We sat down with some awesome social media micro-influencers to pick their brains on working with brands and producing content for their audience. Check out a few highlights from our Q&A and follow the link at the bottom to see the full video!
Kelly Borgen – Moderator: Do you turn people (brands) down?
Caryn Bailey – Rockin’ Mama (right): Yes. It’s impossible not to…I’ve been doing this for eleven years and with the number of emails I get everyday, it’s impossible. I don’t even get the opportunity to respond to all of them. I have to be selective, because I put a lot of time and effort into each of the brands that I work with, and photography is a really big thing for me and that takes time. People say they like that I have a storytelling voice, and that creativity takes time. And, it’s good to say ‘no’ because it frees you up to say ‘yes’ to things that really matter to you or that are really a good fit for your readers and your site. I really look at both when I’m partnering with a brand. I don’t just look at, ‘Oh, that looks great’ but rather, is this going to be something that my readers are interested in? Because at the end of the day, I want my brand to get the ROI they’re looking for. It might be a great fit for me, but not a fit for the brand. I look at all of those things.
Penny Giakos-Garduno – On the Go OC (left): Yes, I seek out people to work with! I’m four years in so I’m much newer on the scene. I’m fine with reaching out and I like to, because if it’s important to me and my kids, let’s say for example that we’re already eating it or wearing it, then why not just reach out to the brand and say ‘Hey, we’re already doing this, would you like to collaborate or partner up?’ Maybe there’s something else that they have that you’re not aware of that you would like to support and that they would like support in. So, I’m okay with reaching out, I think it’s important to show you’re open to receiving and open to asking. And it’s maybe not extreme things you’re opening doors for, but you’re opening doors to something else. And when they do reach out, that’s awesome!
KB: Let’s talk about rates for a second. This is something that’s a big question. I’m trying to sell influencer marketing all the time; I want my clients to be working with influencers. There’s a couple of sides to this. One: I wish they would partner more long term with them and not just on one thing. So, do you have a long term brand partnership that pays you ongoing? And the other side to that is, do you have set rates or is everything a negotiation?
CB: So, if it’s going to be a Facebook Live or if it’s going to be a press release, those rates are going to be completely different. Are we going to do custom photography and is the brand going to want to use that photography? That’s a whole other rate. I think it’s good to have a media kit with stats and info, and brands like to see that, but I also like to put rates in there for different things. Is it negotiable? Sometimes a client will have specific asks that aren’t really covered in my media kit, so, yeah, we’ll talk about that.
Greer Wylder – Greer’s OC (right center): I have set prices, yes. It’s just easier. And if someone asks for a little bit more, then it just depends.
PG: Mine is more similar to Caryn’s. Because it’s not just writing a post anymore, a lot of it is sponsored trips and video. I do recaps and stills. So just depending on what is being asked and if I think it should be added to, I take it case by case pretty much. But, I think it’s important to put your bottom line out there as far as what your rate is and go from there.
KB: Now, what are you seeing as far as who is your most engaged audience across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and is it changing?
GW: I feel like Instagram is blowing up. I have one for myself and one for my business and I love it! But we have to talk about podcasts because I love podcasts.
PG: I’m pretty good on all Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and all of those audiences are different. The followers on Facebook are not the same followers as on Instagram and I love that. I love going live on Facebook, because it can reach my personal blog audiences.
KB: I feel like for I Heart Old Town Orange, Facebook has been my bread and butter but Instagram has blown up super fast for me. I’ve been on Facebook for the last eight or nine years and maybe Instagram for the past couple of years and grown so much faster with that.
PG: I feel like there’s an age factor to that too. I think the 35-45 demo are super comfortable on Facebook but definitely the 40 and under are just a go-to on Instagram. A lot of people and a lot of brands like to take a quick snapshot of something and then fill their stories with the details.
CB: Twitter is hard, I don’t find that Twitter is as good with the engagement as Facebook and Instagram.
KB: Twitter is an interesting one. If you’re choosing and your budget is not going to allow for everything, I’d say cut the Twitter. But, I find Twitter useful.
PG: I feel like Twitter is a quick snippet, a comment back. Most of the time I’m engaged with, like, theme parks on Twitter to see if there are long lines or if parking lots are closed. What I’m seeing on there is quick information and news. I feel Twitter is my go to for in the moment news.
GW: I have a good friend named @WinnieSun, if you follow her on Twitter, she owns it. She’ll ask questions and the Twitter chats are so much fun with her. She gets a lot of great clients through Twitter.
KB: I love Twitter at events, it’s nice to have that feed and it’s a really easy way to stay connected at an event. Ok, so now, what are you gals seeing in terms of trends? Are you seeing anything new on the forefront?
PG: I feel like pushing live content and video recaps to YouTube, even if you don’t have an account, is something that’s happening a lot and what people are looking for. They can pull, watch, share, and reuse. So every time I create something for a brand, I always push it to Instagram and then say ‘full video on YouTube’ or whatever. I feel like live and video are where it’s at right now.
KB: And now, have you guys been on a podcast yet?
GW: No, but I listen to them all the time.
KB: I feel like podcasting is the next thing where I think influencers are going to go. There’s huge opportunity on podcast.
PG: I feel like with podcasts you can keep changing up the topic and keep having different people involved.
Check out the full roundtable with these great micro-influencers on our Facebook channel!https://www.facebook.com/GetCommunityInc/videos/2017792094920057/
Sara Schacht is a Digital Copywriter at Get Community. Her background in Public Relations and Marketing at Cal State University, Fullerton makes her a whiz with the written word.