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The Strategy Room

Best Practices For Working With Social Media Influencers

By: Adam Yosim

Best Practices for Working with Influencers

Like any personal or professional relationship, working with social media influencers is a two-way street. Yes, organizations hold the keys to the castle in terms of tangible products and exciting experiences, but influencers are giving you access to their audiences, whose interests align with your brand.

So, what does it take to develop a successful partnership with these social media mavens? We asked a handful of influencers who we have recently worked with for their take.

What do you look for in a brand or organization partnership?

Fleet Street

Rachel Paraoan/ Fleet Street Write-Up

“It’s all about the interaction and chemistry when you first meet the brand representative. They need to be excited to not only partner with me, but to dream of the project’s end result with me, and the process that comes with it. I like working with creative people who have a drive to make their brand/organization better.”

sweet sauce blog: Megan Wilson

Megan Wilson/ Sweet Sauce Blog

“I look for brands that have taken the time to get to know me and want to develop long-term relationships. That’s where the best ROI comes from for us all.”

Charm City Table

Simone Phillips/ Charm City Table

“When I partner with a company/brand, the base criterion is whether or not they are local. Then, I consider what I like to call the ‘positivity factor.’ What is the buzz around this particular brand? Does the food taste good? Is it presented well? Will it shine light on the Baltimore/DC area?”

Spicy candy DC

Carla Sanchez/ Spicy Candy DC

“I like when an organization or brand has a set plan for our partnership. It is always nice to have some sort of direction on what it is important for me to cover during my experience, whether it’s at a hotel, restaurant or an overall lifestyle experience.”

 

What are the best practices of brands that you have worked with?

sweet sauce blog: Megan WilsonMegan Wilson / Sweet Sauce Blog:

“I recently worked with an organization whose representative did a wonderful job communicating with me and went out of their way to make sure I had a wonderful experience. That person was available to answer all of my questions. Everything was very organized. I didn’t have to figure out much. That organization made it easy for me to create the content they wanted.”

 

Spicy candy DCCarla Sanchez / Spicy Candy DC

“A memorandum of understanding or contract of exactly what it is expected from me and what I can expect from my partner is amazing. A contract also gives the influencer and brand an overall understanding of what is expected of each other and, because both parties signed off on it, influencers tend to take this a bit more serious.”

 

What is a turn-off?

Fleet StreetRachel Paraoan / Fleet Street Write-Up

“I could like the idea of the brand/organization, such as their values or the work they do, but if I meet that organization’s representative for the first time and that person is rude, not passionate, or not even genuinely interested in their brand/organization, it’s a complete turn-off.”

 

“Being able to communicate in a timely manner while working on a project together is very important. It’s really frustrating when I’m working on a collaborative piece with a deadline and I need vital information from the other person, but I’m not getting any response for days. It makes me not want to work with them again.”

 

sweet sauce blog: Megan WilsonMegan Wilson / Sweet Sauce Blog

“It can be frustrating working with brands that are unorganized and that don’t communicate expectations very well. No one feels as positive as they could if you work that way.”

 

Spicy candy DCCarla Sanchez / Spicy Candy DC

“A turn off for me is when a brand/organization is not engaged with my posts. If I take my time to edit the photos/videos for my Instagram stories, social media feeds and blog post and none of the content is shared, then how is this a partnership?”

 

“We, as social media influencers, are quick to share our experience with our audience and if the brand/organization would re-share our content the collaboration itself would only be amplified. If the brand does not share the influencers work or interacts with the influencer during the partnership, the amount of engagement the collaboration could have had is devalued.”

 

How can brands be better with their social media influencer relationships?

Fleet StreetRachel Paraoan / Fleet Street Write-Up

“There are a lot of brands that will accept an influencer promoting their brand but will not accept an influencer’s criticism about their work. Influencers critique because they want the brand to be better. Although influencers are not chefs or may not be a business owner, they’ve been to enough events or partnered up with other brands to know how each brand fairs against the other. For example, if someone critiques you about how your menu says avocado toast and it comes out as avocado bread that isn’t toasted, either toast the bread or don’t call it avocado toast. Don’t ignore the critique and just shrug it off. It misleads customers and will make them not want to order that particular item again.”

 

Charm City TableSimone Phillips / Charm City Table

“As a blogger, I want to feel like I am helping a helping to promote an organization while maintaining the focus of my brand. Sometimes, albeit rarely, organizations will ask me to promote something not related to food. Being considerate of my brand is key to a great partnership.”

 

Spicy candy DCCarla Sanchez / Spicy Candy DC

“It is important to really take the time to get to know the influencers you want to work with. Interact with them before establishing any partnerships. I feel like these days a few brands are only partnering with influencers based on their Instagram numbers but are overlooking their overall content and engagement. There are tons of bloggers/ influencers and it is important to not always go for the same bloggers/influencers everyone is partnering with. A fresh face or someone with perhaps not many followers but amazing content and engagement can get you better results.”




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