How to Work with Influencers in 2021 - cover

The Ultimate Guide: How to work with Influencers in 2021

January 20, 2021

Find out how to work with influencers to boost your brand awareness, sales, engagement, and messaging on social media.

Influencers aren’t just for big brands! 

No matter what size brand you’re promoting, you can find influencers to fit your budget.

In this article, you’ll discover how to find the best influencers for your brand and how to use influencer campaigns to meet your marketing objectives.

Monitor top instagram influencers with Sharelov

You’ll also find tips on building successful influencer promotions on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Continue reading for tips, ideas, and examples to help you build winning influencer marketing campaigns on any social media platform.

Why Brands Should Work With Influencers

No matter what size of business you own, influencer marketing can be an excellent way to build your brand reach. 

Influencer partnerships can support several marketing objectives, including:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Grow your following
  • Boost sales
  • Drive website traffic

Does influencer marketing work?

Yes! Marketers say it’s a very effective tactic for promoting brands:

 Why is influencer marketing so popular?

For starters, influencer marketing is often a better way for brands to get noticed than paid advertising.

More than 25% of U.S. internet users employ ad-blocking technology to avoid paid ads, helping them avoid seeing ads on social media platforms.

Despite the massive investment brands funnel into broadcast television — in the U.S., $71 billion in 2018 and a projected 72 billion by 2023 —  29% of TV ads don’t have a chance of getting seen since no one’s in the room when the commercial airs.

Influencer marketing is a way for brands to meet viewers halfway, in settings where they’re open to new products and services in an environment that allows them to reach niche audiences on a personal level.

Even small budgets can afford micro-influencers (audiences of 100,000 or less): Many charge less than $100 per promotion and may even work for product trade. 

For example, an Instagram influencer with an audience of 2,000 – 5,000 people charges an average of $103 per post.

Engagement rates are higher with micro-influencers

Engagement rates are higher with micro-influencers than established influencers and celebrities. 

Typical influencer engagement rates*, according to audience size, are:

  • Influencers with less than 1,000 followers: 8% engagement rates
  • Influencers with less than 5,000 followers: 5.7% engagement rates
  • Influencers with less than 10,000 followers: 4% engagement rates
  • Influencers with less than 100,000 followers: 2.4% engagement rates
  • Influencers with more than 10,000 followers: 1.7% engagement rates

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

The audience response from micro-influencers is so impressive that even large brands partner with them.

What is an Influencer? (Infographic)

For example, Sperry shoes launched a coordinated, one-week, micro-influencer campaign that boosted Instagram click-throughs by 66% and engagement by 56%.

Sperry influencer campaign

Influencers can be a highly-effective marketing tactic for any size business if you find the right influencers and build unique, creative campaigns.

How To Find The Best Influencers For Your Brand

For brands that run their campaigns in-house, finding the right influencers is often their greatest challenge.

Fortunately, the growth of influencer marketing in recent years has triggered the launch of many new influencer-marketing platforms and agencies that can help businesses find influencers and develop successful campaigns.

There are many types of influencers, from bloggers to social media personalities to thought leaders and celebrities. The real challenge is finding influencers that can help you achieve your marketing goals.

1. Start by defining your objectives and developing creative campaign ideas.

What are your primary objectives on social media? Will you use influencers to boost your brand awareness, sales, engagement rates, or website traffic?

Will you do a social media takeover, ask for a product endorsement, or take on a creative project with your influencer partnership?

Understanding what you want to get out of the relationship and what type of campaign you’ll use are the first things you should decide before searching for influencers.

2. Research influencers in your industry.

To browse influencers that might be a good fit for your brand, you can run hashtag searches or visit platforms such as Hyperbrand or Heepsy, which allow you to search for influencers by defining target keywords and traits.

hyprbrands influencer selection

Source: Hyprbrand

You can also pull up details about the influencer and their social media presence.

hyprbrands influencer selection2

Source: Hyprbrand

You can also discover influencers by searching your favorite social media platforms and looking for the following:

  • Who are the most popular influencers in your industry, and what influencers are your competitors using? 
  • What influencers does your audience follow and respond to?
  • Does your brand have superfans with followings of 1,000 people or more (they might make excellent influencers!)

Although agencies can help you hire influencers and develop viral campaigns, you don’t need an agency or influencer platform to find and hire micro-influencers.

Large and enterprise-level brands that hire macro- and mega-influencers should always hire an agency since the investment on that scale is significant.

3. Monitor Social Media Platforms For brand mentions.

Monitoring what fans post about your brand can uncover influencers-in-the-making, such as what happened with Ocean Spray and Fleetwood Mac when a potato warehouse worker’s truck broke down. 

Instead of waiting for a jump or calling an Uber, Nathan Apodaca grabbed his longboard and a bottle of juice to complete the last 2 miles of his commute, sans truck.

Chances are, you already know the rest of the story. 

Apodaca pulled out his phone, opened TikTok,  and filmed himself riding to work on his longboard while drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice — all to the tune of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 hit “Dreams.”

Within an hour, his video went viral on TikTok, gathering 100,000 views in the first hour and more than 35 million overall.

ocean spray longboard tweet

The simple TikTok video momentarily put Ocean Spray (and Fleetwood Mac) at the center of attention. Ocean Spray made the most of it by giving Apodaca a brand new (cranberry) red truck, packed with jugs of Ocean Spray cranberry juice.

You can easily monitor brand mentions on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok with Sharelov’s monitoring tool.


The monitoring tool is free to Sharelov subscribers- why not get your free Sharelov trial today!

Monitoring brand mentions helps you discover superfans that could make fantastic brand representatives or influencers. 

Keep your eye on micro-influencers and superfans to discover people who are passionate about your brand — they make great influencers!

4. Follow your biggest fans. Monitor influencers before you hire them.

Monitoring influencers is the most critical aspect of finding the right people to represent your brand. It allows you to regularly review their posts to ensure that their audience is well-engaged and that their personality is a good fit for your brand. 

Monitoring also helps you avoid influencer fraud, which is when accounts have large followings, but no real influence over their audience. 

One survey of 4000 marketing agencies, brands, and professionals found that more than two-thirds of its respondents had experienced influencer fraud.

To avoid fraud, monitor potential influencers for a time before hiring them, evaluating their engagement and viewership metrics alongside their content.

You can easily monitor influencers and their metrics when you subscribe to Sharelov. Our free influencer monitoring tool is one of the dozens of features that help your team succeed on social media.

The monitoring tool allows you to check out influencer’s content, and you can scroll their posts while viewing analytic summaries on the same page.

Monitor most engaging post for industry influencers 1

From there, you can tap on any post to get full details such as:

  • Engagement rate
  • Number of engagements
  • Impressions
  • Number of likes
  • Number of shares
  • Number of comments

Influencer tracking sharelov example2

Fake influencers can damage your campaign and lose money for your brand, so take the time to monitor influencers before hiring them.

Monitor Top Influencers On Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok

How To Negotiate With Influencers

How you reach out to and negotiate with influencers varies depending on what size influencer you use.

When approaching a micro-influencer, keep in mind that most are regular people working full-time jobs and blogging or posting for fun. Despite their small followings, micro-influencers have more influence over their followers’ buying decisions than most celebrities.

Approach micro-influencers carefully, and take the time to get to know them a bit on social media before reaching out.

When approaching macro- or mega-influencers, it’s best to go through a PR or influencer agency to negotiate terms and pricing.

Whatever type of influencer you work with, there are several negotiating points to consider, including:

  • Compensation and perks
  • Content and campaigns
  • Campaign objectives
  • FTC guidelines

Influencers fees and payments fluctuate depending on the platform (see social media channel sections below for more details).

How To Achieve Your Marketing Objectives With Influencers

According to a survey by Social Media Week and Open Influence, influencer marketing is most-effective for building brand awareness and communicating brand purpose.

Influencer promotions can help you with other objectives as well, such as boosting sales and website traffic.

The key to meeting your marketing objective with influencers is launching the right promotion and making your goals clear to the influencers.

Teams work better together with sharelov

Boost Product Sales And Brand Awareness With Product Placements

Product placement posts and videos, or “influencer advocacy posts” are images of your product alongside a short message about it. They are an excellent way to boost product sales and brand awareness.

For example, influencer Kate Lavie shares an image of Naked juice in one of her Instagram posts below, adding a tag to the brand in her caption.

kate advocacy influencer example

Source: Instagram

Increase Engagement With Contests And Giveaways

There are endless creative ways to launch contests and giveaways for influencer and user-generated-content campaigns. 

Sharing reviews with branded hashtags can also help increase your brand awareness.

Communicate Brand Messaging Through Influencer Storytelling

To build a more authentic connection with potential new followers, and communicate your brand personality, consider creative storytelling by influencers.

For example, an Instagram post by micro-influencer @lucieandthebump shows her and her son’s image, plus the product, alongside a caption that tells a story…

“Harry and I have just got home from a lovely little brunch with @pomegreat in the big smoke 😁

We ate croissants, wrestled in softplay and H enjoyed catching up with his blogger baby buddies!

I hadn’t heard of Pomegreat juice before but after trying some I can confirm that it is sooooo delicious – it’s of course full of pomegranates as well as added vitamins A C and D but without the added sugar 👌🏼 Instead it is sweetened naturally unlike a lot of fruit juices

#pomegreat #greatfamilies #ad”

Influencer storytelling example

By involving the reader in a personal story, the brand and influencer help to form a genuine connection, and memory, with the audience.

Use Social Media Takeovers To Promote Events And Raise Brand Awareness

Allowing an influencer to take over your brand account for a day is an excellent way to reach new people to promote your brand or branded events.

For example, Emmy-Award winning TV host Pili Montilla took over ATT’s Instagram account for a promotion in 2017.

instagram takeover event example

Creative Influencer Campaigns To Meet Any Marketing Objective

The best influencer promotions are unique and creative, and often involve the audience in a big way. 


Understanding your marketing objectives in advance allows you to focus your teams’ efforts on one goal. 

Did you know you can collaborate with influencers and your marketing team more easily with Sharelov? 

Sharelov makes it easy to share ideas, get approvals, create to-do lists, and chat with project members.

Try Sharelov today — our team collaboration software makes it easier than ever to build successful influencer campaigns for 2021!


Tips for Working With Influencers On Different Social Media Platforms

Authenticity has never been more in demand than it will be in 2021, as the world continues to struggle with — and hopefully emerge from — the effects of the pandemic.

Many of your own fans have likely lost family members, jobs, friendships, and more due to Coronavirus.

For this reason, pushing or faking your way into sales will fall flat and may even cause you to lose followers in 2021.

No matter what platform you use or what marketing objective you pursue, all brands should consider incorporating social causes, charity, and diversity into all marketing — especially influencer promotions.

Each social media platform has its own personality, formatting, and tools that sets it apart. In the section below, we share tips for successful influencer marketing campaigns on every platform.

Monitor Leaders In Your Industry With Sharelov’s monitoring tool

Tips For Working With Instagram Influencers

Nearly 70% of influencer budgets are spent on Instagram, according to a Mediakix report.

When working with Instagram influencers, price ranges vary dramatically according to how many followers the influencer has.

Here’s how much you can expect to pay Instagram influencers, according to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub:

  • Micro-influencers: $10 –$500 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers: $500–$5,000 per post
  • Macro-influencers: $5,000–$10,000 per post
  • Mega-influencers: $10,000+ per post
  • Celebrities: Up to one million dollars

Share Influencer content at strategic posting times.

Since Instagram shows the most recent content first in its news feed, posting at times when your audience is online can give you a significant advantage.

build instagram campaigns faster and more effectively

You can find the best Instagram posting times in our Guide To The Best Times To Post On Instagram, or by using Sharelov’s Best Posting Times tool for automatic suggestions that are updated daily. The tool is free with a Sharelov subscription. Try Sharelov now!

Keep up with the trends to ensure your Instagram influencer promotions can thrive.

On Instagram, trends are everything. 

Keep up with social media trends to ensure that your content is relevant and does not contain any outdated messaging or imagery that could drive potential followers away.

Make the most of Instagram features and formats.

Instagram provides countless features and tools that can help your influencer campaigns succeed. 

When partnering with influencers, consider utilizing Stories and Reels formats, plus include stickers and hashtags to boost your engagement and reach.

Instagram is like Disneyland for influencers, and most marketers will use the platform for some type of influencer promotion. Consider enhancing your Instagram campaigns by promoting them from other platforms as well as paid advertising.

Tips For Working With Facebook Influencers

Facebook influencer rates range from $25 to $25,000+ per post, depending on the type of influencer you hire. 

Typical rates for Facebook influencers are:

  • Micro-influencers: $25–$1,250 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers: $1,250–$12,500 per post
  • Macro-influencers: $12,500–$25,000 per post
  • Mega-influencers: $25,000+ per post

Most marketers should support their Facebook influencer campaigns with paid advertising.

It’s not easy to get your content in front of people in the Facebook newsfeed. 

Working with influencers can help you with that, but you’ll also want to support your efforts with paid Facebook advertising.

Remember to share influencer content to your branded Facebook pages!

Posting your influencer content at the best possible times (and at your influencers’ best times) will significantly contribute to your campaigns’ success. 

Sharelov’s Best Times To Post tool provides you with personalized Facebook posting suggestions updated daily.

Best Times to post tool

Try Sharelov’s Best Times Tool FREE right now

Consider using Facebook Stories Format to enhance your influencer promotions. 

The Facebook Stories format can skyrocket your engagement rates and nearly half of people who view them make more online purchases than those that don’t. 

Track your results with Facebook Insights.

Facebook Insights can help you learn which influencer promotions are returning the best engagement and viewership. 

Facebook analytics are complex, and Sharelov can make it easier for your team to review those intricate details. Our Facebook analytics dashboard makes it easy to view, share, and discuss results with your team.

Newe! With Sharelov, you can now create instant Facebook analytics reports based on a customized date range. You get several “bite-sized” data cards to share with your team — tailored to the dates you choose!

customer facebook reports

custom facebook reports 2

With Sharelov, you can rally your entire team around its marketing objectives

Tips For Working With TikTok Influencers

TikTok’s newness means there are still plenty of opportunities for brands to establish a presence and following on minimal budgets. 

If you’re a company wanting to reach the younger generations (especially Gen Z), consider utilizing Tiktok influencers to fuel your growth.

The typical prices for TikTok influencers are:

  • Micro-influencers: $5–$125 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers: $125–$1,250 per post
  • Macro-influencers: $1,250–$2,500 per post
  • Mega-influencers: $2,500+ per post

Post your TikTok influencer promotions at peak times.

TikTok, more so than any other platform, relies on post timing. 

To get your content seen, liked, and continuously showing in the feed, it’s essential to post to TikTok at the best times for your brand.

Use TikTok analytics to improve your results!

Use TikTok Analytics to improve your visibility and increase engagement for influencer promotions. 

By paying attention to what content, influencers, and messaging your audience responds to, you can give them more of what they like, which can improve your conversions and engagement.

TikTok provides brands with sophisticated content and advertising insights that can help you achieve any marketing goal, including engagement rates, brand reach, and conversions.

Sharelov subscribers get free access to TikTok analytics reports that can be shared with team members. Try Sharelov free today!

TikTok is a rapidly-rising platform that provides excellent opportunities for influencer promotions. To learn more about marketing on TikTok, check out our Marketer’s Guide To TikTok.

Create TIkTok content w Sharelov

Tips For Working With YouTube Influencers

According to a report by Think With Google, forty percent of millennials say that their favorite Youtube creators understand them better than their own friends.

YouTube influencers often charge based on video views, at about $50 – $100 per thousand views.

In other situations, YouTube influencers may charge at the following rates:


  • Micro-influencers: $20–$1,000 per video
  • Mid-tier influencers: $1,000–$10,000 per video
  • Macro-influencers: $10,000–$20,000 per post
  • Mega-influencers: $20,000+ per post

YouTube is an excellent platform for reaching people of all ages. 

Before creating influencer promotions on Youtube, consider the current social media trends and any holiday marketing tactics which may be relevant to your timing.

Sharelov makes YouTube campaigns run more smoothly, and our new Click to Chat feature lets you instantly chat with team members about any post. 

From your Sharelov dashboard, you can just click the post’s chat button to connect with any team member and discuss the post!

Sharelov makes team communication a breeze

Tips For Working With Pinterest Influencers

Partnering with influencers on Pinterest is 92% effective for marketers, and the platform is well worth considering for your influencer promotions.

To encourage more collaboration with influencers, Pinterest offers its Influencer API, which allows you to access data that helps you find the best partners and track your campaign results.

Get started with influencer marketing on Pinterest by visiting its business blog and Partner’s Hub.

Pinterest influencers, or “Pinfluencers” provide an excellent way to reach micro-niche audiences.

Some of the ways you can boost your results on Pinterest include:

  • Use paid advertising to support your Pinterest influencer campaigns.
  • Consider cross-promoting influencer campaigns on other channels, such as Instagram.
  • Learn how to use hashtags on Pinterest, and use them heavily in your influencer promotions.
  • Take advantage of Pinterest analytics to better understand your campaigns’ results and help increase your ROI.
  • Allow influencers some creativity when building your campaigns — especially if you’re not familiar with the platform.

Pinterest is an excellent platform for brands. 

Nearly all its users (90%) are looking for ideas on what to buy next.

Creating Pinterest campaigns is much easier with Sharelov collaboration software. Your team can work together seamlessly to develop and produce promotions while chatting with each other, sharing deliverables, and creating posts.

Develop winning Pinterest campaigns with Sharelov

Influencer Promotions Are A Win For Social Media Brands

Any brand that’s promoting content on social media should (at least) consider working with influencers to expand their reach. In some cases, influencer campaigns can also be highly effective at increasing sales and conversions.

Research and monitor influencers before you hire them, and go into your new partnership with clear marketing objectives in mind to make the most of influencer promotions on any social media platform.

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