By Angie Dunnigan
Did you know that 74 percent of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions? Today, it’s not so much about what people say about you on social media; it’s more about who is saying it. That’s why “influencers” can be so important to your growth – especially on Instagram, which is ideal for promoting your brand.
Today, it's not so much about what people say about you on social media; it's more about who is saying it.
According to Social Media Examiner, the formula for influence is “audience reach (number of followers) multiplied by brand affinity (expertise and credibility) and strength of relationship with followers.” River defines influencers as “people with significant networks who can speak about products or services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor.”
By cultivating relationships with Instagram influencers – who number 40,000 and have tens of thousands of followers in many different verticals – you can boost visibility for your small business on Instagram and beyond. Here’s how:
Find someone in your niche. Team up with influencers who have an interest in what you’re selling. We’re not necessarily talking about big celebrities here; even a well-known blogger can work wonders for your business. Just make sure the influencers you choose are good at what they do. Look for high-quality, interesting photos and stay away from those who share bad photos or mostly just re-post photos from others.
Don’t assume that the influencers will require significant monetary compensation. If they love your product or have a stake in your mission or cause, they’ll probably jump at the idea of partnering with you.
Craft a campaign. Don’t just make your partnership a one-shot thing. Plan out your marketing campaign even before you get the influencer involved. Your campaign may revolve around a new product launch, a business milestone, or philanthropic cause.
Always assign a unique hashtag to the campaign and use it on all your platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.). Most importantly, assign a call to action to your campaign. What do you want people to do when they see your Instagram post? This could be anything from visiting your website to becoming one of your followers.
Cross-promote. Make sure your partnership is mutually beneficial by encouraging cross-promotion. Whatever you do, ask your influencer to do the same. If you’re introducing the partnership on your blog, they should do so on theirs – or even feature your blog post on their own website.
Likewise, you can ask the influencer to guest post on your own Instagram account, or you can re-post (“regram”) their Instagram photos. Share everything! Again, the cardinal rule here is to include th Instagram bio.
Create excitement. This is key to getting your brand out there. If you get your influencer excited, that will come through to your Instagram followers. How do you do that? Give them free product and ask them to write a review or make a video of their experience. Invite them to your business for a personal tour. Do a Q&A where the influencers answers questions from followers. Have fun with it and growth will come to you!
What are your tips for forging successful Instagram partnerships?