Businesses everywhere are rediscovering their entrepreneurial spirit by turning to social media influencers. It’s a radical development in the PR and brand promotion game – but it’s not without its risks. While they can work wonders for your brand, influencers can cause you all sorts of headaches if you don’t go about working with them in the right way.
Of course, anything that combines social media, personality politics, and business is going to come with risks attached – but there are ways to minimise them. Here, Sanity Marketing’s Jordan Baker offers 5 things you need to watch out for when venturing into the sphere of influencers:
- Vet them before you make contact – so, you’ve spotted an influencer with tens of thousands of followers who you reckon would be great to work with. But have you checked what they’re posting on other platforms? If there’s something lurking on their Twitter or Tumblr feed that you don’t want to be associated with, find out before it’s too late.
- Check who else they promote – just because an influencer says yes to you doesn’t mean they won’t know your competitors. You can only exert so much control, but it’s not smart to go to someone who you can tell has an ongoing relationship with your main rival.
- Be clear about who you are – the last thing you want is for an influencer to mislabel or misrepresent your product, or to put out a message that’s the opposite of what you want people to hear. So make sure they know exactly what you want to put out there, and why.
- Be smart in your approach – if you’re approaching a lot of different influencers, don’t send them the same copy-pasted message. A lot of brands will be chasing them, and you need to stand out. Put some effort in and write them a bespoke message that they know is meant for them personally. It’ll pay off.
- Always treat them with respect – the best influencers have massive audiences, and that can be a big problem for you if you fall out with them. So be polite, don’t pick fights, and if the relationship starts to get a bit rocky, draw a clear line under it before the drama ends up playing out on Instagram.