Influencer, micro-Blogger and YouTuber are getting more and more important in marketing. Many corporations already invest more spendings in social media marketing than ‘classic’ channels such as TV, print and radio. But what matters in social media often remains unclear for decision makers. Some decide which influencer to work with by “gut feel”, others rely upon more or less transparent performance indicators of media agencies. As a result, popular influencers are sought after by competing brands and cooperations at the same time.

Interviews that we conducted with decisions makers and social media experts reveal that authenticity plays a key role in their social media marketing strategy. “Authentic” people show like-minded followers how they use products and feel about it in front of a camera. This setting (still?) is perceived to be more “real” than “professional” advertising to young target groups even if they know that influencers are sponsored cooperations partners too. Our psychological analysis indicates that successful bloggers – whether intentionally or intuitively – make use of various strategies to establish and maintain their perceived authenticity. Consistent content in their feed, fast and proactive interactions with their community and specific verbal and visuals codes cultivate their “realness”.

What does these insights mean for social media marketers? In order to select the right influencer for your campaign, qualitative characteristics of potential cooperations partners should definitely be regraded in addition to quantitative numbers of followers or interactions in social networks. In so doing, communication will be perceived not only by a lot of people but the relevant people. We are happy to support your social media marketing through our psychological expertise and consultancy.