If you own a growing business, it is important for you to build an online reputation.This can inspire trust and help you establish a good relationship with potential customers. You must work to earn your customers’ trust. Invest time and hard work to reach a state where your customers start believing in your brand name or business. Leveraging influencer marketing in your social media strategy can make this trust-building journey easier for you.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing allows you to gain the trust of your prospective customers through the help of ‘influencers’. Influencers are those who have large numbers of followers or subscribers on social media. They have the ability to influence the opinions of their audience network. As rewards for their help, influencers are often given incentives or freebies by businesses who benefit from their support.
Here are the top five reasons why you should incorporate influencer marketing into your social media plan:
1)It enhances your social media presence and online reach
Influencers help you spread the word about your business throughout their social network. They create awareness for your business by sharing information about your offered services. They also can share links to your website or social profiles and social media posts. This gives you greater visibility online. Since they have very large numbers of followers, you are also able to reach out to a greater number of people who are not directly following you on social media.
An example would be that you have 50 followers on Twitter and your influencer has 2,000 followers. When you influencer ‘retweets’(shares) one of your ‘tweets’, it will be shared with 2,050 users on Twitter and greatly benefit your online reputation.
2) It increases your online engagement
When a greater number of people hear about you through social media, you have the opportunity to make new connections. For example, if a Facebook post from your business page is shared by an influencer who has 1000+ friends on Facebook, your post might be read by all of them. If they find your post to be interesting, they might potentially “like”, comment or re-share your post with their friends. This will again increase your social reach and engagement and likely improve your online reputation.
3) It helps you get new business leads
When hundreds and even thousands of new people start learning about your business, they might very well choose to try out your services. They may contact you via phone or email or visit your website and book a service from you.
4) It makes your promotions pleasant and meaningful
People don’t often enjoy being bombarded by ads and some even use tools or mobile apps to block annoying ads. Influencer marketing, however, is not like direct advertising. It appears in the form of a word or message from a trustworthy person who is online. So, when your influencers share a Facebook post or ‘tweet’ about the delicious pizzas they had from your restaurant, it looks like a typical status update to their friends or followers. This is like an indirect form of publicity and is not “pushy”, unlike other promotional messages.
5) It brings you greater return on your money
Running an ad on Facebook or sponsoring a ‘tweet’ on Twitter can be quite expensive. This might pose problems for small and growing businesses. If you are on a tight budget, influencer marketing can be an extremely beneficial way to improve and expand your online reputation. You must, however, use it smartly. Your only cost is to pay or reward your influencers. You can offer them special discount coupons, freebies, or gifts for helping your business. You should always clarify whether or not influencers are seeking actual monetary compensation.
A smart example of rewarding your influencer may be to feature them on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram. You may include a story about how they enjoyed your spa or fitness service, for example. This is good publicity for your business, as well as for them.
Now that you know about the benefits of influencer marketing, here are a few simple steps on how you can use them for your business:
Step 1: Identify your influencers
Your influencers should have large numbers of users who are relevant to your business. For example, if you own a beauty salon business and most of your customers are young women, you should connect with influencers from your city who have large numbers of female followers.
Step 2: Locate them
In order to find your influencers , you must search for them using keywords that are relevant to your business and location. If you own a beauty salon business in New York City, you can search with keywords such as “New York”, “beauty salon”, “NYC”, “Beauty Services,” and any other related keywords. This will allow you to find the most popular people from your city on Facebook and Twitter. Make a list of them, including their names, email addresses, phone numbers and other details. Remember that this list should be comprised of people who are interested in “beauty” and have strong online followings and reputations.
Step 3: Start engaging with them
You can start following Facebook pages, Twitter handles, personal blogs, Instagrams and any other social media platforms on which they are active and have large audiences. Be sure to comment on their posts, share them and interact with them.
Step 4: Pitch your proposal to them
Once you’ve formed solid online friendships or associations with the influencers, you can write to them privately with clear and personalized messages to discuss your proposals. Make sure your messages are friendly and meaningful without being pushy.
Here is an example:
“Hi Dave, We’ve been following each other for quite some time on Facebook and I am wondering if you would be so kind as to share a word about my Spa Service in New York with your followers? We have some exciting packages to offer. Please drop by my Spa Outlet and let me treat you to a relaxing session, ‘on the house’!
My address is: Eva’s Zen Spa Experience, 55 S Broadway, Tarrytown, NY.
If influencers are interested, they might write back to you asking for more details, which will lead to mutual agreements.
Step 5: Thank and reward them
Once influencers begin lending their support to you on social media, make sure that you thank and reward them, as per your mutual agreement. Be sure to stay in touch with them and continue to respond to their posts on social media in order to keep the associations active.
This sums up the way influencer marketing can be used to introduce your growing business to a large number of potential customers and help you enhance the social presence of your business.
You can also keep track of how your influencer marketing efforts are working out for you. As a robust online reputation management and customer experience solution, BirdEye has some interesting social media engagement features to help your business. Make use of Birdeye’s social listening, social engagement and social publishing features to have a clear idea about the impact of your influencer marketing activities. You can monitor your social profiles, publish to multiple social accounts from one platform and successfully connect with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google.
Sign up for a free trial at BirdEye to know about how it can add more value to your business.