As we all become increasingly swept up in the social media hurricane, it is important as businesses to identify not only who our audiences are, but the key contacts who can help us reach those audiences effectively.

Influencers are arguably an underrated commodity – whilst the merits of obvious celebrity endorsements such as a Kardashian sister promoting a protein shake or Mo Farah with Quorn are indisputable, there is also much to be said for those who can influence audiences on a smaller scale – the ‘micro influencer’.

As discussed in a recent webinar hosted by Gorkana, the ‘micro-influencer’ is on the rise and more and more businesses are beginning to recognise the benefits of engaging with them, and their audiences thereafter. Whilst the broad audience reach of an Olympic gold medallist (or a reality television star…) can be the right approach for one business, another may well benefit from a more tailored approach, or a more concentrated and specific audience.

A large audience reach is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to utilising influencers on social media; an influencer with a reduced following may well be able to endorse your brand with a more focused approach – as those influencers with a smaller following are likely to be targeting a specific segment of people. Therefore, finding those ‘micro-influencers’ within your space gives your business an open door to a new audience – likely to be those most likely to engage with your brand.

An influencer with a more targeted collection of followers is likely to take more time to consider the brand he or she is endorsing – to ensure that they are buying in to the product before asking their followers to do the same. Besides which, celebrity endorsements can sometimes end up not going to plan and can, on occasion, result in some cringeworthy mistakes such as these – our favourite being Oprah’s tweet on how much she LOVES her Microsoft Surface… Sent from her iPad. Engaging with influencers who move in your space and believe in your cause will guarantee an organic endorsement, which will serve to develop your brand rather than purely guarantee short-term sales.

The ‘micro-influencer’ also provides a business with the opportunity to spark some positive conversations. Familiarising yourself with the relevant ‘micro-influencers’ will allow you to approach those potential brand endorsements with a real knowledge of who they are and what it is they are seeking to do. Approaching a ‘micro-influencer’ with some background knowledge will assure them that they are a top choice and are really valued and understood as an influencer for you. This can, all being well, be the startfor a beautiful friendship!

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So, once you and your business has identified your desired ‘micro-influencers’ when is best to contact them? Arguably, as much advance warning ahead of a campaign or product launch as possible is preferential and beneficial to all parties – this gives ample time to discuss approach and lay the foundations of that relationship from the get-go. In addition, a long lead time ahead of the campaign will allow for a targeted and well-thought out approach to be discussed and considered carefully.

All in all, whilst some business, brands and products do, and will continue to, benefit from the A-list celebrity influencer, there is much to be said for remembering the little guy when it comes to engagement and influencing audiences. Rethinking your business’ approach can result in some big wins – even if on a smaller scale. After all, it is quality, not quantity!