what is a social media influencer

You’ve probably heard the buzzword “social media influencer” before. But if you aren’t a big social media user, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what a social media influencer is and what one isn’t.

Here at RiseFuel, we often build social media influencer campaigns into the broader marketing strategies that we employ for clients. It can be very effective in specific situations.

But to understand why and when it might be advantageous to engage with social media influencers, you have to understand how it is and how it is used.


What Is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is an influential person on a social media network.

This includes all of the popular networks, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Twitch
  • And more.

Any place where people congregate online and people can build large followings would be a place where you would find influencers. Even places like small community forums and industry message boards have smaller-scale influencers.

The right platform depends on your brand, industry, and product. A dentist probably wouldn’t get much out of promoting themselves on TikTok, but targeted promotion in local Facebook Groups can be a great way to reach their target audience. Every business is different.

In the context that we are discussing, social media influencers are people with large followings that promote products and services — either on their own as a recommendation to as a paid promotion.

They mention a product or brand, that brand pays them, and the product is put in front of their targeted following.

For instance, a fitness social media profile might be a good person to work with to promote a weight loss product, workout equipment, or a gym membership.

Even local businesses can use influencers. Imagine if an influential local politician, businessman, or social media personality recommended your business. It certainly wouldn’t hurt, right?


what is a social media influencer


Types of Social Media Influencers

There are several different types of social media influencers. An influencer may be a celebrity, artist or politician.

They could be a brand or prominent industry figure. They could be a social media personality who just happens to be involved in your industry.

There are people whose whole business revolves around being an influencer on a specific platform.

Generally, you can break the types of social media influencers down into three distinct categories.

  • Celebrities & Personalities — These are artists, politicians and generally public people with one million followers or more. They are often a personal brand and not a company. These are the “whales” of influencer marketing. Each of their posts can receive as much as 5% engagement.

  • Macro-influencers — People with less than one million followers. Posts can receive as much as 10% engagement. Their expertise in specific industries can create awareness and large boosts in traffic when engaged effectively.
  • Micro-influencers — Those that have at least 500 followers. Posts can receive as much as 25% engagement. These are people with smaller followings, but they tend to be much more engaged and have closer relationships with their audience. Can be present in any niche from fashion to business development.


Why Are Influencers Useful for Businesses?

Influencer marketing has been shown to be an effective channel for businesses in a wide variety of industries.

In fact, any industry that sees a decent amount of discussion and activity around their industry or product is sure to have influencers that they can engage with.

Linqia found that 39% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets. Studies have shown that you can gain as much as $6.5 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing.

Instagram remains the most effective platform for influencer marketing, with 87.1% of naming it as their most favored platform.


What Is a Social Media Influencer


Source: Influencer Marketing Hub


How Can I Find & Engage Social Media Influencers in My Social Media Strategy?

There is a good chance that you are aware of at least some of the top social media personalities in your industry.

A little bit of searching (use relevant industry terms) and generally using social media platforms of your choice can be a good way to discover more.

Beyond that, there are numerous tools that can help you to identify influencers within your industry?


Discover Industry Influencers with These Tools:

Now when it comes to engaging with influencers, you have a few options on the table. There are also platforms out there that can help you to manage your outreach campaigns, which can be useful.

When you engage with social media influencers, there are a few common types of marketing campaigns that you can run.

Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

  • Sponsored partnership. The most common. They will produce content about your product or brand on their social media networks in exchange for a fee. Often, you’ll be able to collaborate on exactly what the messaging will be. Work with them to help them understand your goals and find the best situation for both parties.

  • Guest blogging. Determine which influencers in your industry have a blog and negotiate a post for that blog. They are also likely to share the post on their social media channels, which can make this tactic very effective.

  • Brand ambassadorship. A long-term collaboration. The influencer will promote your brand on a regular basis and become a representative of your brand. This is an excellent way to build a long-term relationship with influencers and their audience.


Grow With Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing is a quick and effective way to get your brand or product in front of your target audience.

Here at RiseFuel, we work with companies throughout the United States to help them design and execute effective social media marketing strategies.

Those strategies often include an influencer targeting or paid marketing component, when it makes sense for your business.


RiseFuel is a Creative Social Media Marketing Agency for B2B and Manufacturing Businesses

If you are interested in learning more about how you can use social media marketing and influencers to grow your business, schedule an appointment with me today for a risk-free consultation.

We’ll discuss your business and begin to determine what an effective digital marketing plan might look like for your business.