News flash: social media marketing, in any industry, is a must in 2019.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to any entrepreneur nowadays. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of adults use Facebook, 40% use Instagram and about 25% use Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat. If we break these numbers down even more, it shows that millenials and generation Z account for most of the social media users around.
So what glues so many people to social media? Of course, people enjoy the occasional cat video or funny meme that pops up in their feed, but most of the time, their timeline is dominated by social media influencers: people who've accumulated such a large digital following that they make a living off their social media. Some "local" influencers probably amass around 5,000-30,000 followers, honestly depending on the size of the demographic in their location. Contrarily. influencers in massive cities accumulate follower counts in the millions.
Social media influencers typically generate income by partnering with brands and participating in what is known as #sponcon (sponsored content). While there are rules and regulations with #sponcon, stemming directly from the Federal Trade Commission, it is very commonplace among the YouTube, Instagram, and blogging crowds to promote products sent to them by brands for an incentive. This could be a) free samples of the product, b) a good, old fashioned paycheck for promoting the product, c) commission on all the products sold as a result of the collaboration or d) all of the above.
Many noteworthy brands have been madly successful in social media marketing, but how do you get started? Breaking into the influencersphere can have benefits and drawbacks, but if you play your cards carefully, it could be a huge win for your business.
First and foremost, do your homework on the influencers you are considering reaching out to for a longstanding partnership. Are they problematic in any capacity? Are they outspoken about topics that are divisive and could reflect badly on your brand? Do they use products similar to your brand? Would a partnership between the two of you look genuine to their audience? Or would it look like a quick buck on their end and a desperate plea for attention on your end? Most importantly, do they play by the FTC's rules when promoting products on social media? (Hint, if they aren't using #AD at the beginning of their sponsored posts, don't consider a partnership. This could land you both in hot water.)
Influencer onboarding is a must, but there are ways you need to go about it so you don't get burned and make sure you are making the best decisions for your small business. What we shared today was just a sliver. Check out our Influencer Onboarding kit here for more tips on your upcoming influencer onboarding endeavors!