Big brands use social media influencers as a way to reach a large portion of their target audience. And while they are making deals with models and celebrities, that’s not really a good approach for a small local business. But local businesses don’t have the budget for high-profile celebrities, and they don’t really need to. Furniture retailers can leverage social influencers.
Here are some steps you can take to find and utilize social media influencers to engage your target audience:
- Keep the Focus in Your Community
One of the best things that you have going for you is being a local business. Rather than adhering to a strict corporate policy and stocking generic products that customers can find at any big box retailer, you can adapt to the styles and tastes of your community. This is what your customers love about you, and this is the type of marketing that works really well on Instagram and other social media platforms. You can consider throwing a special event for your customers like a Girls Night with drinks and appetizers or a design focused event and inviting special VIP members of your community. You can offer an incentive, such as a discount, for them to post about the event they are attending.
- A Social Influencer Doesn’t Need a Huge Online Following
You don’t need to look for members in your community with thousands of Instagram followers or a nationally acclaimed blog. Start by asking your own friends and family who they follow and trust on their own social media accounts. You may be able to reach out to people who are very active on different platforms like Facebook and Instagram and enjoy posting about businesses they visit or local events they frequent. Remember, a little can go a long way with a digital audience!
- Do Not Pay Someone to Leave a Review of Your Business
Influencer marketing is not about paying someone to leave a five-star review. That is disingenuous, and if you propose that to a customer, they could tell the people in their circle not to trust your business. Rather, reach out to a social influencer and ask if they would be willing to visit your store and create an honest post about your business in exchange for a unique discount.
Ask if they would take photos or video while shopping at your store and post that they were at your store’s location, or alternatively they could post a photo of an item they purchased and tell their audience if they are happy with their purchase. If they do accept a discount, it is important that they use the hashtag #ad to be completely aboveboard with influencer marketing policy. They can explain that they were offered a discount in exchange for an honest take on your business!
- What is a Social Influencer Worth?
The price of a post from an influencer can range from millions of dollars for a single post (hello, Kardashians) to a free sample in exchange for a review on a blog. We suggest small businesses start by offering a discount and working from there. Most influencers will be happy with a discount that they couldn’t get off the street, and if they do ask for more, you can consider how big their audience is and how much their followers align with your target audience before meeting their demands. Remember, your strategy is to reach a digital audience that is likely to visit your store and enjoy your products. Don’t feel the need to utilize social influencers just because their posts get a lot of likes if the people liking their post aren’t right for your business.