Social media influencers are one of the hottest marketing tactics for businesses today. They have amazing reach, humanize your products with unscripted testimonials, and provide you with beautiful diverse content to repost on your own social media feed. 89% of marketers say they get as much, if not more, ROI from influencer marketing as they do from their other marketing channels.
The problem is that finding influencers isn’t easy! Did you know that 61% of brands say they struggle finding the best influencers for their campaign? Let’s first dig into what a social media influencer is and we’ll provide 3 proven tips to finding influencers, fast.
What’s a social media influencer, anyway?
Generally speaking - social media influencers are content creators that have influence over their followers in channels like social media, blogs, and podcasts.
While there is no magic number for how many followers someone needs to have to be considered an influencer we look for a minimum of 10,000 followers so we can tap into the swipe up feature on stories to be able to link to a brands’ website. However, there are definitely successful nano influencers with under 10,000 followers out there with smaller but engaged followings that we work with on certain campaigns too.
In addition to having more followers than the average user, social media influencers usually define then follow a strategy for their feed to create professional, aesthetically pleasing, and relevant content that people will love.
But the most important part is how engaged their following is. A brand looking to collaborate with an influencer is interested in tapping into the trust that they built with their audience. That means that their posts see lots of likes, comments, shares, and bookmarks; brand collabs see lots of purchases; and stories see lots of impressions and actions taken. The more trust their followers have in the influencer, the better results you’ll get.
3 Easy Ways to Find Influencers on Instagram
Ok so now we know what a social media influencer is, are you ready to collaborate with them now? Yes! We were hoping you’d say that! Follow these quick tips to find the best influencers on Instagram for your brand.
Finding Influencers: Go where your audience is
Instead of trying to find influencers on the platform you THINK your target market is on, find your target market and see where they ALREADY spend their time. Here are some of the top platforms for influencers working with businesses right now, why we like them, and who spends the most time there:
With over 690m professionals on LinkedIn, this platform is the best place to market if you’re targeting a business. However the content that works for LinkedIn won’t work for other platforms. For example, LinkedIn is usually more professional and educational than, say, Instagram where it is image first and conversational. You probably don’t think of LinkedIn when we’re talking about influencers but hear us out. While the collab would look very different than on the other social media platforms, it’s totally doable and the space is a whole lot less crowded. If you have long form content that you want to use for lead generation, LinkedIn influencers could be the tactics for you.
This platform is great for visual products (like those in the fashion, beauty, food, fitness, or travel industries). Since you aren’t able to link in posts and can only include in stories when you have over 10,000 followers, focus your attention on beautiful images first then wow them with the caption when they want to know more. Instagram is growing traction with all ages and is going after TikTok hard with Reels, but it still remains most popular with a younger audience (75% of 18 – 24 year olds make up the larger concentration in a single age bracket). Instagram is the place almost all of our influencer campaigns take place.
Think of Facebook as if LinkedIn and Instagram had a baby. You can include links in captions (yay for brands!), content should be fun and educational (yay for brands!), but social media influencers don’t play here as often (boo). Oh and the demographics tend to skew a little older than Instagram and definitely TikTok. Remember how the highest concentration in an age bracket was 18-24 for Instagram? 79% of 30–49 year olds use Facebook.
Short-form video content is the content format of choice and this is the place if you’re targeting a younger, Gen Z audience. Users in their teens accounted for 32.5% percent of TikTok's active user accounts in the United States. While the buying power may or may not be there, if you’re working with an influencer on a video or Instagram Reel content, why not see if they can post it on their TikTok too and see if it resonates?
The newest kid on the block. Like so brand new that getting in is invite-only, which is probably some of the draw. This platform is audio only so it’s like a live podcast. You can start rooms or join rooms and listen in to a range of topics like entrepreneurship, art, social media, business tips, and more. It’s too new to know the true demographics but it’s a great place to drop some knowledge bombs and show how smart you are.
Finding Influencers: Search relevant hashtags
Once you know where your target market is online, you’ve significantly narrowed down the influencer search. Heck, that part is hard work! Now you need to search through your platform of choice to find active influencers with an engaged following.
One easy way to do this is to look for relevant hashtags. From LinkedIn to TikTok, hashtags organize content, helping you find great influencers. But, and this is a big one, there will be lots and lots of posts to wade through to find that one gem. Sometimes people spam a popular hashtag to get visibility... it doesn’t work, people. If we’re looking for #.farmhouse and we see a post about an egg cooker (true story), you know we’re not clicking. And also remember there’s no geo-targeting when searching hashtags so you might find an influencer you love love love only to discover she’s based in Australia and the brand doesn’t sell there (also true story).
If you’re already following an influencer and you think they would work for your brand, check out the comments on their posts. Influencers usually follow and interact with other similar influencers, so chances are that another great influencer will be active in their comments.
Finding Influencers: Check out the competition
A little competitor research will be sure to speed up your influencer research. Look at your top 3 competitors. Are they working with influencers? If so, who? While you shouldn’t use the same influencers your competitors are working with, you should look for similar influencers for your campaign. Why? Because.
The bottom line
Social media influencers have so much to offer a brand that is looking for the next best marketing tactic to increase their brand awareness. With some effort and mad research skills, you can find influencers to take your marketing to the next level!
Like anything, influencer marketing takes experience and relationships. There are lots of ways to “game” the system. By working with influencers over the years we know them tricks and avoid them so you don’t waste your money on an unsuccessful campaign. We have relationships with 1,000’s of influencers that will give you better content at better prices and most importantly, save you hours and hours of time. Don’t trust your brand voice to influencer databases where it’s purely transactional (followers can tell!) Reach out to see if influencer marketing is right for you!