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Influencer Activity Must Shift to Accommodate Consumer Sentiment

TikTok. Instagram. Twitter. YouTube. Magazines. Commercials. Influencers are everywhere. So how can you attract the right influencers for your brand to ensure a positive experience? Influencers can be popular today, but gone tomorrow, because consumers are that fickle. Brands must shift their influencer activity to accommodate consumer sentiment. Here’s how.

How can be sure your brand is partnering with the right people long-term? And, equally important – that they aren’t putting your brand at risk with controversial antics? In this influencer exploration, we’ll dive in to:

  • Why influencers are important and where you can find them.
  • How to properly vet influencers to ensure their messaging aligns with your brand’s.
  • When it may make sense to go with a micro influencer vs. the traditional kind.

And to kickstart your interest on influencers, here are a few stats:

  • 54% of influencers want to work with brands who respect them
  • 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers relate to YouTube creators (influencers) more than celebrities
  • The best influencer campaigns appear to be very organic, so on-point messaging and execution is key

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Influential Today, Gone Tomorrow? 

If your brand is considering working with influencers for an upcoming campaign, it’s very, very important to do your due diligence on them. Influencers are so much more than the number of followers and likes they have. You need to fully vet and follow them closely on whatever channels they are on, as their influence can shift dramatically, depending on how they present themselves to the public. There are ways you can use social media listening and market intelligence tools to avoid an influencer crisis, and the time to act is now.

Over the last 6 months there have been over 6,000 articles published about social media influencer marketing alone, making it the biggest cluster of our “influencer” search. Digging in, the sentiment around this marketing initiative skews more positive than negative, with Instagram being the most trusted source of influencer marketing.

Influencer-Sentiment-Quid

Over the last month specifically though, we see a shift. People have been paying very close attention to influencers, as they are unsure of who/what to trust on really anything. As a result, there’s a lot of negative emotion swirling around influencers as a whole, when compared against the overarching social mood:

Influencer-social-mood

Lots of disgust and anger is event, and less joy. They’re also highly anticipating the next shoe to drop and have little trust for whatever this new thing is.

consumers-skeptical-of-influencer-motives

Influencer Skepticism to Consider

Some people feel that influencers are joining in on conversations for the wrong reasons.

While others are calling out for influencers to do better.

challenging-influencers-to-do-better

But prior to these recent events coming to the surface, many people took to social influencers, both celebrity and micro influencers, as a way to find products, services, and experiences that resonated with their personal lifestyles. And brands would do well to create partnerships with these micro and unintentional influencers that have a solid, more personal and trusting relationship with followers.

But finding the right influencer with the right platform and message is going to take some work on your end. Fortunately, we know a tool that can help speed up the process!

how to make sma work for you

Influencer Monitoring 101 

NetBase makes it easy for you to find and monitor influencer activity so you can ensure that you are getting the most value for your dollar when working with them.

Using our Influencer Analysis Dashboard, you can understand how influencers are talking and see what is trending and/or engaging an audience. The snapshot below is an example of what the tool pulls when searching for a topic. In this case, most active influencers talking about making sourdough bread (as this was one of the most searched for activities during COVID-19).

top-influencers-around-a-given-topic

And you can further identify and break down influencers by self-identified categories, their mentions, follower counts, site visitors, engagements and lots more:

influencer-intel-breakdown

Vetting these influencers is important because as we know social is rapidly shifting, and the influencer landscape transitions along with it. Influencers today are a lot more humble and careful of what they say and who they work with. The influencers brands should partner with are at least!

And it’s a great time to identify and form partnerships with savvy online change agents, as tomorrow’s micro-influencers are still taking shape today.

Tomorrow’s Micro-influencers 

Being selective and making sure an influencer’s messaging aligns with yours is an important step that many brands skip. They see a popular influencer and want to get in front of his/her audience. This is a mistake.

There is such a large variety of influencers to choose from, and channels they inhabit as well. And they won’t all be a good fit. There are YouTube, Instagram and TikTok stars with large followings and high engagement numbers, for sure – but look to those microinfluencers in your community as well. That may be where the real value lies.

Whoever you choose to work with needs to be in tune with your brand audience, so it’s important to understand the conversations not only tied to your brand but surrounding these influencers, too. Are they authentic? Inconsistent? Jarring? Do they spam the world with sponsorships from everyone or are they selective authorities on your area of focus?

Makeup Influencer Mastery

For example, if you are a cosmetic brand, like Morpheus, then your first instinct may be to run to YouTube and work with a guru who has well known name in the community. But that name may not have a great reputation.

Jeffree Star is a great example of this. Although he has well over 20 million followers across social media and millions of views on YouTube, those numbers will never outweigh the negativity that can harm your brand’s reputation. In fact, people are already calling for a boycott of Morpheus Brushes because of their affiliation with Starr.

makeup-boycott-for-rogue-influencer

YouTube is still a great place for Morpheus to find influencers to work with, but working with someone with a little less drama and more ‘regular person’ credibility, like Casey Holmes, may be a better idea.

If you’re ready to find relevant long-term influencers that will resonate with today’s audience, or even a few to test out for your next campaign, give us a shout. We’re happy to help you analyze the landscape for emerging trends, key opinion leaders and influencers that can make amazing things happen for your brand!

how to make sma work for you