internet is rife with would-be comedians ridiculing corporations’ try-hard attempts to interact with teens on social media. Instead of doing your best cool teen impression, what if you could leverage the content already being made by social media influencers, the content your intended audience already wants to see? That’s where social media influencers come in.

Hw To Use Influencers To Your Advantage
Social media stars come in all shapes and sizes. There are mega-popular Millennials charging $10,000 per Tweet to promote beauty products, but there are also social media consultants and marketing nerds who have built up a large following in a specific niche. These influencers might not be as glamorous as an Instagram celebrity, but they can be very helpful in social media services.

Try and identify the most popular and influential social media users in your industry, business, or city. Start by following them and engaging with the content they post. You can even start engaging with their content and see if they respond back. When social media consultants say Twitter can be a great networking tool, this is what they mean.

And as people spend more of their time online, mobile ad spending is expected to triple in size through next year. That might not seem totally relevant to your business, but 61% of consumers research products online, and more than half of them do so with smartphones. That means for most companies, a solid social media presence is non-optional.

Have any tips for engaging social media influencers in your marketing plan? Sound off in the comments!