Influencer PR: Where Public Relations and Social Media Intersect

The communications and public relations industry has gone through major changes in the last ten years and almost all of those changes tie, at least to some extent, to the dominance of social media. Influencers, who and how they are used, are one of those changes. Influencers have been a part of the marketing and branding game for decades, but in the past the powerful influencers almost always attained celebrity status in some form such as sports stars, models, or well-known actors. That’s not the case now.

Best Influencers For the Buck

You might think that the big names would be where brands look to garner praise. But those come at a high price tag for the most part. From a social media influencer standpoint, celebrities may not have as much draw as up-and-coming influencers who have built a large following with high engagement between their niche industry and their followers. And it’s not unheard of for these influencers to still be in their mid-teens.

What a brand should be looking for is influencers whose followers fit the target demographic for the brand, who have a reputation that people trust, and whose posts are at least 60% content as opposed to brand representation or sales. The influencers should have their largest following on the same social media platform(s) that will have the best results for the product. But it’s not as much about the number of followers; it’s about how the followers react and engage with the influencer.

What Works?

An article in PR Week reported that the head of content at Coca-Cola Germany, Philipp Hartmann, talked about shifting their use of an influencer recently to start hosting their YouTube channel (Coke TV). He said they built more interaction between their audience and the brand because it was less about advertising and more about engagement.

At 5W as part of our larger campaign for T-Fal, in February we contacted several influencers who have engaged social media followings with young families. The social media activation was centered around #TFalxPancakeDay to celebrate National Pancake Day at the end of the month. The holiday was tied to an in-store retailer promotion for a Non-Stick Frying pan in the T-fal line. This is the pan that was sent to all influencers to be reviewed. Through nine top Instagram influencers and the Pancake Day campaign, 344K followers were reached.

Breakfastcriminals had a following of over 70K at the time of the campaign and their post about about savory gluten-free pancakes received over 1,300 likes and nearly 50 comments. This influencer said that she was grateful for the non-stick pan because it meant she didn’t have to use lard as her grandmother had done back in the day.

Harleysfood_art got over 500 likes and nearly 60 comments from his 37.5K followers. He combined both regular and chocolate pancake batter to make a Lion Pancake, saying: it was possible because he could use the “beautiful titanium non-stick pan.”

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