Finding the Right Influencers for Your Brand

By now we all know that the rise of social media has completely transformed the world of PR. There is no doubt a brand’s social media presence (or lack thereof) has the power to take a company to new heights. Strategically choosing the “right” influencers to partner with creates the potential to improve your brand’s reach and reputation. However, working with the “wrong” influencers can harm a brand’s credibility, create distrust, and ultimately waste time and money.

What steps are you taking to ensure you are working with influencers that will help your brand achieve its goals? Here are the top five factors to consider when searching for influencers to collaborate with your brand.

1. Identify your brand’s ideal influencer industry.

There are countless influencer marketing niches. Your brand might fall into several categories depending on your goals. Think fashion, travel, sports, gaming, parenting, business or tech to name just a few. Once you establish your influencer industry, you can begin to research which social media accounts rule your sector.

2. Look for influencers who visually align with your brand.

How appealing is an influencer’s profile feed? Especially on Instagram, make sure to choose influencers who have a cohesive aesthetic that aligns with your brand’s image.

3. Beware of fake followings.

It is common for accounts to purchase followers and likes through Instagram bots and other unethical services. Be on the lookout for unusual low engagement rates (i.e. followers to likes ratio) and read the comments on posts to see if followers are genuinely engaging with the person. Tools like Social Blade can also detect sudden drastic increases in followers, another sign of purchased followers.

4. Monitor influencer’s posts to make sure they are staying consistent with your brand’s values.

Follow-up with the influencer — and not just the posts specific to your brand. Sometimes an influencer’s personal life impacts their image, online or offline. Do your research before and after partnering and continue to ask, “Is this a person my brand wants to be connected with?”

5. Consider an influencer’s authenticity.

Nowadays, the most impactful influencers are those who are unfiltered, vulnerable, and who ultimately treat their audience like a close friend. Check out the influencer’s feed. Do they only post about collaborations? Do they feel too promotional? How much of their personal life do they share?

Public Relations, Marketing and Communications Enthusiast. Strategic PR Masters at the University of Southern California. Virginia Tech Student-Athlete Alum.