HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER?
The rapidly changing market has forced business representatives to look for other ways to communicate with their customers, especially when the decline in the efficiency of traditional marketing has been observed. Advertising is so widespread and therefore must be distinct in order to draw consumers’ attention. However, the effectiveness of routine ads is dwindling, as consumers are losing their interest in these ads and begin to see them as a noise. As a result, marketers are trying to find the best way to influence consumers when trying to disguise advertising. For this reason, today’s marketing is focusing on engaging in conversations. Often, advice from authoritative individuals has more compelling power than regular advertising on media channels. This has resulted in a marketing strategy, when social media influencers tries to convey a message from the company convincingly,, so that social media users do not perceive the message as a noise.
Research shows that Influencer Marketing is the most effective when identifying specific types of business leaders. Therefore, in order to apply an effective marketing program for social networking influencers, you need to understand how to distinguish the right person. Influencers have variable amounts of impact, depending upon a few elements which advertisers may weigh differently relying upon their objectives and goals. Generally, influencers with large audiences provide more effective results than leaders whose influence is relatively small. However, social media influencers may have a relatively small number of followers, but they have a significant impact on the internal rate of their audience. Four types of influencers can be distinguished (by WOMMA,2017):
These are the people who influence their immediate circle of small followers. On the social media, this would have a profile of approximately 1 000 to 25 000 followers. Advantages of Micro-Leaders:
• Quite easy to contact;
• Demands a small reward;
• Less desirable, therefore seeking cooperation.
The main disadvantage is that due to a small number of followers, the influencer reaches only a small audience.
2. Mid-level influencers
These people usually work in a lifestyle, food or beauty area, which has about 25,000 to 100,000 followers, readers and subscribers. This type of leader usually works on full-time in social media platforms. These influential people have a loyal audience who trusts in the words of the leader, and actively engages in the content they publish. Advantages of mid-level influencer :
• Influencers with such an audience are well-known in their social platforms and they regularly interact with their followers;
• Reaches a larger audience than micro-leaders.
Main disadvantages: as these influencers are widely sought after by different companies, they may already have traded with competitors’ brands, thus preventing them from working on both markets, of course, depending on the conditions of exclusivity. It is also more difficult to contact mid-level influencers and they will require a higher reward than micro-level leaders.
3. Top-tier influencers
As a rule, their audience reaches over 100,000 followers / readers / subscribers. They have a great influence on their area of competence. These opinion leaders work on social media platforms as their full-time job. Main advantages:
• Gets a huge audience that tends to express itself actively and participate in the comments;
• These leaders create beautiful and professional content;
• Top-level influencers thoroughly develop the content they publish – ensuring that the entry it creates and its impact / engagement will be very successful.
The main disadvantage is the complexity of reaching these leaders. Their posts are expensive and many of these people have their own agents to be consulted, so communication is indirect.
4. Celebrity stage
These influencers are celebrities, such as television and movie stars, athletes and artists.
• These influential people have a huge audience on their social platforms, as well as an established base of followers;
• Due to its fan base, the popularity of celebrities is likely to generate very active engagement and will greatly enhance brand awareness.
The main disadvantages are the fact that celebrities are highly sought after and are very picky about the brands they want to work with. It is also important to mention, that celebrity stage influencers posts are extremely expensive.
WOMMA claims that the number of followers for these influencers spheres matters the most. Meanwhile, other authors (Baer and Naslund, 2011) argue that the number of followers is just a popularity indicator, not a good indicator of success. The authors state that the main thing is social influence. To help marketers identify an influential leader, they need to focus their efforts on finding people whose community is actively involved in answering comments on leaderboards. This argument is supported by Schaffer (2013), who argues that influence should be measured by the engagement and activity of followers. However, marketers must consider which type of leader will best achieve the desired business results, as well as the platforms that best suit their goals. It will depend on the type of content that the leader creates and the size of the audience reaches.