• Sebastian Wulff

7 Things to Look for in a Social Media Influencer

Working with social media influencers is a fantastic way to get your brand in front of a new audience. When done right, an influencer marketing campaign generates greater awareness, increases your social media following, and even boosts conversions like sign-ups or sales. Essentially, it speeds up your results instead of waiting to see organic growth.

With that in mind, it’s important to choose the right influencers for your campaign. Arbitrarily selecting someone based on his or her follower count isn’t going to ensure you reach your goals. To help you find the ideal influencer, there are seven things you should look for.

Key Takeaways

  • Determine the end goal for your campaign before diving in.

  • An influencer’s total number of followers isn’t the only deciding factor. People with smaller followings can have engaged communities you’ll want to target as well.

  • It’s best to choose someone who has a relevant niche and similar values that you can depend on throughout the entirety of your partnership.

Graphic from Neil Patel showcasing statistics about influencer marketing.

Determine Your End Goal Before Choosing an Influencer

Although you may have a few ideas about the social influencers you’d like to work with, don’t get ahead of yourself. Part of selecting the right influencer is defining your campaign goals upfront. What do you hope to accomplish with your campaign? Are you looking to drive awareness, engagement, sales, or something else?

Beginning with the end goal in mind will help you flesh out the finer details of the campaign. For instance, you’ll be able to determine the ideal social media platform to target and what types of posts you’d like an influencer to share. Then, you can easily match the right influencer to your campaign objectives.

7 Things to Look for in a Social Media Influencer

The influencer marketing industry was valued at $13.8 billion in 2021 and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Any brands looking to jump on board would be wise to consider these seven factors when choosing a social media influencer to partner with.

1. Audience

These days, there are influencers that specialize in certain content or audience niches. For example, there are fashion influencers, travel influencers, and fitness influencers. When looking for someone to collaborate with, it’s smart to choose someone who is known for a niche that’s relevant to your own, or at least reaches an overlapping audience.

By collaborating with a social media influencer with a relevant audience, you’ll be able to target consumers that may already be interested in the type of products or services you offer. Plus, the influencer’s content will better align with your messaging, ultimately creating a stronger campaign.

2. Values

In this day and age, you have to be careful about who you align your brand with. When you engage an influencer as part of a marketing campaign, he or she is representing your brand. As a result, you may want to avoid influencers who have openly expressed controversial opinions or don’t share your brand values. We recommend familiarizing yourself with an influencer’s past content and public reputation before approaching them with a campaign opportunity.

3. Reach

As mentioned before, follower count shouldn’t be the main deciding factor when choosing an influencer. That said, you do want to consider it along with average post reach and impressions to get a sense of how many people will potentially gain exposure to your brand because this can help generate more brand awareness or drive sales.

Here’s how influencers are classified based on their reach:

  • Nano-influencer: Less than 10k followers

  • Micro-influencer: 10k-100k followers

  • Mid-range influencer: 100k-500k followers

  • Macro-influencer: 500k+ followers

Don’t write someone off simply because he or she has a smaller following. Up-and-coming influencers may still have an engaged audience that could be very interested in what you have to offer.

4. Engagement Rate

Having thousands of followers doesn’t mean much if that audience isn’t seeing and engaging with the influencer’s posts. If you see a social influencer that you’d potentially like to work with, scroll through their posts and check out their comments section.

Do they receive a high number of genuine comments on each post? Or does their comments section seem pretty barren or spammy? You’ll also want to consider whether or not the influencer is taking time to respond to comments. That’s a good sign that the influencer prioritizes community engagement, which will bode well for a potential marketing campaign.

5. Frequency

Another thing to look at is the frequency with which an influencer posts sponsored content. If you scroll through the influencer’s feed to find that it primarily consists of sponsored posts, that’s not a good look. Your campaign could get lost in the shuffle or come across to the influencer’s audience as just another quick paycheck. Instead, it’s better to work with someone who is more selective about the brands he or she promotes and is primarily focused on creating organic content.

The most successful influencers strike a balance between sponsored posts and their normal content. Anyone with an account that’s filled with sponsorships could have their credibility questioned. If you want your campaign to perform well, it’s important that the influencer’s audience takes you seriously.

6. Quality Content

Odds are, it was the influencer’s content that caught your eye in the first place. That’s because quality content goes a long way, especially when it comes to creating an impactful marketing campaign. You want to work with a social media influencer that you know will produce something special. This applies to everything from the image and video quality to copywriting, post metadata, and even their overall enthusiasm for working with you as a partner.

7. Reliability

When collaborating with influencers, you need to be able to count on them. Each influencer you engage needs to be dependable when it comes responding to emails, posting content on time, and fulfilling their other commitments. That’s why reliability is another essential trait to look for when choosing an influencer for your campaign.

No one has time to constantly chase influencers to post promotional content. You want to be able to outline your requests and trust that they’ll be completed in a timely fashion.

Effortlessly Manage Your Influencer Partnerships

Looking to find the perfect influencer for your next campaign? Paladin’s influencer discovery tool makes it easy to search for social media influencers and select the right ones every time.

Ready to give it a try? Schedule a free demo of Paladin today.