In today’s market, consumers value social proof more than ever before. In turn, brands are utilizing tactics like influencer marketing to reach and engage new audiences across social media. However, far too many still have difficulties finding relevant influencers and kickstarting their marketing campaigns. Not every brand has a budget (or a need for that matter) to partner with a macro-influencer and drive massive viewership to their social content. In fact, a growing number of social media marketing trends are developing data that suggests smaller, local influencers can actually drive better results for your brand than the conventional ‘big name’ influencer can.
If you are a marketing manager for a local business, you know firsthand that building an online presence in your local community is paramount to your success. It attracts new customers, increases word of mouth referrals, and builds customer loyalty. But to effectively market to your customers, you have to be where they are. That’s on social media platforms. And there are no greater purveyors of producing social interactions and engagement than influencers.
But how do you go about finding local influencers, you ask? Well, that’s where we come in! We will break down some best practices for both locating and partnering with local influencers, and how to utilize these partnerships to grow your business.
1. Get locally social
Being socially active in your own community is a key element of locating (and appealing t0) local influencers in your market. If you are a small business with any semblance of an online presence, at the bare minimum you should have a Facebook page for each of your physical locations so people can check into and review them individually.
By doing so, you also give your business the chance to be featured in the Facebook Professional Services directory for desktop users or the Nearby Places feature for mobile app users. It ensures that everyone who comes across your Facebook page will know whether their friends have been there or not, which is some of the best social media based word of mouth marketing your business can receive.
Of course, being socially local doesn’t begin or end with merely having your Facebook pages up and running. You must also begin to become active on social – both on these platforms and in these communities – in order to actually connect with local influencers. To do so, you need to get personal.
Another best practice for getting personal and locally social is to find as many local Facebook groups as possible where your customers might be discussing your business. You may be surprised to actually find some highly relevant micro-influencers there.
2. Examine your own existing social media followers
Whether your business already has a strong social presence or not, you can scan social platforms like Instagram and Twitter, and you may be surprised to see that some local or micro-influencers are already potentially following you. If they happen to align with your brand and are relevant to your product or service, they may be someone to consider building a relationship with.
3. Perform local hashtag research
A great way to help you find relevant local or micro-influencers is to perform a local hashtag search on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can also, of course, use Google to do local hashtag search and see what directory of results it populates. You can also search for a specific and relevant keyword within your niche, and to discover popular posts that use the hashtag, which may lead you to trending content created by the local influencers you are seeking.
4. Find Out Who’s Talking About Your Business
This is a task you can perform even before you begin your search for new influencers. Track down the people who are already talking about your business on social media. Track all positive and negative mentions of your business online.
Finding an influencer who already knows about your business – and is likely happy with your product or service since they are talking about you – makes it much easier to find and work with such influencers. The reason is simple; they’re likely far more willing and enthusiastic to promote your brand.
5. Use an influencer agency
Influencer marketplaces are just that — marketplaces designed to help businesses connect with influencers. And while there are plenty of tools out there that will help you discover influencers for social platforms, there simply is no substitute for the experience and expertise an influencer marketing agency can provide for your business. Influencer marketing is a relationship based business. And agencies like Viral Nation have all the relationships and proven experience to skyrocket your business’s social presence.
Though we covered some key elements of finding local influencers in this article, keep in mind that these strategies are just a few of the many ways you can go about your search. It goes without saying that actual personal interaction and old-fashioned networking is still important when it comes to building social currency within your community. Your community exists outside the boundaries of the world wide web, so don’t neglect that element of your efforts.
There is also an abundance of additional search features, databases, and tools online that can help you find influencers in your geographic who have an active audience who are interested in your business.
Powerful and talented influencers, no matter their follower counts, can help you expand the reach of your business on social, positively impact your brand image, and help engage your audience and attract new customers. So what are you waiting for?
READY TO GET STARTED WITH INFLUENCER MARKETING?