Until recently, our concept of celebrity influence was almost exclusively tied to the silver screen or huge record deals. With the advent of social media, the new generation of Brad Pitts are more likely to be popular bloggers or vloggers (video bloggers). These influencers are pairing up with brands more often to create promotional content and drive sales – a tactic which can especially help small web store owners.

Why include social media influencers in your marketing?

Very simply: influencers are social media mavens, and they know what they are doing. Their entire success relies on his or her being able to influence peers into wanting the same things she or he has posted, so you can trust that they have a firm grasp on how to use their social media channels. Including a blogger with a large audience can help bring in new eyes to your store goods, especially if you sell to consumers aged 12-32. Additionally, native advertising – placing products and services in an organic, rather than artificial, setting – works. One study found that purchase intention among consumers is 53 percent higher for native ads than traditional marketing.

In short? A social media influencer could be just the spice your shop needs. To help you, I have prepared specific tips on attracting new customers via social media influencers.

#1 Choose the right person!

  • Do not run head on towards the first influencer you hear about. Spend some time first thinking about the target audience you want to hit: who is your audience currently? Do you want to expand in age, gender, or another demographic? Once you have that in mind, look for an influencer who matches both your brand (e.g., fashion blogger, technology vlogger, etc.) and is popular among your demographic.
  • Spend a little time following your choice on social media: how often do they post? How many likes do they get? Which platforms are they most active and popular on? Do they have active followers who comment, or is it mainly passive likes?
  • Still having trouble picking an influencer? There are several companies who can help match you through their networks.

#2 Contact potential influencers

  • After you have a few people in mind, contact them. Make sure to start off strong: you want to build a relationship with them. Introduce them to your brand, explain why you think they are the right fit for your company/product, ask which products they like. Engage with them through social media channels, and create a rapport. Get to know them before you make a deal.

#3 Time to make a deal

  • Be very clear in your expectations, as well as what you are offering. This includes number and frequency of posts, which platform(s) they will use, and what your idea of potential success looks like. Be sure to share these with your influencer, as they have the best insight into their audience and can tell you how feasible your goals are.
  • This also includes reimbursement: smaller stores often give product or services for free in exchange for posts, while larger stores generally pay.
  • Do not forget customer service: decide who will answer follower questions on posts!

#4 Track your results

  • Make sure you keep a record of how well each post does. Did followers react? What was their response? Were there conversions? If you are unhappy with the results, share your concerns with the influencer. If nothing seems to change in subsequent posts, consider finding a new channel, or maybe even influencer, for your products.

Whether you are just starting out looking for a social media influencer, or you wanted a refresher course, it is going to take some time to nail down the right person. Do not let one or two misfortunes with an influencer turn you away; do your due diligence, communicate your goals, and you will find a successful partnership.