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On social media, it’s easy to spot the A-list macro-influencers – the types of powerful social media users with hundreds of thousands of followers. At the very top are the biggest names in the entertainment world – such as the A-list celebrities with literally millions of followers. A single tweet from one of them is enough to catapult an unknown brand into superstardom.
However, there are many online influencers with relatively modest followings who may be a more suitable match for your brand. Finding them is not as obvious as finding the A-list macro-influencers. So how, exactly, do you reach out, find, and then put these micro-influencers to work for your brand?
Step 1: Search for authentic micro-influencers among your own fans and followers
You may not realize it, but many of your own fans and followers on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram may already be micro-celebrities in your industry. That’s especially true if you are in the fashion, style or entertainment industries. For example, if you are the head of an up-and-coming fashion company, you might just have a whole bevy of teenager girl beauty bloggers just waiting to support your new products. Each individual blogger (or vlogger) might only have 10,000 or so fans of his or her own, but on a collective basis, they might be powerful enough to transform your brand from unknown to “indie favorite.”
Step 2: Track your influencer ROI beyond just sales
The best part about working and partnering with micro-influencers is that they are much more affordable than the high-end A-list celebrities charging thousands of dollars for just a single tweet. Often, you can win over a micro-influencer with just a free product sample.
And you might just be surprised at how far just a single free product sample goes. Most obviously, it could lead to a boost for sales of your product. Moreover, that one product sample might be turned into a viral YouTube video that gets tens of thousands of views. Or, it might be turned into an Instagram post that generates an avalanche of likes, comments and engagement.
In the best-case scenario, in fact, you might pick up some free media publicity. If you are a local craft brewer from Philadelphia, for example, maybe micro-influencers within the beer and wine industry start talking about your award-winning beers, and that leads to a nice feature piece in a local Philadelphia newspaper or on the city tourism blog (VisitPhilly.com) about the rise of the craft brewing phenomenon in the Philly area.
Step 3: Deploy micro-influencers to enhance every aspect of a marketing campaign
You can think of micro-influencers as the motivated, passionate, and authentic foot soldiers in any marketing campaign. So you have to be clever about how to best deploy them. You might use them, for example, to amplify any press releases that you have created. You might use them to promote key talking points by using certain hashtags. And you might use them as an indispensable part of any new product launch. What better way to build buzz for a brand-new product than to have an army of micro-influencers blogging, tweeting and blogging about that product?
Of course, all this assumes that you have a semi-official structure in place to manage all these micro-influencers. It takes a bit of time and effort to outreach to all of them, and to keep them all updated on what you are doing. Just remember – these micro-influencers may be more accessible and more affordable than A-list celebrities, but they also still expect a very personalized approach that makes them feel special and valued. So build enough resources into any micro-influencer campaign to make them feel right at home promoting your business or brand.