Do you associate Influencers with big brands? It is a huge growth area and while Kylie Jenner might not be available to promote your business anytime soon, many smaller businesses are getting involved – or at least getting requests
A few weeks ago, we received the following email regarding our holiday villa.
We are a couple of travel influencers interested in booking one of your properties for this summer for a week.
We are interested in the months of July or August but if you don't have anything available we can make it work even in September.
Please let us know if you have something available and if you are interested we can promote your properties for free.
We are now making our last preparations for this summer and I would be grateful for your prompt reply.
With no name, business name, website or most importantly no idea of how many followers on what platforms we decided to ignore it and assume it was spam.
There is lots of talk at the moment about influencer marketing, when someone promotes your business, services or products in return for payment or product.
It is becoming so prevalent that some children are citing “influencer” as their choice of future job.
Many celebrities are influencers and it is concern that their posts may not make it clear that payment or payment in kind has been received. Posts should be clear about this. Recently the Advertising Standards Agency ruled that anyone with over 30 000 followers would be declared a celebrity and required to make clear they were being paid to post.
Influencer marketing is a grey area. A form of it has been around for a long time, for example Journalists writing about a restaurant in return for a free meal or Delia Smith saving the fortunes of a saucepan maker by using their pan. However, with the advent of social media, influencer marketing has taken off in a big way.
Even as a small business you may be able to persuade someone with a large social media following to promote your products. Just make sure that their followers are genuine (the followers of many Instagram accounts have been bought, are fake or are bots) and more importantly likely to be interested in your product.
Using the right influencer can be a good way to promote your business, there is nothing like an endorsement by a third party of your products or services. They do not have to be a celebrity, just someone whose followers are your target audience.
Most small businesses are not interested, or able to use an influencer. However social media does allow other people to endorse your business.
Many of the businesses that we work with have what we like to refer to as their own fan clubs. A group of people, either customers or strategic partners who are happy to engage with and often share their posts.
This makes a huge difference to the reach of their social media posts.
Many of the businesses we work with have good reputations and get lots of recommendations in Facebook groups.
Building on this kind of customer loyalty can really help grow your business and in a way, you have your very own influencers.
To build your own fan club you need to engage with people you know or whose business is a good fit with your own. By creating genuine interaction, you can build a relationship of mutual benefit to both your businesses.
Who knows, this way you may even find an influencer who can promote your business.
As with all social media it is about developing relationships.
As a final thought. Do you know who is the most powerful influencer? The Duchess of Cambridge - and hers is an endorsement that money can’t buy.