Social Media Influencer – … the effect of digital relationships on businesses (1)
“In my opinion one of the most exciting developments in Ghana over the last couple of years has been the growth in social media spaces, and the vast proliferation of blogs, which capture our Ghanaian realities, and enables us to share our stories, pictures, videos amongst ourselves and with the rest of the world. We are telling our own stories. We are documenting our herstories and histories. We are archiving and creating knowledge. We are storytellers.” – Nana Sekyiamah - is one of the digital media pioneers in Ghana.
Today we have power players turning social media audiences on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook into fortunes and empires. These people across the Entertainment, Travel and Gaming categories have managed to monetize emerging platforms; land production deals based on their prowess on now-defunct video app Vine; and in some cases, command seven figures per sponsored campaign.
An influencer can be anyone, from a blogger to a celebrity, but they must always have credibility and a niche.
Influencers are generally compensated with money or samples. Before you pay just anyone to promote your product, however, be sure the influencers you work with match your brand's tone, style, and mission.
According to Christina Newberry word-of-mouth is one of the most valuable forms of marketing out there: It’s been shown to influence 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. After all, potential customers are much more likely to be receptive to recommendations from a person they respect and trust than to ads or other corporate messaging.
In the new world of digital relationships, word of mouth extends well beyond recommendations from friends and family into the realm of influencer marketing.
In fact, research from Twitter shows that 49 percent of consumers seek purchase guidance from social media influencers, and 20 percent said that a Tweet from an influencer inspired them to share their own product recommendation. Even more important for marketers, nearly 40 percent of Twitter users said they had made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer’s Tweet.
And on Instagram, the amount brands are spending with influencers is over $1 billion per year, according to a study from Mediakix.
Content marketing involves creating relevant, useful, engaging content to draw your audience in. Unlike traditional advertising, the content you create won’t be directly persuading your audience to buy your products or services. It’s about building a relationship with your potential customers.
Effective content marketing can help you build your marketing lists and increase brand awareness. It can help you develop your online audience and learn more about your customer’s needs. It supports your other marketing tactics. Ultimately it should lead to sales.
Let us bring it home to Ghana, the winners of the Ghana Blogging & Social Media Awards 2016 are as follows:
Best Blogger: Ameyaw Debrah
Best Blog: KeniKodjo.com
Best Post of 2015: Kwame Gyan (Innitfo? No R?ba Ooo)
Best Emerging Niche Blog: Screwlife.com
Best New Blog: 2eweboys.com
Best Organisational Blog: Tonaton
Best Twitter Account (Individual): Nana Aba Anamoah
Best Twitter Account (Organization): Citi 97.3 FM
Best Instagram Account: Ameyaw Debrah
Best Facebook Profile (Individual): Maukeni Padiki Kodjo
Best Facebook Page (Entity): Vodafone Ghana
Best YouTube Channel (Individual): Akumaa Mama Zimbi
Best YouTube Channel (Artiste): Sarkodie
Public Official With Best Social Media Presence: Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children & Social Protection
Organization With Best Social Media Presence: Vodafone Ghana
Media House With Best Social Media Presence: Citi 97.3 FM
Artiste With Best Social Media Presence: Shatta Wale
Special Award for Services to Ghana’s Blogging & Social Media Community: PlanIT Ghana
Sharing Christina Newberry views on the discussion, she stated the following:
What is a social media influencer? An influencer is quite simply someone who carries influence over others. A social media influencer is someone who wields that influence through social media. The form of influence can vary and no two influencers are the same. Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing, but in the digital age of online connection, regular people have become online “celebrities” with powerfully engaged social media followings, especially in certain market segments.
In fact, a survey of U.S. teens conducted for Variety last year found that YouTube creators took eight of the top 10 spots in a survey of influencers, outranking traditional celebrities like musicians and movie stars.
Perhaps no one embodies the concept of the social media influencer more than DJ Khaled, whom The Washington Post dubbed “The King of Snapchat.” His 6 million Snapchat followers make him an obvious choice for brands who may not (yet) have a strong Snapchat presence of their own.
When the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority debuted on the social network, they hired DJ Khaled for an account takeover that brought in more than 350,000 views in its first two days alone.
How to incorporate influencer marketing in your social media strategy
Think of influencer marketing as simply another arrow in your marketing quiver. While it’s a different approach to brand messaging, your influencer campaigns should still align with your larger content strategy and brand image so that they enhance your overall brand reputation.
Extend your reach (or laser-target your message) through influencer channels. In many cases, you will use influencer marketing to extend the reach of your brand messaging by working with social media influencers to create or support content they post on their own social media channels. This allows you to piggyback on someone else’s follower base, either to reach a broader audience or to segment your efforts in ways that would never be possible through your own branded social media accounts.
How to find the right social media influencer for your campaign
Before reaching out to a potential social media influencer, you’ll need to consider the 3Rs of influence as stated by Christina Newberry:
Relevance: The influencer is sharing content and developing a following relevant to your business and the particular market segment you want to target.
Reach: The number of people you could potentially reach through the influencer’s follower base that would bring value to your business.
Resonance: The potential level of engagement the influencer can create with an audience that’s valuable and relevant to your brand.
When determining whether an influencer is a good match for your three Rs, you’ll need to ask yourself a couple of important questions.
Who are you trying to influence?
Most marketers have no trouble coming up with a high-level answer to this question: you’re trying to influence your customers, prospects, and the broader industry community. But your influencer campaign can’t be all things to all people: as in all types of marketing strategy, a meaningful answer requires greater focus and a clear understanding of your goals and your audience.
Perhaps you’re trying to influence people who work in a specific job function—social media professionals or community managers who tend to spend significant amounts of time on social media every day, for example. Or maybe your goal is to influence decision-makers in a particular vertical—maybe government or finance leaders who tend to place deep trust in recommendations from their peer network. Or, you could be trying to target a specific consumer segment, like millennials looking to buy their first home.
These are three very different groups, and an effective influencer marketing strategy requires you to speak to the right people using the right tools (and, in this case, the right influencers), just like you do in all of your other marketing work.
Looking at a very specific marketing niche, for example, a recent survey from public relations firm MWWPR found that influencer marketing is the most effective way of marketing spirits to millennials, along with earned media. According to the report, 54 percent of Millennials share branded content from spirits companies when it is posted by a social influencer, and 93 percent usually try a new liquor after someone recommends it to them. For any liquor brand looking to expand into the millennial market, those numbers should be hard to ignore, next week we will take a second look at this topic from different angles until then the power is yours.
The writer is as | Management Consultant | Spint Consult Limited | firstname.lastname@example.org |