What are social influencers – and do I need them?

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Influencers have formed the new evolution of digital marketing and can be the key you need to rapidly expand your business. By leveraging the reach of social influencers your message can touch a much wider audience, resulting in selling more of your product or service and can ultimately take your brand to the next level.

What is an influencer?

Basically anyone who has the power or ability (namely due to a large audience of social media followers) to influence the opinions, thoughts, feelings and, ultimately, purchasing habits of a particular target audience.

At what stage should you engage an influencer?

It’s a great idea to bring on an influencer when your business or brand is in a ‘growth’ phase. This means you’ve identified your ideal customer or client and therefore have an in-depth knowledge of the target audience you are trying to attract or grow. Bringing on an influencer who is already popular with that market will further promote your brand to these potential clients or customers and give you access to a much larger audience.

Who should you target?

Instead of simply going for the biggest following, look for expertise and an engaged audience, rather than just high numbers.

Forbes came up with the following formula:

Influence = Audience Reach (number of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers

All three of the above factors are clearly important, but the second one is particularly interesting.

Therefore, look for people in your niche that you think would be an ideal customer/client, that whole-heartedly support and their promotion of your business would be as authentic as possible. It’s important you choose someone who speaks to your target audience, but also that the target audience listens, believes and trusts them.

How do you find them?

Influencer marketing is a whole new area of digital marketing that is evolving at rapid speed. You may already have an idea of the influencers you’d like to engage by who you follow on Instagram or Twitter. But if you’re a little clueless, and don’t have time to scour the pages of Google and social media platforms yourself, there are a few simpler ways to find the right fit:

  • Websites: There’s a variety of sites that can rank bloggers and influencers according to follower counts in all different niches. One standout is BuzzSumo, an app that lists follower counts and engagement levels in any niche you type into its search. Alternatively, if you want to focus on just one social platform at a time, Followerwonk can help you find Twitter users related to your business.
  • Online platforms: You can register with a range of collaboration platforms, such as weconnect or Collabosaurus, which aim to bring together brands and influencers in an open marketplace. As a business, you can pitch to particular digital influencers you think are a good fit or create a campaign open to all on the platform. These kinds of platforms are great when you’re starting out as they also track content creation, engagement and facilitate payment.
  • Influencer agencies: If you have a clear idea of the influencer you’d like to work with, or have a flexible budget, employing the services of an influencer agency – like the Ministry of Talent, Bloggerati or CHIC Blogger Management will take care of a lot of the hard work for you.

How should an influencer be approached?

If you have chosen to get in touch direct, rather than use a platform or an agency, the best thing to do is research your chosen influencer. If they have a media kit or a website, they will probably outline how they prefer to be contacted. Otherwise, feel free to touch base via the social platform they are most active on or via email before sending unsolicited gifts.

What do influencers do?

Once you’ve found your influencer, there’s a range of ways you can leverage their following across your website and social media, including:

  • Providing them with your product – to be used in posts
  • Sponsored blog posts
  • Product reviews
  • Running a giveaway/competition

The cost will vary, dependant on the influencer’s follower count and engagement rate, and some may even post for free if you gift them your product/s.

Collaboration examples

@bagsandbunnies X @goodlifehc

@thefitfoodieblog X @goodnessmebox

@naturally_nutritious X Vita Weat

How is the success of an influencer campaign measured?

  • Set goals for the collaboration campaign in terms of engagement, website clicks or increase in followers.
  • Make sure these targets have been communicated with your influencer and then negotiated or agreed upon and allocate a set amount of time for the campaign to run.
  • Share the results with the influencer and determine whether the desired effect has been achieved and whether both parties would like to continue the relationship.


We’d love to know how you go in creating and implementing a social influencer strategy!

In love and wellness,
Rachel Dowdy
Goodness Goddess

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