The marketing world has realized the power of social media heavyweights.
In the right situations, they can lead to increased
brand awareness and significant sales, but some companies have become overindulgent,
showering social media influencers with attention, perks, money and
gifts—sometimes far exceeding the value those influencers provide.
Marketers want influencers to enjoy the best possible experience in hopes
of generating positive coverage, but these efforts can quickly spin out of
I work in the hotel industry, which has always rolled out the red carpet
for VIP customers.
Some hoteliers have started to shower influencers with luxuries:
personalized dinner menus, helicopter tours and monogrammed robes. It’s a
It’s easy to see how loyal customers might be put off when they see posts
from influencers who have enjoyed these extravagant experiences.
Influencer partnerships designed to attract new customers can inadvertently sour your company’s
Take a strategic approach and choose your influencers carefully to help
generate interest without going overboard.
Boost buzz and build brand recognition on the hottest social media
platforms at Disney World.]
One way to avoid offending your clientele is to provide influencers only
with those products, experiences and activities that other customers can
Yes, you want to put your best foot forward with your social media
influencers, but paying customers won’t appreciate social media posts about
goods or services they can’t have.
It’s also important to remember the difficulty of
qualifying relationships with influencers. You could net 100,000 “likes” from a social media
influencer’s GoPro video of your zip-line tour, but that flood of social
activity might not spur any revenue for your company.
There’s a difference between building awareness of your business and
enticing prospects to become customers. There’s also no guarantee that any
content created through these partnerships will meet your needs.
You probably wouldn’t want to hire an influencer who specializes in food to
help promote your upcoming film. Unless food is a significant component to
the film, it will fall flat with your target audience.
When you partner with an influencer, the resulting content affects your
brand regardless of whether it matches your needs.
The beginning of a beautiful friendship
Though some marketers have
moved away from working with influencers, such partnerships can be beneficial. By adhering to a few guidelines,
they can generate plenty of interest in your company.
International pop star Justin Bieber has nearly 90 million Twitter
followers, but partnering with him to discuss your new accounting software
wouldn’t be a smart investment. His teen audience isn’t the core market for
Don’t chase after a social media influencer based on fame alone. Find and
work with influential personalities in your industry.
Let’s say you’ve asked an influencer to make a YouTube video about your
sushi restaurant. Don’t limit his experience to the dishes you think might
be best. Instead, give him a choice of various menu items.
Want someone to test drive your new SUV? Allow her to take it on a spin
through the Sierra Nevada range and to shoot video as she goes.
Online clothing retailer ModCloth
encourages customers to snap photos of themselves in hundreds of different looks using their vintage attire. That approach
helps customers feel stylish and special while showcasing the company’s
clothes to a broader audience.
Provide the requisite information
The more an influencer knows about your brand, the better the resulting
coverage will be. Engage with and educate these influencers about your
products to help them find unique ways to cover your company that resonate
with their audience.
Social media influencers can create a direct pipeline to massive audiences,
but don’t get so caught up in the process that you undermine ROI.
Any social media influencer partnership should also remain true to your
core brand message and values. Provide influencers with plenty of
information and options to ensure they can create content that will educate
potential customers without offending your loyal clientele.
Michael Innocentin is vice president of e-commerce and digital for
AccorHotels. A version of this article originally appeared on