It is hard to imagine a time when social media wasn’t an integral part of our society. Not only in comms and PR, but in our everyday lives. Social is still king, and businesses continue to commit large amounts of budget and effort to engage with well-known influencers to promote their brand or product. But who do we really look to for ‘influence’? What about the people we are already connected to?
Micro-influencers usually operate more city or region-wide, while they may not be famous, they have concentrated and powerful networks, and often engage with your direct consumers. They can be your true business champions.
But how do you use them, and how can become an effective part of your social media marketing and content creation campaigns?
Micro-influencers, who are they?
In layman’s terms, influencers are individuals who have the ability to influence a decision – whether that be buying or behavioural. In terms of online marketing, these individuals can come in a number of guises:
These can be the likes of Kylie Jenner or Cristiano Ronaldo, with the latter charging anywhere up to $1.6m per post for brands he works with to share across his 541m Instagram followers.
A powerful force that acts as a good middle ground if you have a budget but don’t have the big bucks needed for real celebrities.
Those with much smaller networks but are invested in your organisation or brand and want to help promote it. They could be existing customers, staff or friends and the costs to harness their potential are very low.
How your employees can become your micro-influencers?
According to Asha Constanza at Synergy Creative, your staff are a great untapped source of low-cost marketing and promotion. “If you can find the right 3% of employees who are already passionate about the brand or organisation and are already engaged then they will communicate with 90% of the remaining workforce,” she explains. Not only that, but a further 90% of your organisation’s employee network will often be completely new to your brand, leaving a new and untapped audience unfamiliar with your company.
Need more convincing?
- Businesses with an engaged workforce outperform their peers by 202%.
- 74% of employees find that they’re missing out on company information and news – a gap that can be filled with internal influencer programmes.
- 66% of staff say they are already an advocate for their business – that’s a lot of potential to harness.
- The influencer marketing industry reached $16.4B in 2022 – be smart about the budget you have and invest internally first.
Micro-influencers and where to find them
Asha recommends first conducting an employee survey and analysing internal channels, such as the company intranet, to find the most engaged members of staff.
“You want to find people with connections – are they in the ‘right’ world already?” says Asha. “For example, ASOS identified the staff who were already immersed in the fashion world and connecting with other fashion lovers in an online space.”
Current customers can be surveyed in a similar way through a simple tool like SurveyMonkey – although sometimes it’s equally as effective to find your most dedicated customers organically. Monitor those who are interacting with you on social media the most, then analyse their networks.
What are their engagement rates? Do they talk to lots of others in your target audiences and are they active on different channels? Do they inspire a level of trust?
Be aware of the different types of micro-influencers you can look to identify:
- Naturals (people already doing it)
- The high potentials
- The glue
- The ‘been-there-done-that’ person
What should they be doing?
All businesses have their own approach to using influencers, and you need to find the formula that works best for you when creating influencer marketing campaigns. Here are some top-line ideas to consider:
- Telling your story
- Shouting about your success
- Promoting events
- Be in the know
- Helping to avoid/avert rumours
A golden rule when looking to engage in this space is to remember that the best influencers are the authentic ones. That means trusting them to speak honestly and openly. Too many rules can be limiting and also look fake to outsiders.
So, when it comes to branding, offer options, rather than rules. When Asha worked with ASOS, they suggested that fashion beauty influencers use @Asos_name in their handle, but they weren’t forced to.
“You can also encourage them to include some branding in their profile imagery and tell them when there are strong brand messages you want to promote,” says Asha. “When they don’t have to, influencers will often choose to share and talk about it on their own terms.”
What will they need?
Like all other people in your business, micro-influencers need to be briefed and briefed well. If they post content without knowing your expectations, brand, and company ethos properly, then the content won’t resonate.
Micro-influencers are content creators and need content to share. Here are some pointers to help ensure this relationship runs smoothly:
- Access to senior management – when working with employees it can help if they have access to the movers and shakers.
- Training/toolkit – if time allows, do some face-to-face training. If not, a written guide which you can chat through on the phone will also work.
- Enhanced news kit – give them detailed explanations and background information so they’re armed with the right info.
- Incentives – find out what is driving them and what they want out of this, and respond accordingly. This could be free company products, but often people would also be happy with non-financial rewards and recognition. Remember to say thank you and share their good work with others.
If you are considering using a micro-influencer agency to help boost your online presence, they will be able to advise on the strategy you will need to achieve the desired social media marketing results. Drop us a line to see how we can help you [email protected] or call 0117 905 1177.