SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER MARKETING PROGRAMS

Social media influencer marketing programs, including field or prostaff programs, are an incredible way to get out your message and product for a low cost.  These are not simple, turn key programs to administer, however. They take some ground work to create, and once you have them in place, they take work to continue and be successful. The keys to social media success are setting specific goals and expectations for your staff (and yourself), open communication with your influencers, making it easy for your influencers to share your brand, and making sure you are helping your staff as much as they are helping you.  Working together to build each other's brands leads to exponential growth for all.

Here are my top 5 tips for working best with prostaff on social media (especially on Facebook):

1) Set expectations. If your staff doesn't know what you need and want, then they are going to put you to the side. Even if you have sent them lots of product, if they don't know what you need, they won't send you anything, or if they do, it will be sporadic. Best of intentions will turn into "I'll send them something later". 

Make sure you have written guidelines regarding these expectations. Create a framework for what you are looking for in terms of content, and clearly outline that information. These guidelines could be:

  • What specific types of content you are looking for (stills, videos, articles for your website, Facebook live, etc)
  • How often they are expected to post, and on what platforms.
  • Suggested posing of still shots
  • What you do NOT want photos or videos of
  • Where you wanted content posted (on their pages, and you share, or on your pages, and they share - or (ideally) a combination.
  •  How you want specific promotions worded
  • Specific hashtags you want used for Instagram (not Facebook - avoid asking your group to use a hashtag on FB. Hashtags decrease organic reach on Facebook, and should be used extremely sparingly on that platform. 

2) Keep communication and sharing simple. Use a centralized portal for information to make sure everyone is on the same page. This can be a Facebook group, a Dropbox site, or something like Basecamp.

Facebook groups are one of the easiest, and cheapest ways to do this. Prostaffers can upload their content to share, post articles they have written, and your business can share pertinent information quickly.

This is also a great way to keep your staffers engaged and up to date about upcoming product promotions, etc.

3) Make sure they, and you, understand FTC's Endorsement Guidelines. (https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking#SocialNetworkingSites). This is huge. You and your influencers need to know how to make sure that they are legal when it comes to endorsing products. Influencers have to be very specific about the way they reveal that there is a money or product exchange with a business. Not doing that can and has led to fines.

4) For all social media sites, make sure your influencers understand tagging policy. These are Facebook's guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/581962938807114?helpref=page_content. All of the platforms have their own versions of tagging policy.

5) Offer to share relevant articles and posts from your influencers. Be of service to them, and they will be happy to share your company with their followers - and not just because you gave them free product. 

{For those who are reading this that are pro staffers – don’t be afraid to contact the program administrator when you have something to share. They may be searching for content and not be able to find it, or if you have shared something on a social media site, they might not have seen it. Contacting them directly is extremely helpful, and will put you at the top of the list when the time comes for contract renewals}

Influencer marketing programs are an extremely cost effective way to share your message with an audience that is greater than your audience alone. Set expectations, make communication easy, and set up a mutually beneficial relationship. They do take time and work to set up, and require consistent and open communication with your chosen influencers, but done correctly they can do incredible things for your company, and for the influencers you choose.