An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Influencers


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Ever see a celebrity posting about their new favorite soda or showing off their bouncing curls with an Instagram picture captioned, “Love my hair, thanks to ‘so and so’”? Well, they may love that brand, but chances are they did not just decide to post that on their own. They were most likely paid by the brand to do it. And trust us; the brand is getting a lot of hype from this placement.

With the rising popularity of Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Vine, it is only fitting that companies are using social media outlets to promote their brands. A company, however, cannot promote its brand alone. This is where a social media influencer that uses influencer marketing comes into place.  We've provided an overview of how brands can best work with social media influencers.


What It Is

Influencer marketing is “the process of designing simple, organic content in the form of a picture, short video, and text and having targeted influencers, based on audience demographic display this content to their followings”.

Brands are in search of a celebrity, blogger, photographer, or anyone else who has a large following base that can represent a product or service. Once a brand determines the product that they are selling, the correct social influencer needs to be chosen. Different influencers appeal to different demographics and would not be appropriate to promote just any product. Specialist celebrity and entertainment marketing agencies pair popular Instagrammers and companies that are willing to pay a good amount of money to use these people for brand promotion.


Payment To Influencers

So - how much are companies paying these days? Since the growth of these trending social media sites, prices have gone way up for promotions. If an Instagram user has over 100,000 followers, they can earn $700 to $900 per photo. Sounds like a lot, right? That’s only the minimum. Fashion-focused Instagram users can command $8,000 for a sponsored photo. And the going rate for a six-second Vine is anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 depending on the influencer's reach and audience. But prices don’t stop there, for just one Vine made by Jake Paul (a well-known Vine user) a soda brand is rumored to have paid $60,000 for Paul to praise their product in the six-second video, while a fast food franchise in the mid-thirties range for the launch of a new product line to be featured in posts.  

It is important for each post that is sponsored by a company, to look natural to the viewer. A blogger said “If the sponsored post doesn’t look like something I would actually be interested in or something I would actually post, then I will lose followers. Nobody will be interested in the service or product that I am promoting.”


 Actual Influencer Case Studies

During the holidays, Dick’s Sporting Goods partnered with almost a dozen influencers from different social media platforms. The partners posted everything about the brand from their outerwear to their kayaks. The promoters also posted pictures on their own accounts that encouraged fans to buy the products and to follow the brand on Twitter. Viner Robby Ayala posted a video on how to clean your pool using a GoPro that Dick’s carried, which now has over 1.3 million views. These social media efforts generated over 130,000 clicks on the website for Dick’s Sporting Goods, 6.2 million engagements, 27.5 million impressions, and 4,000 new Twitter followers.


Instagrammer Sara Hopkins promotes a North Face jacket for Dick's Sporting Goods. She generated 5,600 likes and comments

Old Navy used social influencers, as well, in their holiday campaign. The brand enlisted 12 Vine influencers to do a “giveaway” on their accounts, very similar to a white elephant gift exchange for the holidays. Every 24 hours a video would be uploaded of a Viner keeping their gift or stealing a gift from another Viner. This campaign generated much buzz for the company and generated 6,600 new Vine followers and 84,000 engagements.

Lord & Taylor provided the same dress (and compensation) to 50 Instagram influencers – and the dress promptly sold out.  "The program was designed to introduce Design Lab to this customer where she is engaging and consuming content every day," said Lord & Taylor CMO Michael Crotty. "The goal was to make her stop in her feed and ask why all her favorite bloggers are wearing this dress and what is Design Lab. Using Instagram as that vehicle is a logical choice, especially when it comes to fashion."  Influencers were selected "based on her aesthetic and reach."  Many of the posts generated more than 1,000 Likes each, with several surpassing 5,000 Likes and some reaching rarified levels like 13,000 Likes.


From left, Instagrammers Cara Van Brocklin (@caraloren), Rachel Lynch (@IHateBlonde), and Jessica Ricks (@hapatime). Photos via Instagram


The Future of Marketing

Social influencers are the future of marketing for any company. With the growth of social media outlets in this day and age, the influencer marketing field is incredibly important for those wanting to get their brand known and recognized by a fast-growing audience. Brands have the opportunity to directly engage with the over 300 million monthly active users on Instagram, alone, who follow a wide range of social media influencers.  These influencer partnerships when leveraged smartly will enable brands to gain the ‘trickle-down effect’ of new fan followers as well!  

Another reason more brands will be trending towards influencer marketing through various social platforms (other than YouTube) is that Google is striking back and eliminating or reducing the ways a brand can partner with content that lives on the YouTube site.  Take a look at our article on what you need to know about Google's new strategies to kill non-advertiser branding opportunities.



 Get More Information

Are you interested in learning more about how your brand can work with social media influencers? Download our infographic that provides case studies, rates, and strategies for success when creating a social media influencer program. 

 How To Connect Your Brand With Social Influencers