Social media was once solely a space for fun and games.
Today, the marketplace has become widely digitized and nearly every thinkable industry now has an online business presence.
If you know how to use it to the advantage of your business, the Internet – particularly social media – can bring in serious revenue.
One business model has been gaining traction in recent years: becoming an influencer. Influencers are not just recognizable faces on the Internet. Yes, influencers are businesses too.
What is an Influencer
Influencers are personalities who use their prominence to influence the behavior of their followers. They range from local and international celebrities to industry experts to people who are simply passionate about a cause, way of life, or advocacy.
They engage their audience through social media content that informs, entertains, educates, or inspires. And they’re effective because they have a dedicated audience that pays attention by engaging with their content.
Technically, if you have a following of anywhere around 10,000 people (some influencers have less when they operate within smaller niches), you are potentially an influencer!
And with so many wearing the label nowadays, there’s a need for influencers to set themselves apart, build a stronger brand, and stay relevant.
What Does an Influencer Do
Influencers affect the behavior of their followers by:
- Promoting a brand. These brands can be sponsored or owned. They can also be the personalities themselves, such as movie stars and sports icons. In the Philippines, one of the most well-known influencers and highest-paid celebrities is Pia Wurtzbach. She has become entrenched in Filipino culture as the epitome of perseverance with grace, “confidently beautiful with a heart.”
- Advancing a way of life or advocacy. Some examples are vegan content creators and sustainable living vloggers. One notable figure in the country is Nadine Lustre, popular for her promotion of body positivity and being confident in your own skin.
- Educate audiences on niche subjects. Business and thought leaders are also influencers that people listen to for expert opinions and advice.
- Entertain. Some influencers sway their audiences simply because they’re fun to watch. Think Bretman Rock who made it big by uploading hilarious make-up tutorials on Instagram. Don’t underestimate the power of good entertainment!
How effective influencers are at doing any of these, however, relies heavily on personal branding. Allow us to explain.
Why Influencers Need PR
If you’re an influencer, you’re running your own show. You are the name that you sell, and your market can grow or shrink based on how well you manage your brand.
In simple terms, your personal brand is your image or reputation. It’s who you are as perceived by your audience.
Amid new influencer names popping up every day and trends coming and going, having a solid PR will help solidify your place in the digital world.
The thing is, while social media provides opportunities for everyone, it also can threaten to diminish the influence of those who have been around for a while. There is, therefore, a real need to fight against the lure of the new and the fear of being left out. You need to establish your foothold.
This is why influencers need PR.
PR Is an Investment in Your Reputation
A key facet of public relations is reputation management. A solid, sustained PR strategy can help influencers not only shape the narrative about them but also work around and fix negative press so that it doesn’t destroy their image.
We see influencers getting in trouble online sometimes–after all, their lives are so public and so open to criticism that it takes just one mistake and they can be #cancelled before we even find out about the #tea.
So you need a PR team that doesn’t just work to fix the problem when it happens. They need to be board to make sure those slips don’t happen in the first place.
According to Jel Alajar, PR expert from NGP-IMC, “Audiences are smarter and more discerning now. Imagine all your hard work to build audience trust wasted because of being careless! Reputation should be core to any influencer’s career.”
PR help influencers like you create a narrative that benefits your personal brand best and allows you to create strategies to curb crises so you can thrive on social media.
PRO TIP: Having solid PR is also one of the requirements for social media verification, so if you’re gunning for that blue check, invest in your PR right now.
PR expands your influence
PR is all about relationships–forging relationships and leveraging them to achieve a certain goal. This also benefits influencers because it means bringing them right in front of their audience.
PR can help you craft messaging that resonates with your target audience. No more guessing why this post went viral and why that one was a flop.
With a PR team on board, you’ll know exactly how to position yourself to create the best possible impact and encourage an intended action.
PR maintains authentic engagement
The influencers that people listen to the most are those that audiences perceive to be the most genuine. They’re the influencers that let us into their homes, show us raw life moments, and even give us a sneak peek into their plans for the future.
You can keep authentic engagement with your followers by implementing a PR strategy that lets you spark meaningful interactions with your audience, and manage the discussions that happen about you and those that you advocate for.
Community management is an important part of your PR! It creates positive engagement and allows you to have an enduring impact in your community.
Best Practices as an Influencer
As an influencer, there are four key things to remember:
- Stay authentic. Keep your core values and don’t lose sight of why your audience started listening to you in the first place. The people who resonate with your content will always find you.
- Listen to your audience. You can only be relevant to your audience when you know what makes them tick. What do they want to know? Pay attention to mentions of your brand on social media, monitor discussions, and manage negative feedback with community management.
- Keep updated on current trends. Be in the know about what’s happening around you. Ride on the trends that matter or (better yet) start trends yourself. Through it all, remember to be a good person and keep your integrity!
- Personalize your campaigns. Speak to your audience like friends. Like real people. Your language, your art/graphics, and where you publish content all impact how people receive your posts.
Build Your Brand with PR
“Effective PR can help influencers through the fast evolving online landscape while keeping their unique personal branding. With good PR, it becomes easier to do that,” says Jel.
No more guesswork on how to make your influencer business – you! – succeed.
A trusted PR agency in the Philippines can help you navigate the ever-changing media landscape so you don’t just stay relevant – you stay a cut above the rest.