The Power of Micro-Influencers: Smaller Audience, Bigger Impact

There are over 2 billion social media users worldwide and, somehow, even more opinions about how to engage with them. One trend that is currently skyrocketing across marketing strategies is the use of “social media influencers” to reach audiences through non-traditional advertising. These accounts have established themselves through a specific fan base, varying from celebrities with over a million Twitter followers to niche blogs with 500 subscribers, and are used to partner with a brand to promote a product and engage in a conversation with your shared audience.

While there’s no surefire way to predict the next viral sensation (the internet has weird tastes), we here at PEKOE are bringing you five tips to help elevate your brand’s social media engagement through influencers.

1) Go Big, or Go Micro. On opposite ends of the influencers scale are celebrities and micro-influencers. Maybe your in-law’s second cousin’s childhood neighbor teaches yoga to Jennifer Lawrence? If not, you might be in the market for a micro-influencer. These social media personas are followed by a specific audience as a “thought leader” for a given topic or interest. While their follower count might be a fraction of Kylie Jenner’s, a recent study of engagement across Instagram revealed that the highest rate of interaction between accounts occurred at around 1k followers, with a steep drop off after 10k. Consider finding someone uniquely in tune with the audience you’re pursuing, even if they’re missing that coveted blue check by their name. If a tweet is posted by a verified user but no one interacts with it, was it ever really tweeted?

2) Keep it real. One speculative cause of increased interactions between users with fewer followers is the growing desire for consumers to have authentic connections online with a fellow user that they trust. When seeking out an influencer online, your most important criteria should be whether they have a genuine connection to your brand and can promote it to their following with a true interest. Micro-influencers work best when they allow you to sincerely tap into a niche audience that already exists for your brand, rather than try to win over a larger crowd with a disingenuous message.

3) Keep it really real. The mad dash for internet clout has produced some pretty shady methods to amass followers. With fake account farms spreading across all platforms of social media, it’s important to find an influencer that you can trust and depend on to carry your brand’s image with integrity. Do some background research before you commit to a certain account to make sure that your influencer has built an authentic following from their expertise in a topic. If you don’t have the time to scroll through hundreds of followers looking for bots on Twitter, don’t worry: the internet has you covered.

4) If your audience is listening, listen too. The journey can be just as rewarding as the destination, and that holds true on your quest for a social media influencer! Pay attention to the audience you encounter as you seek out the top voices for your brand and you’ll get some insight on the organic conversation happening within that community.

Instagram now allows you to follow hashtags and Twitter lets you make lists of specific users to create an alternate, curated feed. Keeping your finger on the pulse of your audience’s broader social media presence will allow you to make smarter, more effective decisions when engaging online personally, or through an influencer.

5) Join the conversation. The influencer you were looking for was inside you the whole time. Sometimes, one of the most effective ways to reach your audience online is to personally engage through your own social media account. Executives across industries have found varied ways to harness their own social media experience to give customers a peek into their real life. In doing this, they create a similar effect as an influencer by allowing an audience to feel like they’re personally connected to the leader of a brand, and thus more likely to build brand loyalty.

The internet can be an overcrowded, hypersaturated stream of promotions and endorsements, but it has the potential to connect you with a previously untapped audience when you commit to engaging them in a meaningful, targeted way. To create an organic conversation, you need to seek out the influencers and followers that already exist within your potential audience, listen to what is shared between them, and create an authentic campaign inspired out of their community. In the meme-time, we’ll leave you with this.