Influencer marketing has really blown up over the last few years, but it’s far from a new concept. After all, celebrity endorsements are as old as the concept of celebrity itself.
What’s different about contemporary marketing, though, is that influencers are not major sports stars or movie stars. These are people just like you and me who have built a following online by giving great advice, performing silly stunts or something else.
Their defining characteristic is that influencers’ audiences enjoy engaging with them and see them as highly relatable. Because these are people just like us, we’re more likely to believe them when they recommend a brand. Let’s face it we’re all well aware that celebs might not even use the products that they promote.
Besides that, in 2018 alone, companies who went this route earned an average of 520% ROI. So, yes, there are some serious potential benefits to influencer marketing. That is, as long as you choose the right influencer to work with.
In this post, we’re going to go through the red flags that tell you to move on to a different influencer.
Their Following/Follower Ratio is Skewed
A simple tactic to gain more followers on social media is to start following other pages. In some cases, those pages will follow you back. If you see an account following a large number of pages, it could be a sign that you should look elsewhere.
This is a sign that their audience hasn’t grown organically and you have to ask yourself what other measures they might have taken to boost their numbers.
Engagement is Low
Another common trick for increasing followers on social media is through buying traffic. In this scenario, the influencer will sign up with a service which provides bots who follow, like, and potentially share different posts. Fortunately, this is pretty easy to pick up on.
If you see an account with thousands of followers and very few comments, you have to wonder why. Is it because they’ve got a whole lot of bots boosting their numbers? If not, how much influence do they really have if their followers aren’t engaging with them on the channel?
If their followers aren’t active on the channel, how much is their influence going to help you?
Also, check how many times the influencer posts new content. Regular posts are the best way to keep followers engaged.
They Don’t React Well to Negative Comments
Take some time to read through the comments on an influencer’s posts. It’s time-consuming, but it’s the best way to see how they interact with their followers and how they react to negative statements.
Everyone is pleasant when receiving praise, but reacting to criticism is the real test. You need an idea of how balanced the influencer is. If they’re going to lash out when they get a bad comment, or if they like to court controversy, do you want your brand associated with them?
What is your gut feeling about the influencer? Do they look like they’re covering topics that they’re passionate about, or do you get the feeling that they’re trying to sell you something? You want an influencer who sincerely cares about what is best for their followers. Any hint of insincerity should have you looking for the exit.
Image by Maddi Bazzocco via Unsplash, CC0
Besides being a regular contributor to several tech and digital marketing blogs, Andriana Moskovska is proud to call herself SmallBizGenius’s community manager. Her mission is simple: to connect small business owners with the best tools and resources to help them thrive. When she’s not working, Andriana likes to go for walks with her two pet dachshunds and binge-watch documentaries, usually not at the same time. Connect with her here on LinkedIn.