Working with social media influencers fills brands with excitement — and worry. Many brands recount stories of influencer campaigns gone wrong, from late and unfulfilled commitments to influencers who disappear once they've received a product or service. On the flip side, influencers share similar stories from their end: products promised but not received, missed opportunities for cross promotion, and a lack of respect for their time or platform influence.
Identify your goals before beginning an influencer campaign
Never begin an influencer campaign without goals in mind. When we work with our clients, the Take Flight Team determines an actionable goal before thinking about bringing on influencers. We start by looking at the following goals as a starting point for a conversation about working with influencers:
- General promotion of a brand, with the goal of growing either a customer base or general name recognition
- Spreading the word about a new service or product launch
- Highlighting a brand-sponsored event or conference
- Communicating new information about the brand
Communicate expectations clearly
By far, the biggest complaints we hear from both sides of the influencer campaign disappointment camp comes from misunderstood expectations. Not all brands pay influencers — either out of financial consideration or brand policy. Not all influencers work for trade or product exchange.
No matter where a brand falls on the spectrum of payment, never miss the chance to communicate clearly about what is expected — and what influencers can expect in return. Brands shouldn't feel guilty about not being in a position to launch a paid influencer campaign! Keep an open mind. We can help you develop innovative and successful campaigns no matter what your marketing budget might be. We'll be sure to explain all expectations — in writing — at the beginning of a conversation, not in the middle, after all parties feel invested in the campaign.
Set campaign guidelines
Consider how to track your campaign. Determine a hashtag and begin using it in communication about the campaign and with potential influencers. Believe it or not, a catchy hashtag can spark interest in a campaign that might not otherwise catch an influencer's eye. Using hashtags on social media adds value to any campaign, and we have years of experience honing in on what works and what doesn't.
Just like when you consider budget and brand expectation, consider what you need from the influencers with whom you're working. Will they work on a single social media platform or multiple platforms? Will you cross promote their tweets and blog posts?
Find the right influencer fit for your brand
Above all, find the right influencers for the campaign you want to run. No matter how influential a blogger or social media maven may be, if they're not the right fit for your brand, you'll see a disconnect between expectations and results. Strive for influencers who can add authenticity to your brand. Successful influencer campaigns make it seem as though an influencer stumbled across your product organically and can't help spreading the word about how amazing your band is. Make sure they're not working with your competitors or their influence becomes diluted across the various competitor brands they promote.
The bottom line on working with social media influencers
Working with influencers isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can be immensely rewarding for brands. Not only do you gain potential customers, but you’re gaining access to social media influeners with opinions, ideas, and passion for what they do. Creating strong relationships with influencers can give brands an advantage as they expand and grow, so don’t miss out on that opportunity. Take Flight Social helps brands get comfortable working with influencers. Let our experience help you!
Need help getting started with an influencer campaign? The Take Flight Team can help!
Do you have more questions about working with influencers? Check out 5 Tips for finding the right influencers