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Brand influencers can be double-edged swords for your business, experts say

By Pascal Oparada 

We live in a world dominated by conversations from social media. Brands are cashing in on trends started and continued by influencers who maintain huge following on social media. 

Their impact on brands is very enormous, considering how you view it. But not all influencers are good for your brand.

 Think, for example, when Tiger Woods was hit by a series of scandals. Brands were quick to drop him like hot coal because he became a liability for them.

 Chukwuma Ezeobi, a social media influencer, told The Nigerian Xpress that engaging influencers can be good or bad for your business depending on the angle you approach it. 

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“It depends on your target market and audience, Ezeobi said. 

“Some influencers have baggage that you wouldn’t want to be associated with your brand. So, it’s important you scrutinize the influencer properly. Ask the hard questions before engaging an influencer,” he said. 

Apart from the fact that influencers can do a number of good things for your brand, they can also inflict incalculable damage to it, Ezeobi said. 

“They can generate sales, create content, build brand awareness, relationships, start a conversation and convert leads. They can also cause you to lose your target market in such a way that it will be hard to recover,” he said. 

Influencer marketing has been a concept invented by marketers since the emergence of social media. Companies have benefited immensely from their expertise, but they can also be a source of concern for brands if not properly handled. 

An influencer who is a known abuser of women can be a bad influence for brands dealing on feminine products, Ezeobi said. 

“Imagine asking someone like Elisha Abbo, who beat up a woman in an adult shop in Abuja, to be your brand ambassador. You know that brand is heading towards catastrophe,” he said. 

Ezeobi said it is important that brands do background checks before engaging any influencer.

“Many of the influencers are desperate. They will not tell you critical things about themselves. You should not also rely on the word of mouth about an influencer. Ask him or her to show you their KPIs on other brands. Engage them based on their performance records and not on their perceived social media influence alone,” he said.