Come One, Come All – Inviting Social Influencers Into the PR Ring
Social media influencers have fundamentally changed the role of public relations when it comes to reaching today’s audience. The balance of power between consumers and brands has shifted, and consumers are more likely to trust the people they see on their social media feeds than traditional marketing. Forbes explained it like this: “The voice of the customer has always been one of the most powerful concepts in marketing, and today’s social media platforms act as one giant megaphone for that voice.”
By effectively tying social media influencers into your public relations strategy, your business can reach larger audiences, promote positive branding and increase customer engagement and awareness. Adjusting from strictly traditional PR methods to a more integrated or collaborative effort with your social media efforts will unify your customer experience and provide quantifiable results for your business.
INFLUENCER MARKETING IS ON THE RISE AND IT’S CHANGING HOW WE APPROACH PR
Our hot take: you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by working with local micro-influencers (10,000–100,000 followers) rather than chasing after larger, national influencers. A local blogger with only 20,000 followers will more closely fit your target audience, and will likely have higher engagement rates than influencers who boast millions of followers. Engagement is an important metric we consider for social media success, and working with local influencers often produces consistently high engagement. Your business and the influencer will connect with actual people in your target market – a win-win for both parties – and they usually don’t come with the high price tag of nationally-known influencers.
Recently we worked with a social media influencer out of Oklahoma City with about 50,000 followers on Instagram. She was quick to respond, friendly and easy to work with. She attended our client’s event during the weekend, where she got to enjoy time with her family while snapping photos of the event and location. She shared her experience on her Instagram feed, on her Instagram Story and on her blog. Her visit to our client’s event was coordinated in less than three days because 1) she was local, so she made decisions quickly; 2) it was mutually beneficial for both parties; 3) we were direct and had open conversations (read: there was no corporate run around). She fit with our client’s target audience and we offered her an enjoyable opportunity to do what she loves. Between her Instagram and her blog, millions of people could have been exposed to our client’s brand. Plus, her Instagram post earned more than 350 likes and a couple dozen comments.
The best part about this tactic? It’s pretty easy to get started. Look at your social media following and see if you already have someone who fits the bill. An influencer already engaging with your brand can be an easy sell, and a great way to dip your toe into the world of courting social media influencers. Step outside of those traditional PR methods. You’ll be glad you did.