No matter if you leverage a local influencer (our recommendation) or one that has a broader reach, you need some guidelines on your role in the relationship. In other words, this is a marketing partnership and in order to create an ideal working relationship, there are a few things you should take care of before moving forward.
1: Get it Together
No social media influencer, local or otherwise, will want to attach their name to a brand that is either shoddy, unprofessional or haphazard. When they agree to work with you, they put their personal name and valuable reputation on the line. Make sure they don’t regret this and commit yourself to a high level of customer service and overall quality of product and service. Make sure your Marketing Bridge is up to par and the customer experience at all touchpoints is consistently positive and professional. The last thing you want to do is use a local celebrity as an endorsement, and then have it fall flat because you don’t meet the expectations presented.
2: Shore up Your Own Digital Presence
While social media influencers should be a significant part of your overall marketing campaign, they should never be in lieu of other marketing efforts. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can partner with a social media influencer and then forget about doing any other heavy lifting for your business in terms of marketing. To make sure you don’t do this, keep your website up-to-date and make sure your own social media presence is solid. Consider the fact that a social influencer will likely lead their audience to look your brand up on social media channels. What will they see when they do this? If it’s up to par, great, this will probably lead them to your website. If it’s less than savvy, they might just forget it and move on.
3: Stay in Communication and Build a Relationship
You need to be in communication with your social media influencer. Schedule regular meetings, perhaps monthly, and speak about business trends, services and new products. Talk about your target consumer, how and why people buy your products, etc. Introduce them to key members of your team. Commit to showing and teaching them what they need to know about your products or services. Sometimes this means offering them free samples or services so that they can experience your offering and talk more compellingly about the interaction. The more they know about your business, the better job they can do when representing your products and services accurately and effectively.
4: Ensure Audience Compatibility
It’s important to find a connection between your brand and the personal brand of a social media influencer. You need to have audience compatibility. Let’s face it, if you are on two different wavelengths, a partnership between your business brand and their personal brand won’t work at all. This is why you don’t see a fitness social media influencer promote a junk food brand. It goes against what they believe, value and routinely promote. Therefore, make sure there is a good match between your brand and an influencer’s voice. Don’t neglect this important step, as 48% of marketers claim audience relationship and compatibility is the most important factor to consider when launching an influencer campaign.
Working with social influencers is about more than just sending someone samples of your product or hiring them to do endorsements...it's about making sure the partnership is truly a win-win for you both. For more information, download our free ebook, "Tapping Into Local Social Influencers."