Brands need to create more meaningful relationships with social influencers rather than “one-night content stands” or just paying to post, with proposed changes to Instagram making this even more critical, according to research by Social Soup.
Speaking at the Social Soup Booster Breakfast, CEO Sharyn Smith says research shows influencers are looking for “meaningful relationships with brands”, with 91% of influencers saying they must believe in the values of the brand they are posting.
“For influence to exist there needs to be trust and authenticity," Smith says. "Social Boosters retain high engagement with their audience without moving to a commercial model where they are being paid to influence."
With the upcoming Instagram changes, Smith believes authentic content is king. She says brands will struggle for organic reach once the new algorithm is introduced, as they have lower levels of engagement than influencers.
"Up and coming influencers who retain high engagement with their audiences will be a key channel to build authentic content that integrates the brand and gets the message to a trusting audience, once these changes are made,” Smith says.
While Social Soup is confident in the power of influencers, it believes they are only part of the picture and brands should be using peer-to-peer advertising, alongside social boosters and native user generated content to build brand awareness.
“Brands need to consider the right fit for their message,” Smith tells AdNews. “They need a mix of organic, influencer and paid content and a well-thought-out social media strategy for platforms like Instagram."
Featured above is influencer Jill Wright (left) with Social Soup CEO Sharyn Smith and influencer Elise, who has popular Instagram @healthyfamily5. Wright says she is passionate about working with brands that aren't advertorial: "There's nothing worse then seeing a post that is obviously an ad."
Previously Smith told AdNews they are currently in the process of recruiting a level of “Snapchat boosters” that will be rolled out in three months, as they prepare for people to move away from Instagram as they have Facebook.
“I predict people will move away from Instagram as they have Facebook. I think brands should be looking at Snapchat regardless if they are moving away from Instagram, it’s going to be a huge platform for advertisers.”
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