How Your Micro-Influencers Can Outperform Bieber
What are micro-influencers? As Entrepreneur defines them, micro-influencers are the “everyday social account gurus who are passionate about their topics.” Macro-influencers, on the other hand, are superstars like Justin Bieber, a person whom all but the biggest brands cannot afford to pay and leverage.
2015 Instagram Influencer Report
You have access to micro-influencers right now, but chances are, you’re not recognizing all of them or using them to your full advantage. Micro-influencers have a robust and active social following (but 10,000 or less). They don’t have agents, but respond well to swag and promotion on your end. Micro-influencers include:
- Power users of your product
- People who talk about your product a lot on social
- People who might not use or know about your brand, but are well-known by ideal users of your product
Here’s how to put together your micro-influencer program, from finding your micro influencers to incentivizing them.
To find the appropriate social micro-influencers for your brand, you’ll want to research in three ways. The first way: find the power users of your product.
Reach out to customers who love you. You can do this by enlisting the aid of your Account Management team, and looking at your back end for who visits your site or buys your product most often.
The second way to find your micro-influencers is by looking at your social data to understand who is talking about your product in a favorable way on social.
- Track around your hashtags and associated hashtags. Find micro-influencers by understanding who is using your brand hashtag and associated hashtags (for example #SimplyMeasured and #socialanalytics), and the context in which they’re using the hashtag.
- Track around your brand handle mentions. Who is mentioning your handle in a positive light regularly on social?
— laura arbo (@laura_elizabeth) March 16, 2016
- Look across all your channels. This includes every social channel you’re active on, as well as non-social channels: reviews, comments on your website, etc.
The final method of finding micro-influencers is to search for people who might not use or know about your brand, but have access to your target social audience.
- You know those social fans you found? Run a report to find out whom they interact with most often on social — chances are their community either is your target social audience or has access to it. This will widen your net of possible micro-influencers.
- Keyword tracking FTW. Tracking who is driving the conversation around keywords relevant to your brand is a great way to find micro-influencers that can insert you into that conversation in an organic way.
- Look across networks. Don’t focus only on social channels you’re active on. For instance, even if you don’t have an established YouTube presence, research YouTube influencers in your field who can be of use to your brand and widen your reach.
…And Use ‘Em
Once you’ve found your target micro-influencers, here’s are some ideas for working with them.
- Cast a wide net. People may turn you down, and in an ideal world, you’ll be able to work with a rotating roster of micro-influencers who plug your brand into communities they were previously absent from.
- Set expectations. Give your micro-influencers guidance and set mutual expectations at the beginning of the process to avoid problems later. Make sure your micro-influencers know your brand and/or campaign’s top talking points and share the hashtags your target audience tends to view.
- Co-host a giveaway with your micro-influencer. This is a great way to “announce” a partnership with a micro-influencer without announcing it.
— Kathryn Budig (@kathrynbudig) March 17, 2016
- Give your micro-influencer swag. For instance, if you’re a retail brand working with an Instagram micro-influencer, send him or her some product and ask for a specific number of posts within a given time period.
Today's solitude is: the March issue of @cntraveler, Frank Ocean's Channel Orange record and the new turmeric+cranberry mask from @kiehlsnyc. Things are about to kick up into high gear for me, so I'll take all the easy days I can get. #maskmoments
A post shared by Lauren Cunningham (@lacunningham) on
- Allow for creativity. Influencers of all shapes and sizes agree that they don’t like when brands try to guide their content and self-expression too much. The reason you’re choosing these micro-influencers is because they’re popular with your audience, and they’re popular with your audience because they are who they are. Don’t suffocate that.
Better Than Bieber
By accessing the committed, interest-concentrated communities of your micro-influencers, you’ll get the most bang for your “influencer” buck and be able to target better than ever before. Download our Listening 101 guide to hear what your audience is talking about.