Recently for work I went to a session all about working with social influencers. This was a brilliant course run by ZC Social Media all about how we (tourist attractions in this case) could work with social influencers to spread the word about our attractions. This was incredibly helpful from a work point of view but was also really interesting from a blogging perspective too. The discussion was looking at social influencers as a whole, including local personalities, social media influencers and bloggers and how we could work with them.
Now let me start by saying I started my blog for a hobby, I work full time and do not have the time to invest in my blog to make it much more than a hobby right now, as much as I would like to. Although some people can live off money from their blog it is pretty rare and I am under no illusions that I will ever get to that position. Getting paid for blogging seems to be such a hot topic right now and I have seen so many people tweeting and talking about it (good luck to you guys!) So I thought I’d share the current attitude towards this for businesses and what it is they are primarily after when looking for social influencers to work with.
1. Someone to simply spread the word – talk about the brand/product to keep it in the public eye, this could be sharing their own posts or posting about them on social media
2. Someone to support a particular campaign, this could be the launch for a new product/service/event and may involve a review of this, perhaps a press trip or a free trial of the product/service for promotion purposes or to drum up interest in the next event.
3. A constant supporter, someone who is loyal to the brand/business who will spread positivity and support the business throughout, sharing posts and reviews, someone to fall back on during a time of negativity or a quiet period for the brand/business.
It was understood in these situations that no payment would be made, but a trial of the product/service/experience would be offered in return. It was also advised that long term supporters should be ‘looked after’ by the business/brand, perhaps sending a complimentary gift or invitations to events without a promotional obligation.
Interestingly someone asked about what to do if they approach a blogger with free tickets/an experience in return for some promotion who then asks for money for their service. Bear in mind that currently little if any budget is available for work with social influencers as this is still a relatively new approach for smaller businesses/brands. The leader’s response was that if the influencer asked for money on top of this offer then they have no interest in a mutual promotional or supportive relationship and are only interested in a purely transactional deal and so this relationship should end.
There seems to be some kind of stigma surrounding brands offering product samples etc in return for some promotional posts/ reviews and no other payment. I think this a really sound business deal, but I seem to be the only one! Cross promotion is something businesses do ALL THE TIME and is definitely something to be considered, especially for someone growing their blog and following. Creating a mutual promotional relationship can be extremely helpful in achieving growth. On the other hand brands/businesses who just ask for promotion without a product trial are equally not interested in any kind of promotion or integrity and should be avoided. Rather than giving sharp or rude replies (like the screenshots going round on twitter) remain professional and educate them. This way your reputation remains positive and professional and you can encourage businesses to approach bloggers with well thought out offers promoting the blogging community as a whole! However, if you decide to only take offers with payment (you go gurl) take a similar stance on your reply. There is a limit to the number of times a brand will want to work with social influencers if they are only ever ignored or given rude replies!
Share your experiences with working with brands/business in the comments below, how do you decide which offers to take? – lets help each other out!
Until next time!