Call it a marketing phenomenon of the digital age, but social influencers may be what your business’s marketing strategy lacks to attract new customers.
You may ask yourself: “What the heck is a social influencer?” In simple terms, it is someone who uses social media regularly, and who has established credibility in a specific industry. They typically have a large audience (in other words, a lot of followers), and can influence their audiences to visit your website with the comments they post on different social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
In the online world, a social influencer is to a business what a traditional advertising campaign aims to accomplish by stirring up interest in what that business provides. By publishing content, influencers reach consumers with their blogs, videos, and social posts that you may not be able to reach on your own. In turn, can help you gain a new audience in which to promote your resort, restaurant, B&B or tourist attraction.
Influencer Engagement Can Help Drive Results
It may seem unlikely, but since people who follow social influencers want to receive their content, what they share or promote isn’t viewed with disdain in the same way digital advertising often is.
According to the “2018 Canadian State of the Creator Economy” report, influencer-related messages on various social channels dominated the top 10 for marketing effectiveness.
It’s also important to note most social influencers are not celebrities, models, or famous athletes. They’re typically creative individuals who dedicate themselves to grow their audiences by sharing their thoughts on different products or experiences. They appeal to the general public because they’re regular folks who are trusted, and their audiences easily relate to them.
For example, Toronto-based shutterbug Edward Row’s Instagram account has more than 47,000 followers. He shares photos of destinations and restaurants he visits, as well as people and other things that capture his eye. His posts typically receive thousands of “likes”.
How to Attract Social Influencers
Oftentimes influencers make money by selling advertisements on their blogs or YouTube channels, or they receive company sponsorships for their work because they can help businesses tap into a target demographic. That doesn’t mean you have to shell out funds to hire them. But it does mean you need to build relationships with them in an authentic way, which includes wooing them with great content.
Therefore, if you want to attract a social influencer to your restaurant, steer clear of sales pitches and use your social media accounts and blog to encourage them to collaborate with you by, for example, writing about the healthy and delicious dishes your restaurant offers, and share great photos of those meals. Remember to use valid hashtags in your posts (three hashtags per post are sufficient; don’t overuse them).
Other ways to get their attention include:
- Follow them, share, comment on and like their posts or blogs
- Mention them in your posts by adding their digital handle (Example: “Love this image taken by @edwardrow. We have similar breathtaking views from our resort.” (And include an image)
- Don’t be afraid to ask them to contribute a guest post to your blog or request to interview them for a blog you’re writing
- Inquire about sponsoring their content
But a word of caution: it’s critical to ensure the social influencers you choose to engage with can deliver tangible results.
That requires the ability to gather and review analytics such as understanding how many “hits” your website receives from an influencer’s blog or social channels. Collecting and analyzing customer data is vital to your success with digital marketing.
If you have a Google Analytics account or a similar way to track visitors to your site, you will be able to determine the amount of web traffic you’re receiving from an influencer, and see if they’re helping you sell your services or increase engagement with consumers.
By: Liam Lahey