There are a lot of misunderstandings about who can be considered an SMI (that stands for “Social Media Influencer” — a term/acronym I coined in 2019). First – take note:
Not Always Famous
An influencer does NOT need to be very famous, or at least not necessarily… In fact, most SMIs are known to their community but are unknown to the public, here are some examples:
Influencers do NOT need to be very famous person or one who poses like they are…or at least not necessarily… :
That’s right, you can be an influencer without being or acting like a supermodel.
So what *does* make someone an “Influencer”? Today, the way I see it, based on my experience working in this field with my Dear Mishu, here is the tl;dr:
Social Media Influencer (SMI) is:
(1) Someone who owns a social media account (min. 50 followers), such as on Tiktok, IG, YouTube, etc.
And – very important too –
(2) Uses it for great – no, amazing – relationship building AND/OR content sharing with their followers.
Let me dissect that, point by point.
Condition No. 1: Someone who owns a social media account
While in the past famous writers, singers, religious or political leaders could be called “Influencer,” today you must own at least one social media account (min. 50 followers), such as on Tiktok, IG, YouTube, etc. to be considered as an influencer by the new generation. Furthermore, most of your thinking, your story-telling, your love and hates should be communicated frequently to your followers through that social media account.
Your followers – in return – can’t wait to hear from you, and hence check what you’ve got to say frequently, some daily, some a few times a day, just to hear your voice, and to try to converse with you too.
- I’m sorry Virgin Mary, I’m sorry NPR person, I’m sorry Analyst, I’m sorry bloggers, I’m sorry podcasters, you are not automatically an influencer today
- It is 2021 and these are the “social media platforms” you can choose from | Social Media Branding by Mishu & Dad
- Influencer platform choices
Condition No. 2: Great relationship with their followers
Ask an experienced marketer, businessperson, fundraiser, community manger or even academic – building relationships is so important! It’s no different with SMI – they become SMI when they use their social media account for great – no, amazing – relationship building, almost on a daily basis and are on a first name basis with their followers.
Being this type of SMI can be demanding – SMI must go one by one and reply to their followers’ direct messages or comments on their posts, spending a few hours a day, because engagement brings those good relationships.
- Decide: Do You Want the Influencer to Influence, or… Not?
- Engage Your Engagers – Influencer’s 1st commend
But not all SMI are into socializing, which makes them great at only one thing:
And/Or Content Creation
This type of SMI use their social media account to share extraordinary content, created by them. What is extraordinary content, you ask? How good is the content I can expect to get from an SMI?
If you create great, amazing content, this is defined as “CONTENT CREATION” and makes someone an SMI who is also a “digital creator” or “content creators.” This type of person is very much in demand too, because their content is so valuable, even if the voice they speak with is so different from your brand, it can be extremely powerful. Partnering with them can bring turn around a brand, if you hire them. Here are some examples:
You can have influence or create great content to become SMI. If you have content AND influence then you are a super-SMI!
Bonus – Types, How To Communicate, Payments, Contract, and More
- There are 4 types of Influencers: Mega, Macro, Micro and nano-Influencers
- They wear 40 hats …
- They have 40 names: Testimonial Advertisers, Lifestylers, Curators, Visual Storyteller, Paid Word-of-Mouth, Shop Window Designer, Influential Content Creators, Content Designer, Social Media Impacters, etc.
- To communicate with them, just send a short message, stating what you want and interview them, especially toward if they love what you do. Don’t outreach but hire them, for better results
- You should pay them – their social media accounts are the way they making a living, and if you find a good SMI, make them even better by taking them seriously. You can pay them 4% of Followers, or the industry standard of $100/post for every 10k followers, by the hour, by project, or a mix of all the above.
- A good formula how to find them is to find out who dominate the hashtag that is related to what you do (third-party won’t help much)
- There are >30 ways SMI makes money
- Get ready to make many mistakes in choosing SMI, and that’s ok!
- Signing a Contract with SMI is very beneficial, as it helps to clarify what they’ll do for you, what day (and time) exactly, as well as what do you need to prepare.
- Suggested KPIs
LMK your questions… and btw, no, you don’t need to be authentic to become an SMI…
I strongly recommend using a contract for any sponsorship to protect yourself and your business, such as my Brand-Influencer Contract
SMI* = Social Media Influencers