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What Social Media Influencers Need to Do Better in 2018

Social Media Influencers – the Story So Far

The massive success of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have been followed by the emergence of a new kind of marketing professionals referred to as social media influencers.

Social media influencers are usually young men and women who are skilled in the use of social media and have developed a massive following on various social networks. They are hired by companies to promote their products and services.

The type of marketing done by influencers is less invasive and more personal or interactive compared to the marketing and advertising done by traditional agencies. Influencers use a number of social media sites to reach out to their audience.

A survey of 300 influencers done by the market research firm Hashoff revealed that 99% of them posted content on Instagram – which is the most popular social media site with influencers. 67% said they posted content on Facebook, 51% on Snapchat and 43% on Twitter. Surprisingly, only 30% claimed to post content on YouTube.

YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest are no longer attracting social media influencers as much as they did in the past. That’s probably because YouTube videos take a lot of effort to produce, Facebook is more family oriented and not so popular with young people anymore, and Pinterest is generally used for pinning personal interests.

2018 is expected to be another exciting year for social media influencers, but there are a few things they could do better. Let’s see how.

What Social Media Influencers Need to Do Better in 2018…

#1: Influencers would do well to focus on quality rather than on quantity when it comes to their followers. By quality, we mean higher engagement rates, more loyal followers and transparency in how the influencer interacts with them or puts across their message. Just having tens of thousands of followers isn’t going to help much unless the influencer is seen as a credible person and inspires long term relationship with their followers.

#2: Influencers have become more commercially motivated and hence less appear less authentic. Brand loyalty is important. An influencer cannot rave about a brand for months, and then suddenly switch to another brand in the same product category. That doesn’t make sense t their followers. It is important for an influencer to stick to a brand once they start promoting it.

#3: Influencers will do well not to overuse hashtags too much. Often, the hashtags used by influencers on Twitter and Instagram are not relevant to what they are promoting, and upsets their followers. Also, using irrelevant hashtags makes them appear as non-serious.

#4: Influencers should work hard to build a relationship with their audience instead of just focusing on getting the next contract from a high profile brand. Unless they have a strong connection with their audience, no influencer can really succeed in this line of work.

#5: Influencers should choose brands that are consistent with their image. An influencer who is a soccer mom, for example, should not be promoting products targeted at teens. Influencers should have the same voice as the brands that they are promoting.

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