With the snap of a perfectly planned Instagram selfie, Gigi Hadid directs her 26.7 million followers to Tommy Hilfiger’s website to check out the latest spring line. This makes her one of the most notable social media influencers in today’s business world.
Using social media influencers is one of the newest marketing strategies available to businesses today. Social media influencers can help companies build their brand to reach larger audiences than many other forms of advertising. But you don’t have to have a Hadid or a Kardashian in your contact list to utilize this growing form of marketing. A social media micro-influencer could be just what you are looking for to build your brand.
So, what is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is just what it sounds like — a social media influencer on a smaller scale. Think 10K to 100k followers. Micro-influencers include:
- Social media personalities
- Regular people with loyal followers
With ‘loyal’ being the key word. You want to find an influencer who knows how to keep followers actively engaged. The more engagement by followers, the more clout the influencer has when recommending a product or service. The organizers of the disastrous Fyre Festival realized the power of influencers, if only they had put together a better concert…
Who can benefit from a micro-influencer?
Influencer marketing is a great way to promote most businesses. If you’re a small company, start-up, entrepreneur, solopreneur or anything in between, a micro-influencer may fit your needs and your budget. Unless you are well connected or just extremely lucky, you probably aren’t on the radar of any big-name influencers. Even if those influencers happen to look your way, they are going to want to be amply compensated for pushing your product.
With micro influencers, you may not need that big name to get big results. While a micro-influencer may have a small audience, that audience could be just who you are trying to reach. Micro-influencers tend to have more targeted, niche audiences:
- Moms follow mommy bloggers.
- Home cooks follow their favorite chefs.
More importantly, moms listen to mommy bloggers. Home chefs want to know what products their favorite chefs are using.
With the right micro-influencer, you can see your products or services reaching larger audiences in no time. As with any marketing platform, there are pros (cost, targeted audience) and cons (number of followers) to choosing a micro-influencer. For many small businesses, the benefits can far outweigh any drawbacks.
Picking the right micro-influencer
Now that you have decided that a social media micro-influencer is the way to go, it is time to find the right one for your business. Let’s start with active follower engagement. Remember, with micro-influencers, number of influencers may not be the most important thing to consider. Instead, gauge the interest followers are taking in the influencer’s posts. Are they hanging on the influencers every word? Are they liking, sharing, repining, retweeting, etc. everything they see on the influencer’s social media? If the answer is yes, you are on the right track.
As an example, Nightwing 2303 is a micro-influencer in the sneaker world. Many sneaker companies have realized this, from Nike to the smaller Brand Black, and they send him shoes all the time. He shares them with his audience, who are highly engaged with him, comment frequently, and watch all of his videos:
Does the influencer have active conversations with their followers, and is the influencer happy to respond to questions and comments? A positive back-and-forth dialogue is a great sign.
With fewer followers than a macro-influencer, it is important to find a micro-influencer with the right followers. What is the influencer posting on social media? Is it something your own customers can relate to?
Pick an influencer in your target market:
- If you sell sippy cups, find a popular mommy blogger.
- Do you manufacture motorcycles? Find a manly YouTuber with a strong following.
- If you sell shirts, find a clothing or unboxing channel.
Social media allows for a plethora of possible influencers with a wide variety of different target audiences. Don’t just research the micro-influencers. Also look at the followers themselves. Do your research on their ages, passions, interests, and even their geographic location. Would these followers be potential customers? Social influencers are only effective if they are influencing the right people.
Where can I find a micro-influencer?
You think you know what to look for in a micro-influencer, but you’re still not sure how to go about finding one. Start by looking at who is already following you. Check out your company’s social media accounts, and pay attention to your list of followers. Has a blogger already found (and maybe even used) your product? Is there someone who comments often, with plenty of likes and shares. If they are already enjoying your product, it will be easy to recruit them as social media influencers (and most likely at a very reasonable rate).
You can search manually for any standouts across the social media platforms you use, but there are also tools available to make the search even easier. Several CRM tools are available, such as Agorapulse, that allow you to find and rank possible influencers and brand ambassadors. Other CRM tools include:
Once you have searched your own social media followers, Buzzsumo or similar sites can help you pick an influencer based on keywords relevant to what you are looking for. Who are you hoping to recruit as an influencer—a blogger, journalist, or established social media influencer? You can also filter influencers by geographic location. With so many possibilities available, it won’t be hard to find a micro-influencer to fit your needs. Using micro-influencers may even give you the possibility of choosing more than one and still staying within your budget.
Using micro-influencers for your social marketing
Marketing across social media platforms is a must in today’s business world. Using a social media influencer as a marketing strategy is one the most useful ways to stay competitive. While many top-ranking companies use big-name influencers, small businesses can still take advantage of this type of marketing strategy by using a micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers may have smaller audiences than their macro counterparts, but their audiences tend to be loyal. Look for micro-influencers who know how to engage their followers. Even if their followers aren’t great in numbers, if most of those followers actively like, comment and share on posts, those followers are better than 100,000 followers who scroll on past. Also, look for influencers in your niche. If they are potential customers, they are potential influencers.