How SMEs can identify and work with influencers

Working with influencers is a hot marketing topic. Knowing who and how to approach, navigating the expectations of any arrangement and measuring the value of the relationship is all a bit head-hurty. This is especially true if you’re an SME - light on resource, time and budgets. So where do you start?

To help you get started, Maybe* is profiling three of our favourite SMEs to demonstrate how they might identify influencers and what those influencers have been saying about their brands.

Keith Scarrott

Cheltenham-based boutique Keith Scarrott has gone from strength to strength in its approach to social media and reaped the commercial rewards as a result. Using the Maybe* platform has helped CEO, Sophie Scarrott prioritise the right product, get more from her ad spend, and identify some well-heeled influencers at a local and national level.

Working with fellow local businesses is a great way to build influencers in your local community and support one another where you have mutual goals, and customers in common. The Maybe* influencer tool helps you spot who’s creating content and conversation about your brand.

The Pud Store

The Pud Store is a small family run business in the East Midlands with an online presence and a handful of thriving physical stores.

Through Instagram, The Pud Store taps into a captive and active social media audience - mums. Mummy bloggers and proud parents are urged to enter their children to become brand reps. Creating a community of baby influencers is a cute tactic designed to encourage user generated content, and further increase a personal connection between a brand and customers.

The conversation about The Pud Store highlights what’s being said about the brand online. The Maybe* What’s being said report can be used to spot pockets of conversation you could look for influencers within.

Association of Convenience Stores (ACS)

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is a member organisation using social media to communicate with its members. In addition they provide tools and training for local newsagents and convenience stores across the UK, including how to get the most out of technology and social media.

The Who’s got influence report from Maybe* shows that following a training event we ran with ACS members, Maybe* created the most content about them. The report also shows that individual ACS member stores, chains such as Nisa, and trade press such as Talking Retail have influence on the ACS conversation.

TIP: If you’re working with the press or want to, the influencer report is a great tool to help you prioritise those relationships and measure campaigns.

Who are your influencers?

Influencers don’t have to be Instagrammers, bloggers or Youtubers. Put simply, an influencer could be anyone within your local or online community with a lot to say to their own engaged following.

Influencers may be working as such in a professional capacity, but they could just as easily be loyal and vocal advocates from within your existing customer base. While you should be respectful and fair when approaching potential influencers to work with you, honouring their expectations as you would want them to your own, product and money does not always need to change hands. Perhaps you could partner to co-host an event, share space, collaborate on a photo shoot and exchange support with other SMEs in your area or category. Start a conversation and see how each other likes to work.

Knowing what influencers are saying, who to and on what topics is the first step to identifying influencers who share yours and your customers interests.

MaybeTech’s social media influencer tool, find, analyse and engage with influencers on social platforms. See what they’re talking about, who is listening and how you can get your brand in on the action with our influencer analytics? Get started for free.