Influencer & sales

I entertained myself the other day by imagining myself as an “influencer”. Why? Why would I even think that? It’s simple. I put a picture of me wearing a beautiful face mask promoting unity, it received over 25k impressions and the artist who had designed it sent me a message saying he’d been flooded with requests! This was brilliant I thought- look at me supporting local artists!

But we all know that social media standing is fleeting. I’ve worked in sales long enough to know that there are far more than one or two touch-points to make a sale, and so my curiosity got the better of me. If I can drive traffic to a site, could I make money out of it and was it worth it to the product owner. I suppose this is related to the many requests I get daily of people wanting me to pay them to review and promote my book. How effective are these so-called influencers?

Research from 2019 by Mediakix reports that 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective and 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other channels! Since the pandemic, more people are spending more of their time online and on social media in which TikTok saw a 38% increase of active monthly users from 2019 to 2021. Reddit had 30% increase & Pinterest 32%. I’m more active on Twitter which had an 8% increase in monthly active users; but is it the right platform for reach when it’s ranked 16th place globally? How much of an influencer could one possibly be on there?

2019-2021 Social media growth in terms of MAU on selected social media platforms.

I started promoting my blog and book on Twitter as I knew it better than most other social media platforms. It’s strange that I now have 5k (1k on Insta) followers on there, so based on this I can call myself a nano-influencer. But it’s not just about the follower count, it’s the engagement. To be an influencer you have to get people engaged in your content. I’m often surprised when I come across accounts that have over 50k+ followers but no engagement with their posts & very few likes. I have mixed engagement, but my posts on Twitter are very eclectic and people who follow me for one thing, have complained about some of my other posts (Mate it says in my bio that I’m a horror author, I like tech, I’m political, climate change is a problem and BLM, so how are people surprised when I tweet such things…). However, when I look at actual influencers, people who make a career out of this, I note that they choose a specific market and make their posts all about that. It helps with brand identity as they create their niche. They are meticulous with their posts, often professionally done to reinforce their brand. The more I looked into it, the more I realised that I am not that, and nor would I ever be. I have too many interests and I wouldn’t want to censor myself on something I think is important. Rather than being my authentic self, I’d have to think of myself based on my intended target audience which is far too exhausting. People are very strange messy creatures. Everyone should be comfortable being their whole self, messy bits included!

A couple of weeks later I asked if there had been any actual sales of the mask. There had been enquiries, and email exchanges, but no money exchanged at that time. Perhaps with the end of the mandated mask-wearing here in the UK, they decided not to bother…?

I won’t be an influencer anytime soon, that takes too much dedication, but I do need to open up my marketing mix to increase sales of my book. I still want to have a flower shop and become a florist, but that is so far down the line, perhaps in 10 years time.

I still love the mask and want more people to get it so do contact the artist directly: I’m promoting it because I love the cause!

Also, don’t forget to buy Vampire Emily and leave a review if you haven’t done so yet.

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