25 Things You Should Look For In A Social Media Influencer

Having influencers for your brand can help you reach a bigger audience than you’ve ever expected.


Influencers are technology-savvy in all kinds of social media and know more about engaging with an audience than most of your average marketing employees.

If you’re looking for influencers here are some lists we have created to help you:

If you’re looking for influential bloggers, we have those lists for you as well!

Influencers endorse your brand through social media so that you can receive more traffic and consumers! Consumers trust influencers over brands because they have a peer-to-peer relationship and it’s more personal.

Neil Patel made a great point about why consumers trust influencers – “You don’t usually trust a person at a cocktail party who comes up to you and brags about himself or herself and spouts fun facts about his or her personality to convince you to be a friend. But you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers.”

Influencers typically have a targeted audience who like to follow everything they do – so an audience will be more likely to check out what an influencer says.

It’s important, though, to find the right kind of influencer. Here are some factors that you should definitely be looking for if you want to have a great social media influencer for your brand.

But before we dive in, if you’re personally interested in becoming an influencer yourself, here are some more resources.

Also, watch how Elaine Rau founder of LadyBossBlogger.com became an influencer and what “influencer” ACTUALLY means. She includes lots of example campaigns that work which is helpful for both wannabe influencers and brands to see.

Instagram Influencer Elaine Rau (1)

25 Things You Should Look For In A Social Media Influencer

1. Identify Potential Influencers

Is there anyone currently raving about your brand?

If you can find influencers on YouTube or Instagram that are talking about your products, work with these influencers!

They’re the ones that are tried and true to your brand and it makes them much more authentic to their audience because they already use and love your products!

Depending on your brand, you’ll want to decide what kind of influencer you’ll be able to trust and afford. A typical way that people will refer to influencers depend upon their following size. There’s mega-influencers, macro-influencers, and micro-influencers.

  • Mega-Influencers: These influencers have millions of followers and are usually famous.
    • Kendall (103m followers) and Kylie (125m followers) Jenner
  • Macro-Influencers: These influencers have between 100k followers and 1 million followers.
  • Micro-Influencers: These influencers have less than 100k followers.

You can either reach out to the influencers that you’re interested in by email or direct message OR here are some marketing tools that can you help find influencers.

2. Reach

This is dependent upon how many followers the influencer has. So, mega-influencers have the highest reach and micro-influencers the lowest.

For your brand, it’s smart to have a combination of all kinds of influencers if possible.

3. Audience Engagement

Although mega-influencers have the highest reach, they typically have the lowest engagement rate. Shane Barker suggests to have about…

  • 15-20 micro-influencers
  • 3-4 macro-influencers
  • 1-2 mega-influencers

This is all dependent upon your budget, of course!

Grin is an Instagram marketing platform that can help you find the best social media influencers for your brand. There are loads of other ones out there as well, just do a quick google search for them.

4. Percentage of Fake Followers

Having an influencer for your brand ensures that you reach new audiences. It’s hard to reach a new audience if the influencer’s following base are robots and fake profiles.

Some people will buy followers to make it seem like they have a large following base, but followers mean nothing if no one is listening or seeing their content. If you’re worried about this happening, go for the micro-influencers who typically have the highest engagement rate.

Bigger does not always mean better!

5. Content Relevance

When you find an influencer, look through their feed. Does their produced content align with what your brand’s message or mission is?

Look through what type of content they’ve produced and make sure that you’re comfortable with this being one of the faces of your brand.

For example, some influencers will use profanity and provocativeness to their advantage. If your brand does not support behavior like this, look for an influencer who has different values.

6. Post Frequency

Influencers could have billions of followers but if they only post once a month, they won’t have a very engaged audience. Make sure the influencer you find posts frequently and is very dedicated to their feed.

It’s important to find out how active they are on all social media networks, especially the ones where you want your brand to be promoted. Influencers who post less frequently have followers who are less likely to return to their page and are less loyal.

This is easy to find – on Instagram, look at the date of the pictures posted. If they post once a day or around there, it looks like you have a dedicated influencer! If they post once a month, look for someone who’s more active.

7. Content Quality

While you’re looking through a potential influencer’s feed, look at what kind of content they’re posting. Do their captions have spelling and grammatical errors? Are their pictures of low-quality? If so, having them as an influencer for your brand can be harmful.

Make sure the influencer has a feed full of high-quality pictures as well as witty captions with no errors.


8. Professionalism

Are they professional in their response to you as well as respectful? If not, this can also be harmful for your brand as it shows that the influencer doesn’t care that much about relationships.

9. Reputation

Influencer’s reputation can either help or harm a brand. Look through their feed and see what kind of person they are.

An influencer could post the highest quality content but have a bad reputation, and you need to decide if their bad reputation will help or harm your brand.

10. Price

Depending on the budget for your brand, you’ll need to figure out the price for each influencer. You’ll need to compensate each influencer you have for their endorsement and promotion of your brand.

If your brand can’t afford a mega-influencer, that’s okay! Look for a lot of micro-influencers who will charge less and typically have more engagement than mega-influencers anyways.

If you can afford a mega-influencer, it’s a good idea to have at least one for your brand. This will put your brand in front of the eyes of hundreds of millions of followers.

11. The Brands They’ve Partnered With

It’s important to look through an influencer’s profile and look at the previous brand they’ve partnered with. Find out which products they’ve endorsed and look at which posts their followers are most attracted to (you can do this by looking at likes and comments).

If you’re a makeup company who’s looking for an influencer and you find one who gets the most engagement from their audience on fashion, it’s probably a good idea to find someone else who will have the most engagement from makeup-related posts.

12. Age Distribution

When you’re looking at the kind of social media that your influencer uses, keep in mind the age distribution. If you’re selling clothes that are aimed towards college girls, your influencer should be on a social media network that attracts ages 18-24.

The age distribution of Instagram as of January 2018:

  • Age 13-17: 7%
  • Age 18-24: 31%
  • Age 25-34: 30%
  • Age 35-44: 17%
  • Age 45-54: 9%
  • Age 55-64: 4%
  • Age 65+: 2%

13. Country They’re Located In

It would be ideal to find influencers who are close to your city and are, at least, in the same country as your brand.

Having influencers who are region-specific are able to communicate with their audience in their native language which is a huge advantage to brands.

If you find a perfect influencer who speaks only English but your brand is based out of Spain, that influencer won’t be able to effectively communicate with the kind of audience that is interested in your brand.

14. Personal Interests

The personal interests of influencers is important to your brand because you want to make sure your brand aligns with the influencer’s lifestyle. If their hobbies include being on the beach, surfing, and being in the sun, a brand that sells swimsuits and beach towels would be perfect for this influencer.

It will also make it much easier for an influencer to promote your brand if it’s something they enjoy, they’ll be raving about your products in no time!

15. Average Number of Interaction on Posts

The average number of interactions on influencer’s posts are pretty much the most important thing you want to look at. If an influencer’s content is tailored to their audience and they receive tons of interaction (likes, comments, shares) that’s a good sign for your brand.

There’s no point in having an influencer if no one will interact with someone who’s promoting your brand.

16. Authenticity

Influencers who share personal stories with products instead of giving long product reviews are much more likely to receive more interaction from their audience.

If you find an influencer who used to have issues with her skin and your brand is a skin-care line, that relationship might work well. The influencer will then be able to talk about the issues they used to have with their skin until they found your brand.

17. Does Their Niche Align With Your Brand?

Make sure you do your research on the influencers and find out what their niche is.

Is it fashion? Beauty? Fitness?

Whatever it is, make sure it aligns with your brand. If your brand is something like athleisure wear, you could pitch your brand to both fashion influencers and fitness influencers.

18. Do They Over-Promote?

If an influencer over-promotes multiple brands, their authenticity is out the window. It’s hard for an audience to believe every single promotion that an influencer does if an endorsement is in every single post.

Influencers who have a smaller amount of sponsored content appear to be much more authentic, so it’s a good idea to find an influencer who has a good amount of personal content as well as some sponsored content.

19. Are They Interested in a Long-Term Partnership?

As you can tell, finding the perfect influencer is hard work. If you can find an influencer who is willing to be with your brand when you launch new products and can have your brand’s back when things go south, keep them long-term.

Finding someone who’s interested in a long-term partnership can help save you time in finding another influencer.

20. What Social Media Platform Do They use?

Check out which social media platform the influencer uses. If they use a platform that doesn’t receive the right kind of traffic for your audience, find someone else.

Instagram is a great platform for influencers right now because most people using it are between the ages of 18 and 30.

21. Are They Transparent? (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established strict guidelines that dictate influencer’s relationships with brands.

To stay in good legal standings with the FTC, have your influencers use #ad or #sponsored on their posts where they’re promoting products.

22. Are They Consistent?

Make sure that they post on some type of schedule.

This will ensure that followers will catch up with the influencer knowing when they will post.

23. How Many Followers Do They Have?

Don’t discredit influencers who have a small amount of followers (between 1k-10k)!

These influencers usually get the most engagement from their posts and have an audience that is very loyal. Having a loyal audience is important because the audience is more likely to follow what the influencer does.

24. Actionability

Keep track of how many purchases of products are happening from your influencer. If they can get the audience to actually act on the ads and endorsements that the influencer provides for your company, they’re a good influencer.

25. Make Sure You Can Compensate Them!

Influencers will not usually work for your brand for free.

If your brand cannot afford to compensate them for money, some influencers will back out immediately. You can offer your influencers money, free products or free services in return for being an influencer for your brand.

These are the most important factors to look for in finding the perfect social media influencer for your brand. An influencer will do great things for the marketing of your brand!

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25 Things You Should Look For In A Social Media Influencer LadyBossBlogger.com (1)

intern ladybossbloggerCarly Hancock is a blogging and social media intern at LadyBossBlogger. She’s currently in her senior year at Minnesota State University, Mankato studying Communication Studies and English Literature. She will graduate in the spring of 2019 and is looking forward to a having a future in writing or social media. She enjoys learning new things about beauty products and fashion, and Instagram is her favorite social network!