Have you ever wondered how to get your product or service into the hands of the right social media influencers? How you can work with them as part of a broader marketing strategy to reach your social media savvy audiences who are just waiting to snack on the latest things they find in their Instagram feed? 

Our tip – think about it in terms of a win/win for all. A win/win is what it’s all about when engaging with social media influencers – seeking mutual benefit and working together to create something that makes everyone happy. 

If you’ve got a product or service you would like to share across social media platforms, and you want to try a different path to paid advertising, consider working with social media influencers to spread your message. 

Here’s our best tips to achieve a win/win when engaging social media influencers: 

  1. Get to know influencers first – scan social media for personalities you want to collaborate with, but make sure they’re relevant. For example, if there’s someone you like who has a huge audience and they’re vegan, don’t go inviting them to the opening of a barbecue meat restaurant. Ensure they are relevant to what you are offering.  
  1. Seek an engaged audience – size doesn’t always matter. Find influencers who have a highly engaged and relevant audience, lots of comments and responses, not just a large number of followers.  
  1. Make the offer realistic – match your offering to the level of influencer that they are. For example, if they’re a local influencer who is happy having fun with promotions on the side of a primary job, then a smaller value offering of a free product in exchange for promotion is acceptable. If they’re a well-respected specialist in their field, such as a travel influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers, your offer will need to be more valuable to them, or payment will likely be involved. 
  1. Find common ground – the win/win we’re talking about. Identify how you can work with them to get coverage for your product/service or client, whilst also giving the influencer creative licence to create engaging content for their audience.  
  1. Respect that some influencers are trying to make a living – as above, some influencers see it as a side project, others make an entire living out of it. Understand that some influencers require a fee for service or a fee per post. If you’re wanting to target influencers on a regular basis, set aside some budget for paid spots.  
  1. Make your expectations clear – communication is key when working with an influencer. Articulate what you are keen for them to promote, what you are offering them and what your expectation is. For example, minimum of one post highlighting your product.  
  1. Don’t be too prescriptive – give the influencer some creative licence and freedom to present your product in-line with their social media aesthetic and style. Don’t demand that things are to be presented in a certain way, by a certain time or with a specific amount of posts. In our experience, aiming lower e.g. one post and one story will usually result in more generosity in coverage, particularly if they’re a good communicator, easy to deal with and deliver what they say they will.  
  1. Get creative with your offer – think outside the box here. Think of ways to make your product a whole experience that the influencer can cover from the moment it arrives at their door. Go big where you can – for example, if your product is a bottle of spirits, think of how you can package it to make it more of an experience for the receiver. Something they can share with their own friends and family, make-at-home experiences etc. Turn the everyday into a luxe experience.  
  1. Give them the tools they need to do the best job for you – as above, don’t be too prescriptive. But it always helps to provide the basics to get the most out of any coverage so as your handles and hashtags, information backgrounders etc. The more information and ideas you give to them upfront, the easier you make it for them as so many of us are time-poor. Again, win/win!  
  1. Give them time – don’t offer a product or service for coverage on their social media with a super tight turnaround time. Be aware that setting up beautiful Instagram images takes time and preparation, so build that into your timing. 

If you’ve never worked with influencers before, or if you’re thinking of trialing a fresh approach to this marketing tactic, Threesides is always here to offer advice. We can assist you with influencer outreach with everything from identifying targets and developing eye-catching pitches and invitations, to collating responses, tracking and reporting on coverage and metrics. Now that’s a win/win. 

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