This infographic from performance marketing agency, Spiralytics, gives an overview of how brands should approach the process of identifying and hiring a social media influencer. It’s all pretty common sense stuff, but it’s good to see it all laid out in an easy to digest format.
Influencers need to be more transparent about posting content which has been paid for by brands, Instagram has warned. A recent investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (the official organisation responsible for policing the advertising industry) found that many influencers are not following the law, and posting sponsored content without labelling it as such.
You can read the official guidance for influencers here, but the short version is that you always need to be honest and transparent when posting sponsored content, or reviewing product and services that you have been given for free. Failing to do that puts you on the wrong side of the law.
Posting on Twitter, the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that the company would be taking steps to help users know when influencers have posted sponsored content:
According to the BBC, an Instagram spokesperson warned that if influencers failed to properly label paid content, they would be reported to the brands they’re promoting, which could result in them losing sponsorship opportunities. A range of new features will be rolled out on the platform over the coming months, designed to encourage users to disclose sponsored posts, as well as a new algorithm which will automatically identify sponsored content and help the platform to weed out users who do not follow the rules.
The bottom line is, if you’re getting paid to post content (either in cash or with free products and services) you should really make sure you’re being very transparent about it, because you’re risking future opportunities if you don’t follow the rules.
If you’ve built a large audience for your blog or other social channels, you’re probably always thinking of new ways you can use that reach to earn a living. One of the interesting new opportunities thrown up by 2020’s lockdown is online events, and now it’s easier than ever to make money with them.
Physical events can be expensive and logistically difficult to organise, and since the pandemic began it’s all but impossible to convince people to attend them. The professional events industry has pivoted to online, and as a result of this more people are comfortable with the idea of attending, and possibly even paying for, virtual events.
So there’s a growing market, but how do you do it? That’s the easy part, thanks to a new feature offered by the video-conferencing platform, Zoom, which most of us have become familiar with during lockdown. OnZoom makes it simple to run a paid virtual event for up to 1,000 attendees, whether it’s a single session or a larger series of events, and it also includes payment processing options including PayPal and major credit cards.
This opens up all kinds of possibilities for influencers:
- A food-blogger could run a live cooking class.
- A lifestyle influencer could organise an exclusive live Q&A session, maybe even in partnership with others to drive a larger audience.
- A tech YouTubers could do a live unboxing of a much-anticipated new release,
- A beauty or fashion influencer could offer virtual 1-1 styling sessions.
The possibilities are endless, it all depends on the topic you specialise in and the kind of audience you have, but you can get an idea of what people are already offering on Zoom’s event directory. You’ll need to experiment with different event formats and pricing levels to see what works for you and what your audience is comfortable paying, but there’s a lot of opportunity here.
The barriers to entry are relatively low too. You’ll need a paid Zoom subscription to use this feature – plans start at £119 a year, but if you can get just 25 people to attend an event for £5 each, you’re already ahead.
Other than that, you really only need a phone or laptop with a good camera and a solid internet connection, which most people already have. Of course, the more professional you make your events look the more success you’ll have, and that means good lighting, a professional quality mic, and a nice-looking space to present from.
Bloggers who use WordPress (which is pretty much all bloggers) can now easily turn their blog posts into Twitter threads at the click of a button thanks to a new feature in the popular JetPack plugin.
An announcement on the WordPress blog explains in detail how you can set this up, but it’s a fairly straight forward process. The question is, why would you want to do this?
It’s an easy way of increasing your reach and engagement, by pushing the same content out across multiple platforms – there’s a good chance that people will read a Twitter thread who might not otherwise have bothered visiting your blog to read the post. Good content is more likely to get shared around on Twitter when people can read it right there in the app, rather than having to follow a link, so it’s easy to see how this can help you get in front of more eyeballs.
On the other hand, Twitter wasn’t really created for long-form content, so we don’t recommend abusing this tool for every single post you write, otherwise your timeline will become a mess of endless Twitter threads and you’re likely to lose followers. So use with caution.
Instagram might still be the number one platform for social media influencers to build their profiles, but that could be changing according to the latest research on teenagers’ preferences.
A respected twice-yearly survey of 10,000 American teenagers’ opinions, Piper Sandler’s ‘Taking Stock With Teens’ report, found in its latest release that both Snapchat and TikTok are now more popular with teens that Instagram.
It’s probably way too early to read much into this, as in terms of sheer size of audience Instagram is still very much ahead with over a billion active users, compared to 800million for TikTok and 238million for Snapchat.
Influencers would be crazy to consider abandoning Instagram as an audience building platform, but at the same time TikTok is certainly gaining ground. Insta isn’t going away any time soon, but let’s not forget that Facebook was once the cool kid on the block, and now it’s just where your grandad posts racist memes.
Nothing is forever in social media.