How to Find Social Media Influencers: a Complete Guide

Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity over the years. Of course, this is because it truly works – if executed correctly.

There’s a reason why companies are spending less money on traditional marketing channels such as television, radio, and newspapers, and this is because the way we consume content, and the places we spend time doing so on is changing. Fewer and fewer people, especially in the younger generations, are spending less time than ever consuming traditional media, while more people than ever are consuming content on social media. In fact, the average person in the UK spends more than a day a week online. That’s quite dramatic numbers. On the flip side, this goes to show where people are actualy spending time, and where you can reach them.

Naturally, it makes sense for businesses to move their focus and marketing budgets from traditional marketing to more time-relevant platforms and marketing methods. People aren’t impacted by regular commercials anymore in the same way as we used to be, because, for decades, we’ve been overly exposed by them that we have learned how to look past them. Instead, we’re impacted by the opinions, thoughts, and recommendations of thought leaders, peers, and experts that we look up to. These are the individuals who, in modern terms, are known as influencers.

Banner blindness
Source: infolinks

These are the people who influence people’s way of thinking, and people’s choices and they do so because they have influence over people, they have trust, and they have their audiences’ attention.

People don’t trust commercials and the words of companies. They know that their only goal is to sell more. Instead, they trust the words of their peers, and this is exactly what influencers are.

Now, I won’t start listing all the influencer marketing statistics that go to show just how powerful influencer marketing is, because frankly, everyone knows that influencer marketing is an effective way of marketing. The only catch is can you use it properly to help generate results for you?

I mean, a car is a great way of transportation, but if you don’t know how to drive, it won’t take you very far, right?

And this brings me to the main purpose of this post. Studies have found that one of the biggest single challenge of influencer marketing for marketers is finding suitable influencers. And for someone who have lived and worked with influencer marketing for years, this is of course not something that is very surprising.

Why it is hard to find influencers and what to look at.

Now, the truth is, it’s not that hard to find influencers actually. In fact, nowadays, it feels like people believe that only you write “influencer” in your social media bio, you become one, however, it’s not quite that simple.

Furthermore, finding someone who is actually a “real” influencer is not that difficult either. The difficult part is finding a good influencer who will actually help you generate marketing resutls that are worthwile.

And I cannot stress this enough, but the single most important aspect of a successful influencer marketing camapaign is the influencers you work with. It is crucail for many reasons. Not only will the influencers craft a message – and how this message is crafted will have a huge effect on the campaign’s impact, they will also be the ones who leverage their audinece to spread awareness about your business.

The catch, however, is that if their followers aren’t really relevant to your brand, and aren’t your target audience, it won’t matter how many people you reach, or how great of an offer you have. The people you reach will still be irrelevant to your business and the products you’re selling.

As such, it is not only crucial to find an influencer that is great at what they do, have real and engaged followers, but it is crucial to find influencers who are actually relevant to your brand, and have an audinece which is relevant to your business. But more on this later.

1.Fake influencers

This is the first pitfall that marketers need to identify and avoid. There are so many fake influencers out there that you really need to know how to differentiate the people who actually have a true impact and influence over their audeince, and the people who have just built up a fake facade, and who don’t influence other than their closest family members.

In this day and age, it is so easy to build a fake image of a life on social media. It is also incredibly easy to buy fake followers, fake engagement, and build an image of popularity. The problem is that shall a business work with these influencers, they’ll invest time, money, energy, and rsources into running an influencer marketing campaign, only to realize that the campaign has generated nothng in results. And this is of course not surprising if the influencer only has fake followers and no real influence over people.

2.Irrelevant influencers

The next challenge which I mentioned earlier, is finding relevant influencers. Just because an influencer has a million followers, or hundred thousand followers doesn’t mean they’ll generate great marketing results for your brand just because they start talking about it. You need to make sure that the influencer is aligned with your brand, and which has an audience which is relevant to the customer persona you have.

As such, when looking for influencers, you need to have a number of different criteria in mind, because finding a “relevant” influencer is very broad.

Niche

This is probably the most crucial criteria that you need to look at before selecting an influencer. If your influencer isn’t even in the same industry and niche as you, chances are, their followers and audience probably isn’t going to care about your brand. In other words, the campaign will probably not generate a lot of results. Make sure that the very first question you ask yourself is “Is our target audience following and looking up to this influencer?”

If the anwer is yes, then great! The goal is to work with individuals who are the thought leaders in your industry, and which people who are passionate about it go to for advice, tips, recommendations, and inspiration. Just like you probably would trust a mechanic to know mechanic, you’d trust an influencer in their respective niche about what they say. For example, if you are selling men’s boxers, you won’t get very much results by asking women influencers to market your boxers because you aren’t targeting your audience properly.

Country

This may or may not matter for you, however, it is definitely a criteria that is worth factoring in. Most influencers have followers from all parts of the world, but chances are, they have a large share of followers from their home country.

This is also great news since it allows you to reach a specific region/country by partnering with the right influencers. For example, if you’re looking to break into the Spanish market, it would make sense to partner with an influencer who communicates in Spanish.

On the contrary, if you just want worldwide reach and just want to reach relevant people, no matter where they’re based, it would probably make sense to partner with an international influencer who communicates in English. This criteria is maybe not the most crucial for most businesses, however, it’s definitely something worth consdiering.

Gender

Gender is also a criteria that may or may not be relevant to consider when you are going to look for suitable influencers to partner with.

For example, if you’re a company selling women’s clothing, it is probably the most clever to partner with a female influencer. And again, this ties together with finding influencers who are in your niche and who have an audience who is relevant to your brand, who can be converted into customers.

Followers

Followers is also an important criteria to consider since this naturally affects how many people you are able to reach through your influencer, and also how much the influencer is going to charge to promote your products.

A mistake that many businesses do, however, is to only look at the number a followers an influencer have. And I cannot emphasize this enough, but follower count is not everything. Sure, follower count can give you a vague idea of how many people you have a possiblity of reaching, however, what’s far more important is how engaged those followers are, and how much they’re influenced by the influencer. You can do this by looking at the comment section of the influencer. What are people saying?

Social media influencers

This is especially important now that it is so easy to fake popularity on social media?

Now, there are of course other criteria to factor in, such as how good they are creating content or how well their visual theme aligns with your brand, however, the criteria listed are the most impactful and important criteria which have the biggest impact on whether or not your influencer marketing campaign is a success or a failure.

Social media platform

The social media platform you’re going to use is important for many reasons. Before you begin doing anything, you need to think about on which social media platform you want to run your campaign on. First off, ths will affect which influencers you can work with since different influencers use different social media platforms and have different sizes on their audience. Second, the social media platform you’re going to use also affects the content type you can use since not all platforms are created equal.

If your reach out to a YouTube influencer, it is natural for them to create a YouTube video. If you, on the other hand, reach out to a blogger, it may be more natural for them to write a blog post. Therefore, considering what type of platform you want to use, or starting from the other end and asking yourself what content you want to use is a great way to narrow down your alternatives and have an easier time finding suitable influencers as you’ll know where to look for them.

How to find influencers

Now that you know what to look for when looking for influencers to work with, it is time to start using these criteria and putting them into practice in order to find influencers with which you can team up with, and run successful campaigns that leave an impact on people.

Veloce Influencer Network

Veloce Network is an influencer directory we created by hand-picking only the best influencers with real followers, high engagement, high-quality content, and a true impact on their audience.

All influencers are hand-picked, and carefully selected to avoid businesses working with fake influencers that won’t really yield any results. In other words, we’ve already done the hard work for you. In the directory, there are thousands of social media influencers which you can filter in seconds with help of the four criteria gone through above.

Have someone do it for you

Now, as mentioned, finding the right influencers is a time-consuming process, and it is also quite difficult unless you’re knowledgeable in the subject (hopefully the tips that I’ve gone through in this article will help you get started).

If you can identify suitable influencers that match all the criteria and which will make a great campaign, then that’s great! Otherwise, you don’t have to do it by yourself as there are plenty of services out there, such as Veloce Influencer list, where we will hand-pick as many influencers as you request, that match the criteria that you define. Influencers are the new way of reaching a big audience on social media, also known as social media marketing.

How to find influencers: things to consider

There are obviously a bunch of factors that will determine the success of your influencer campaign, the most important ones which I’ve already gone through, but another thing you want to consider is your budget. Obviously, an influencer with millions of followers will most likely generate better resutls than if you partner with an influencer that has a few thoushand followers, however, it’s going to cost you many folds more.

And what’s really interesting here is the fact that studies have found that so-called micro-influencers, individuals which have a smaller social media following (but a following that is often more engaged, more loyal, and listen more carefully), tend to generate far more bang for the buck (ROI), compared to the major industry leaders.

In fact,  82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer. In other words, don’t underestimate influencers which have a smaller following, because it may be the case that they will still drive better results than other individuals with a larger following.

How to find influencers: places to look

Social media

Now, obviously, when looking for influencers, the most logical place to look for them is where they spend their time. And this is social media. Start by going to the profiles of some of the leaders in your industry (you should at least know some). Then, if the social media platform has such feature, look at “suggeste accounts/similar accounts”, and you’ll find a list of people who are similar to them -most likely in the same industry as themselves.

Second, you can take a look at the people they are following. Chances are, they’re following other influencers in their own industry, and this is a great place to start.

Hashtags

Hashtags is a great way to find influencers. In this particular case, I am thinking about Instagram hashtags/locations and top posts.

Instagram top posts

On Instagram, there is a “top posts” section on most hashtags and locations. These top posts are posts that have been shared with that specific hashtag or location by large accounts, and which have received lots of engagement. As such, if you’re looking for beautiy influencers, it makes sense to search for top posts on the hasthag “beauty” or “makeup”, for example. Go through all of these accounts and use the tips given above to find influencers that can be suitable to team up with for your campaign.

Google Search

Another effective yet simple way to find influencers is to Google search and enter a keyword related to your niche. If you’re looking for influencers on a particular platform, you can also Google using this template formula: (“site:instagram.com beauty”). The best part about this is that it is free, but it does include a bit of work.

Conclusion

Finding social media is a difficult task for marketers. In fact, marketers have identified finding relevant and suitable influencers as the biggest challenge of influencer marketing. And if we are going to use some statistics (which you know all marketers love), 69% of marketers say the biggest challenge for them is to reach out and engage with influencers. Chances are, you’re one of them, and that’s why you’re here:).

There are so many aspects that you need to have in mind when looking for influencers, and because it has such a big effect on how successful your campaign will be, it is something that you shouldn’t neglect, or do a sloppy job with. Make sure you follow this step-by-step template to find the influencers that are relevant to your brand, and don’t forget that engagement is far more important than follower count.

2 Comments

  • Great article. I wrote an article a few days ago about the same topic actually. My advice is; Give your potential influencer a personal and friendly heads up about your idea. Be personal when you are contacting social media people and content creators.
    Chances are when you are working with the right influencers your new customers will continue to spread the word about you in a viral trend since they often are very active people on social media.

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