Social commerce is the new way that people shop and it’s a trend that is set to only increase in popularity as we move into the Web3 and the metaverse. According to some estimates, the social commerce market will grow by two and a half times by 2025 – from $492 billion in 2021 to $1.2 trillion in 2025. That means that influencers are here to say.
Influencers have such a solid stance in the social commerce market mainly due to the customer experience that they create. It’s no secret that people like the “word of mouth” effect and listen to people that they think are thought leaders more than a faceless brand. Yet as social media influencers grow in popularity, their recommendations “disguised” as advertisements or paid partnerships are wearing on the patience of social media users. They are looking for more authentic engagement and experiences from brands, which is why it’s time for influencers to get rid of the #ad and start sharing genuine experiences.
Here are a few key steps that influencers should take to get started:
1. Generate a list of promotions that mesh with your messaging
One of the best ways to make sure that your content doesn’t bleed “ad” is to create a list of products/services that make sense for you to promote. For instance, if you’re a runner and share a lot of tips and motivation about running with your network, it could be a good idea to collaborate with a sportswear brand that you could wear and recommend to your followers. On the other hand, if you were to promote a beauty product, your network might see that as too obvious a commercial plug, which could even lose you some followers. Even if you want to get into promoting beauty products, you should think about easing your followers in by sharing beauty-related content in the months or weeks prior to working with beauty brands.
Read more here:
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- How Does Whitelisting Relate to Influencer Marketing?
2. Aim for advocacy, not endorsement
This is a super important point and one that a lot of up-and-coming influencers actually get wrong. Working with brands should be a natural transition, not something that needs to be forced or rehearsed. In fact, brands are looking for advocates that can add their own unique message about the product/service that will appeal to a potentially new and untapped audience. Instead of endorsement shout-outs, which generally only work for mega celebrities anyway, try product/service advocacy in which you deliver your real opinion, unfiltered.
3. Deliver added value
One of the ways to make sure that your followers view your promoted posts as genuine and bespoke content is to give them a lot of added value. Don’t just show off a new product and flash its packaging to the camera. Start your product promotion videos and stories by talking about an issue or question that you’ve had, engaging your followers to DM you if they’ve encountered something similar or have something to share. This also creates space for DM marketing, which can be time consuming for some influencers (unless you’ve whitelisted a brand), but it’s going to be one of the major trends in social media marketing very soon.
4. Get your friends involved!
Followers LOVE it when they see influencers sharing details about the people who are closest to them, be it their families, significant others or best friends. In order to make your product/service promotion look flawless, involve your network whenever you can. It could be trying out a new type of chocolate on the couch with your boyfriend and asking what he thinks about it. Also, don’t rehearse these moments, just let them flow. When people see real reactions, they are more likely to feel a connection to the influencer and want to find out more about what they’ve just seen in their story.
With so many influencers out there, it may feel impossible to differentiate yourself from the pack and get paid partnerships that can help you make your influencer dreams a reality. But if we can give you one piece of advice, it would be to always stay yourself, even when working with brands (because of course, everyone else is already taken!).