Have you heard of social media influencers? If you follow any celebrities, bloggers, or former reality show contestants on social media platforms like Instagram, you’ve likely come across a few.
Social media influencers partner with businesses to advertise the business’s products or services to the influencer’s social media fans and followers, which is called influencer marketing.
Essentially, influencers act as brand spokespeople by touting the benefits of a product or service, but they do so in a way that’s non-threatening and often even hard to identify as an ad (which has actually prompted the FTC to begin regulating influencer posts so companies can’t mislead consumers).
And while you probably don’t have the cash to pay a Kardashian a reported six-figure sum to post about your product, there are some great lessons you can learn from social media influencers to better market your local business.
Social media influencers are all about building a brand, and they do this by developing a clear voice and look they carry across their social media platforms and websites.
In the same way, your business needs to have consistent branding and messaging no matter where you are online. This includes a consistent look and feel across your social sites that ties into your website. This also means consistent information about your business across the web, including directory listings. Your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) should read the exact same anywhere information about your business is listed. This helps with brand recognition and plays into SEO.
One of the things that makes influencer marketing successful, in my opinion, is the authenticity of the partnership between the influencer and the corporate sponsor. For example, I follow a lot of fashion or lifestyle bloggers who partner with accessory designers or skin care companies, which flawlessly matches up to their projected message. Nothing is more awkward than a partnership that just doesn’t work. It loses its authenticity.
In the same way, your business needs to stay on message with the type of information you provide, the content on your website, and even the way you interact with your prospects and customers. This ties into branding – clear and consistent branding includes similar messages across the web, no matter where consumers are searching.
Social media influencers are excellent at building a community. They take the time to respond to comments, answer questions, and give audiences a glimpse into their lives that makes them seem human and relatable.
Your business needs to nurture your community as well. This includes your fans and followers on social media and your current customers. Make sure you’re engaging with your audience on social media and on review sites. And, be sure to reward your “insiders” with special offers or incentives that keep them coming back.
If you follow a social media influencer, you’ve probably noticed how often they’re posting. And, not all of their posts are #sponsored. This gives them an opportunity to further engage with their audiences and stay top of mind in the crowded digital space.
Your local business should be consistently putting out fresh content, too. Whether that’s refreshing your paid ads, posting updates on social media, or updating pieces of your website, you shouldn’t remain stagnant or you may fall behind competitors.
Social media influencers are generally early adopters. You probably noticed they were the first ones to play around with Instagram stories or hold a Facebook Live tutorial. They’re constantly looking for new, fun ways to engage with their fans and get the word out about their latest endeavors.
As a business owner, you also have the opportunity to play around with new ideas and strategies. Think about some different ways you can market your business to new audiences, like through geofencing, email marketing, or Facebook advertising. Testing new ways to grow your business can be fun and rewarding.
Influencer marketing is an interesting way for companies and brands to reach new audiences, and with these tips, you can steal a few ideas from social media influencers to connect with your audience, improve your web presence, and get new customers online.