How to Choose the Right Social Media Influencer for Your Brand

Updated: Sep 15


FIRST, WHAT IS AN INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER?

An influencer is defined as a person with the power to influence potential buyers of a product or service. They usually have a large number of passionate followers and high engagement rates. Why hire them to promote your business? Because they can persuade others to buy goods or services due to their authenticity and trustworthiness on social media.


Influencer marketing is on the rise because, oftentimes, consumers trust influencers more than brands. The human-to-human element is a priority when promoting your company, making influencers highly sought after for marketing your business.



From a marketing perspective, Influencers can be a useful tool for growing your audience or potential customer base through social media, BUT be sure to pay attention to their credibility! It's all in the numbers.



Their videos and photos on various social media platforms create an impact on industry markets. Influencers have a following that is hyper-interested in their specified content which very well maybe your company's products or services. An increasing number of companies, whether local, regional or national, develop relationships with Instagram influencers to expand their brand reach on the platform.


Top 3 reasons a company would pay an influencer to post about their products or services:

  1. To gain more followers for their business social media

  2. Increased brand awareness

  3. Drive more traffic to their business website

Who are Asheville’s Social Media Influencers?

Similar to advertising, you will find social media influencers are impacting local markets. It’s just another form of marketing your brand to as many people who fall into your brand audience. So, who are some of Asheville’s biggest influencers? First, you have to ask, “which Asheville influencer fits my company's brand and target audience?” The "things to do," food & beverage, event, and tourism industries here in the mountains are considerably prominent, we'll use them as an example.


Say you're the owner of a restaurant, event space, or brewery in Asheville, would you choose to partner up with a legit social media influencer to speak on behalf of your brand? You betcha!


Collaborating with a travel influencer, food influencer or "things to do" influencer here in Asheville will award you more followers, customers, and brand awareness. How? They have spent years organically growing the type of audience your business needs. It's as simplistic as that, but working as an influencer is a lot of work so they do deserve to be paid for their content advertising. They have value because they will produce more sales for you. It's all about sales, right? Yes, it is.



What can your business gain from partnering with an influencer?

  1. More social media followers

  2. Brand awareness

  3. Increased traffic to your business website

Here are some of Asheville’s biggest influencers for things to do and inspirational content:

Some examples of global influencers are separated into categories:

You don’t have to be a celebrity or already well-known to be an influencer. Influencers are individuals, media companies, partnerships, and even teenagers. It’s a massive amount of work to become a successful influencer, but if you grow your followers organically, then you’re already on your way to being able to monetize your platform.


DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE WRONG INFLUENCER!

These days, it's easy for anyone to start what looks like a "professional Instagram Influencer account" and monetize on it but, not all influencers are legit. How can you tell? When the numbers on their profile don't add up to the reality of their account activity, they're not a true brand/topic influencer.



On Instagram, anyone with an account can PURCHASE FAKE FOLLOWERS, meaning instead of spending years strategically growing their following, they purchase a bundle of Instagram followers (accounts) shooting their profile numbers through the roof. Why is this bad? When someone purchases a bundle of Instagram followers to boost their numbers on their account profile, their following is now made up of fake accounts or random Instagram accounts from around the world placing them outside of your customer profile.


When you decide to collaborate with an influencer about promoting your business, you want to be sure that they are 100% legit. Here are a few questions to think about when choosing the right influencer.



1. When did they first create their account? Does the number of followers match the amount of time their account has been in operation? Remember: It takes years to get to 10k followers if they’re doing it organically.

2. Look at the number of posts vs the number of followers. For anyone with 100k followers or more, their Instagram feed should be at least 3-10 years old. It takes ALOT of work behind the scenes to grow an account to that many followers organically.

3. Look at their engagement. Here's a tip: For any account with greater than 100K followers, posts should be getting anywhere from 8k - 20k likes per post. Hundreds of comments. Or, another example, if an Instagram influencer in your area has 60k followers and only 250 total social media posts and they're only getting a few hundred likes per post, then they bought followers - They will NOT meet your expectations when promoting your brand.

4. Click on their profile to scan where their follower's accounts are located and active. This is another great way to review whether or not their following is on point for you.


Here at Marketing Outpost, our clients DO NOT have to worry about approaching a fake influencer because we can spot them at a first glimpse, but we DO recommend certain company brands partner with effective influencers if we feel it will be a successful campaign for them.


What else can we do for your social media? Our expert "PowerBoost" social media team can grow your account through a behind-the-scenes, organic social gathering of followers who will most likely be prospective customers of your company.


An effective influencer has grown their followers organically behind the scenes, which means they CAN produce results for you. How do you grow your Instagram organically? It’s known as “Social Whispering.” Stay tuned for another lesson on that!


If you’re still not sure a social media influencer is right for your business or you have more questions, reach out to Jenn Gordon at jgordon@marketingoutpost.com to set up a conversation.