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Influencer marketing means finding and collaborating with people who’ve built up solid reputations for themselves on social media. These influencers can be people who are famous beyond social media. Think bloggers and vloggers who’ve established an online following over the years. Or they’re people who seem to be popular just for being who they are. The thing many people struggle with is how their brands can go about finding those influencers? And, once you’ve found them, how can you connect with them? Sending a direct message on Instagram or Twitter isn’t particularly effective. One option is to use a social media influencer platform. They can not only help you find influencers, but also help you manage all the components of an influencer marketing campaign.

What Is a Social Media Influencer Platform?

At the bare minimum, a social media influencer platform is a tool you can use to find influencers. Some platforms stop there. They either feature a network of influencers or a database of influencers for you to pick and choose from.

But some social media influencer platforms are more advanced or offer a wider range of services. For example, instead of just giving you the details and contact information of influencers, some platforms let you contact influencers directly.

There’s no need to worry that the email address you got was the right one, or one that’s still active. You also don’t have to worry about your social media direct message getting lost in a sea of spam.

Along with letting you get in touch with potential influencer partners, some social media influencer platforms also allow you to carry out all of the steps in the process of creating an Ebook influencer marketing campaign. Depending on the platform, you might be able to:

  • Create a list of influencers you’d like to work with.
  • Accept bids or negotiate directly with influencers.
  • Create influencer content, and review content created by influencers before approval.
  • Publish the content on various social media platforms.
  • Track the performance of influencer content and campaigns.
  • Pay your influencers.

Additionally, some influencer platforms include a human touch. While you can often manage many of the aspects of influencer marketing on your own using the software provided by the platform, a few also provided managed services. In those instances, you can work with a team of influencer marketing experts who can help you develop a strategy and offer advice to optimize your campaigns.

Four Benefits of Using a Social Media Influencer Platform

A platform takes the guesswork out of finding influencers. For brands that are just dipping their toes into the influencer marketing waters, this might be the biggest benefit of using a social media influencer platform. Whether you’re looking to work with celebrities or “micro-influencers” with a small but dedicated following, the influencer network offered by a platform can help you find the people who are just right for your campaign.

A platform facilitates communication with influencers.

Going hand in hand with helping your brand find influencers, a platform can also streamline the communication process. Some will let you contact influencers directly. Others also make it possible for you to offer projects, review content created by the influencer, and negotiate payments.

A platform analyzes posts and lets you make adjustments in the future.

Some influencer platforms include analytics suites that allow you to track how specific posts perform, including how often they are shared and other engagement statistics. Often, platforms will let you assess your influencer posts on a campaign-wide basis and on an individual level.

A platform streamlines bids and payments.

How should you pay influencers, how much should you pay them, and when should they get paid? A social media influencer platform can simplify the process. Some allow for two-way bidding and negotiating at the start of the project, and also offer the ability to pay influencers directly through the platform.

Five Things to Look for in a Social Media Influencer Platform

Now that you have an idea of what a social media influencer platform is and what the benefits of using one are, what should you pay attention to when choosing the right platform for your brand? Here are a few things to look out for.

The influencers on the platform.

If you’re looking for celebrity or macro-influencers, but the platform can only connect you with micro-influencers, it’s not going to meet your needs.

The platforms on the platform.

That’s a bit of a mouthful. But the more social media platforms an influencer platforms works with, the more versatile it will be. At the very least, you want to choose a platform that works with your social network or content type of choice.

Where the platform gets its influencers.

Some platforms just scrape up lists of influencers from around the web. They don’t have a connection to those influencers, beyond some sketchy social media details. Other platforms actively encourage influencers to sign up, and only work with people who know that they are listed on the platform’s network.

The history of the platform.

How long has the platform been in existence, and how many other brands have used it (with success)?

The service provided by the platform.

Does the platform allow you to scale up the services you use as your influencer marketing needs grow? And if you need help and want to speak with a real person, will you be able to do so?

No matter which social media influencer platform ends up seeming like an excellent fit for your brand, it’s a good idea to do plenty of research first, and to try out the platform on a trial basis before you commit. Sometimes, the best way to see if a platform is right for you is to give it a trial run.