A Beginner’s Guide to Working with Social Media Influencers

Hands typing on laptops

Working with social media influencers has become arguably one of the most effective and organic methods of reaching one’s audience in recent years. It is, however, a trend many have yet to adopt. Smaller businesses in particular either don’t have the budget or knowledge to use influencers to their advantage.

What is a Social Media Influencer?

According to Pixlee:

  • A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

Think of them like a celebrity endorser only they appear more relatable and more genuine because they are everyday people. Influencers can range in age from children to the elderly and they span across every industry imaginable.

Why Work with Influencers?

Working with influencers can be beneficial for businesses for many reasons. The following infographic by MediaKix gives a pretty clear idea why:

Infographic with text. The Biggest Influencer Marketing Statistics: Interest in influencer marketing has risen more than 90x. Earned media value for U.S. influencer marketing programs in 2015 was nearly 1.5x higher than previous years. 60% of marketers will increase influencer marketing budgets in 2016, 84% of marketers will employ influencer marketing campaign tactics, and 80% of marketers find influencer marketing campaigns effective. 62% of 18-24 year-olds would buy a YouTuber-endorsed product. Social Media Users & Time Spent: Time spent on social media is 1 hour & 40 minutes each day. Time spent on each social media platform: 40 minutes on YouTube, 25-30 minutes on Snapchat, 22 minutes on Facebook, and 21 minutes on Instagram. Digital advertising trends: digital ad spending was $60 billion in 2015, a 20% increase from 2014, digital ad spending will reach $100 billion by the year 2020, 70 million Americans will use an ad blocker in 2016, a jump of 34% over the last year, and nearly 70% of millennial use ad blockers.

How to Find Influencers to Work With:

  • A great place to start is on social platforms themselves such as Instagram and Twitter. You will want to search trending hashtags within  your industry and look for people who are involved in the conversations. Do you have a an engaged following? Are people replying to their comments and reposting their content? All important things to consider.
  • Another place to start is on Google, simply type in “nutrition social media influencers” and Google will do the rest. You will of course want to take the time to go through each profile you find to make sure they are actually credible enough to partner with.
  • If you are working with a larger budget paying for a third party tool can be the most effective way. Tools like Upfluence  and Experticity  can partner you with influencers directly through their site. These influencers have already signed off on being contacted and are actively seeking partnerships.

What are Your Partnership Options?

  • Collaborative Post: Consider working with influencers to create content together that can be posted both on their platforms and your own. This works like brand sponsored content.
  • Long Term Ambassador Roles: This is like a long term partnership in which you would create multiple posts or content opportunities with this person. It is not a “one off”, this method requires a larger budget but can be more effective long term because it makes the influencers involvement with the brand more authentic.
  •  Event Activation: This requires you to put on an event with one or multiple influencers. It is an opportunity to bring multiple influencers together and their audience outside of the digital space. This builds a stronger relationship with consumers because it allows them to interact with your brand offline.
  •  Influencer Takeover: This can span from 24 hours to a week long, during this time you would allow an influencer to take over your social media as the name suggests. Popular tactics can include Q & A sessions, posting to your platforms directly, live streaming, and exclusive behind the scenes content with your brand and the influencer.
  • The PR Approach: reach out for an interview or full profile piece on the influencer.

Sephora sponsored YouTube video by online vlogger and social influencer Summer MckeenSephora sponsored YouTube video by online vlogger and social influencer Summer Mckeen

How Should You Reach Out?


The easiest and most effective way to reach out to an influencer is to email them directly. Most if not all will have an email listed on their website or in their Instagram/Twitter bio. It is best to use their business email if specified.

Sample Email 

Hi _____,

I’m [name] I work at [name of business] and we are looking to get involved with influencers in the [industry name] industry. Our goal is to promote [name of product/business] and raise overall awareness.

We would love to partner with you to create content for our social channels in order to tap into new audiences. As it stands we are open to working in collaboration with you to share your voice on our platforms. 

Let me know if this is something you may be interested in and we can discuss further details.

Thank you for your time.


[Your Name]


If they list their phone number it is fair game to reach out with a phone call. However, there may be a lot of back and forth via the phone so if you are on deadline email may serve as a better option.

What are the Next Steps?

Meet with your team and go over your current marketing budget and plan. Think of areas where influencers could add value to your business and decide if they can be incorporated into your new campaigns. Once a decision has been mad spend time doing research looking for relevant and successful influencers. With the right research and planning, working with influencers to market your business could add real value and set you apart from the competition.

People in a business meeting discussing the idea of working with influencers

Contact us to learn more about our social media marketing services, and how we can coordinate with your team to implement an influencer marketing strategy.