Micro-influencers are individuals who have a small but very loyal group of followers. They represent in the digital world just what small businesses represent for the economy: micro-influencers are a significant but almost invisible part of the Internet viral phenomena.
We have been working with several brands from a variety of industries to find out which individuals are still out there flying under the radar. We use Instagram and Twitter as our preferred platforms because a) they are ubiquitous among micro-influencers b) they provide functionality to freely contact users without much fuss (as opposed to Facebook, Snapchat or LinkedIn).
Searching an Ocean of Data
Both Instagram and Twitter provide two great attributes to start with: the most obvious is the number of followers and the other, very often overlooked, is the self-description of the user (bio). In a nutshell, our technique consists of creating a database of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of users and then selecting a subset according to their number of followers range and terms in their bio.
Of course, there are many sub-steps involved, but the bottom-line of our strategy is really straightforward: the more fish we catch, the more chances we have o finding a big one.
On a typical project we might end up with a few million individuals and we will look at people with a number of followers between 1,000 to 20,000 and if necessary, filter them by location as well. Furthermore, we will use terms mentioned on their bio to refine the first results: for example, if we are working for a Cosmetic Company, maybe words like makeup, fashion, beauty etc. will yield a more relevant set of individuals.
We proceed with the search in two ways: first by fishing in our own pond (on a typical one year period, we gather 350 million photos on Instagram and 1 billion tweets) and using real-time data fresh from Instagram and Twitter APIs (which will be the ocean in our fishing metaphor).
There are of course many tricks we use to approach the target more rapidly. One of my favorites is to collect followers from similar brands and related publications. To use the case of the cosmetic industry again: we would extract followers from makeup bloggers, fashion publications and so on and add them to the data pool to be examined.
Activation is the phase where a brand manager will start a conversation with the potential candidates she is interested in inviting to become brand micro-ambassadors.
Our clients get very creative at this part of the project and we think the more creativity the better! Depending on your target, you can invite people for breakfast or send them a sample of a makeup kit. Thankfully, there is no shortage of ideas and business cases we can come up with, so this is a rather painless and even fun process.
We provide monthly reports identifying new micro-influencers, categorizing and suggesting ways in which your brand may interact with them and evaluate the results of previous activations.
What we can do for you
We will work with you to define a target, the corresponding activation and then qualitatively monitor its reach.
Interested? Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org or come meet us at are event in Miami on October 27th!
Elife is a 12-year old Social Media boutique dedicated to all things social, including helping brands to develop micro-influencers marketing projects. Some of our clients include L'Oreal, Coca-Cola and IKEA