Instagram influencers wield a lot of power, which can equate to big exposure for your brand. Springbone owners Sam Eckstein and Jordan Feldman discovered firsthand the power of influencers when their restaurant experienced a significant uptick in customers after a foodie influencer shared a pic of a decadent ice cream dish.
But finding the right influencers to vouch for your brand isn’t easy. There’s the risk of encountering a Louise Delage, who would do more harm than good, if your brand doesn’t align with the influencer.
Here are four simple tips to ease your search in finding the right influencer for your brand.
1. Narrow Keyword Search
Search "top Instagram accounts” and you’ll unearth a gold mine of potential influencers to work with. But let’s be honest, a broad search like that will take forever to filter. To narrow down your results, insert a keyword relevant to your niche.
For example, try "foodie” if you’re in the food and wine industry.
Let’s say you’re looking for influencers in a specific profession. Include the profession as one of your keywords. For example, "top chefs on Instagram,” "top designers on Instagram,” "top athletes on Instagram,” etc.
By using specific keywords, you’ll narrow down your search results quicker, plus have a more manageable list to sift through. Speaking of sift...
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2. Sift Through Your Instagram Followers
Look for built-in fans of your products or services. Influencers who are existing fans won’t need persuading. In fact, many will jump at the chance to work with a brand they love. And even if you’re a smaller business or a local startup, there might be a micro-influencer following you, too.
For example, King Arthur Flour’s Instagram account has 128,000 followers. To determine which followers best fit their needs, they’ll need to use a list of requirements to help filter (e.g. large follower base, engagement, relevance to industry). And requirements can be tailored to fit any brand.
Let’s say one of their requirements is a food-related profession. Skimming through their list of followers they see @mikelren. In his bio is "Food Styling.” Score.
Digging deeper, Mike’s Instagram profile shows he has 2,000+ followers, qualifying him as a micro-influencer. He regularly posts attractive, food-related photos. Here, Mike checks all the boxes for a potential influencer.Source: @mikelren
Combing through Instagram accounts can be time-consuming, but worth it. By gathering potential influencers whose values already align with yours, you’re ensuring brand safety.
Bonus tip: Look for followers with a verified Instagram account . It’s important to note, this may not be viable for small businesses and startups.
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3. Search Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are another great source for finding influencers. Depending on your business, try to come up with a list of relevant hashtags (e.g. #fashion, #food, #style, #fitness, #ootd).
For a more filtered search, use a specific hashtag related to your product (e.g. #organicfood, #makeupandbeauty, #fitnessgear).
To find influencers who are already talking about you, search for a branded hashtag. A branded hashtag includes your brand name or a unique product you’re selling (e.g. #nyxcosmetics, #nyxliquidsuede, or #nyxlingerie).
Delve deep into those hashtag results to determine if the influencer behind the hashtag will be a good fit for your brand. Be sure to consider the type of content they post, the language they use, and how they engage with their followers.
4. Use Analytics Tools
Hard-pressed for time? No worries. There are a variety of tools out there that can analyze thousands of Instagram profiles and detect potential influencers for you.
Hootsuite has a wide range of influencer marketing tools.
Ninja Outreach uses keywords to help you find a wide range of potential influencers. Then you can filter the results based on the number of followers these influencers have.
Remember Instagram Influencers are a great way to increase your brand awareness. By working with the right ones, you’ll be able to grow your own Instagram following while effectively promoting your business.