For small businesses, or any business for that matter, marketing and reaching the consumer is all about the numbers. How many people can you expose to the product or service? Social media has simplified and sped up this process in many cases, especially when it comes to social media influencers.

What is a social media influencer?

Social Media influencers are social media “celebrities” with followers in the tens of thousands or even millions. Influencer marketers basically go and buy the product or render the service then go back and give feedback to their followers. Their brand or product choices affect and influence their followers’ opinions.

How do influencers affect business?

Michael Hornsby from Highsnobiety reports that influencer marketing on Instagram especially is now a billion-dollar business. There is no better time to tap into this market and utilise these influencers as marketing tools.

Today, influencer marketing goes further than just an individual making noise about a product or a service. Influencer marketers are now being invited to experience first-hand how the production takes place, improving the working relationship. They are even invited to try out a new range of products before they are distributed to stores.

Think of influencer marketers as being marketers and PR consultants who work on the ground. Being consumers themselves, influencer marketers are knowledgeable experts of what the consumers want. This could be a tool your business can use to further penetrate the market. Influencer marketing has shown to be gathering pace in industries such as the beauty industry and the tourism/travel industry, where make up brands are approaching influencers such as Mihlali Ndamase to help them in marketing their products.

Choosing an Influencer

Demographics are very important when it comes to this type of marketing. Organisations need to research and identify influencers whose followers match their target market.

Another important aspect to consider when using influencers to promote your business is the number of followers. While you might think more followers are always better, this is not necessarily the case. For a small business, an individual with a smaller number of followers that interacts with followers on a personal level might be a better choice than celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Your opinion

What is your opinion of influencer marketing? Have you ever tried it or subscribed to the opinions of influencers? Leave us a comment.

Ayanda Khuzwayo

Ayanda Khuzwayo

Author at Small Business Forum
Yesterdays successes do not guarantee today's, make winning a habit.

Ayanda is a Durban-born, Johannesburg-based writer, blogger and passionate creative. A recent BA Journalism Graduate at the University of Johannesburg, at 22 Ayanda believes knowledge is a life journey, a journey he is determined to embark on. His interests include Music, soccer, business and politics.
Ayanda Khuzwayo

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