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The rise of social influencers and their real value3 min read

If you scroll through social media on a daily basis, it’s quite likely that you will have come into contact with a social influencer. With established credibility in a particular industry, social influencers have access to an engaged audience base on a channel which they can connect with and influence, by way of their authenticity within a specific field.

This was an area once reserved for the rich and famous; film stars and musicians were often seen promoting products and services alongside their ‘celebrity’ lifestyle. With the rise of the digital age, normal people are becoming thought leaders in their own right, with a captive audience to match. This leads to questions about the rise of social influencers and their real value for brands.

The modern day equivalent of word of mouth – social influencer marketing thrives on the idea that a product mentioned by an influencer will persuade a captive audience to follow the recommendation, which will ultimately become a purchase or lead for the brand. Medium reveals that “30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger,” than a celebrity equivalent.

With recent partnerships and new introductions to their ‘Beauty Squad,’ L’Oreal is no stranger to the value that influencers can bring. The success of their True Match “Yours Truly” campaign was widely noted, as they sought to collaborate with both micro and macro influencers, alongside celebrity endorsements, to create a truly diverse campaign. The campaign filtered from in-store and traditional media, to promotion over social networks by each of the influencers featured. The “Yours Truly” ad gained more than 1.5 million views on YouTube, showing the value that working with a diverse range of influencers can bring.

In 2017 influencer marketing was somewhat of a buzzword, with brands looking to take advantage of the large followings of mega-influencers. With the rise of bots and fake followings in 2018, brands would be wise to look further than just the initial numbers. Facebook itself admits through its “own estimates, as much as two per cent to three per cent of its profiles could be fake, and six per cent to ten per cent could be duplicate accounts. This means 270 million of the social network’s 2.1 billion accounts could be fraudulent or duplicated.”

With this in mind, brands should be willing to look for further ways to measure an influencer’s value, based on more than just their initial reach. 2017 saw the unlikely rise of the micro influencer, a term used to define creators with a typical following between 1,000 and 100,000. It has been widely noted recently that “the ratio of likes and comments to followers peaks when an account has around 1,000 followers. Get more than 100,000 followers, and engagement starts to flatten out; users just aren’t as keen to interact with a celebrity as with someone they can relate to more closely.”

In light of this, brands may have to look further to their long-term goals ahead of an instant win. Measures such as brand awareness and brand engagement may be a much better measure of influencers’ value alone. With influencer marketing sure to continue its rise this year, brands may need to shift their focus in order to fully utilise the power of micro-influencers and macro influencers alike.

Contact us if you’d like to find out more about how to get more out of your influencer marketing strategy.