The power of social media and micro-influencers for local businesses
Generating customer acquisition and retention by increasing awareness is the main objective of every local business. The newest trend in digital advertising is the usage of influencers to promote a business and revolutionise its image.
Social media plays a significant role in almost every industry today, especially in gastronomy. Nowadays, having a professional and creative brand in social networks is one of the most influential marketing strategies aiding many businesses to succeed. For many customers, social media platforms and google reviews have become the source of truth to inform themselves and others about the potential of businesses such as restaurants and/or catering providers. Only then do consumers decide whether a visit to the merchant is worth their time and money. For many businesses, the first contact with a company is already made via social media. A new effective marketing operation to address an audience is through so-called “Influencer Marketing”.
So who are influencers and what do they do?
Influencers are people who have managed to build up large communities through their social media channels. They regularly inspire their audiences directly or indirectly with their high reach on Instagram with every post they make.
Influencers have the ability to promote a business, service or campaign across various social media platforms by targeting audiences while remaining true to their voice. Influencer marketing is beneficial for businesses looking to attract and retain new customers through a trusted, authentic source.
The influence of Instagram today
- One in 4 consumers uses Instagram
- Over 1 billion users on Instagram worldwide, around 17 million in the UK
- Average daily usage per User: 60 minutes
What influencers should you choose for your business
The key aspect of Influencer marketing is people. People who have the ability to target an audience in the environment consumers choose to spend their time when it comes to social media. Choosing the right influencer that specialises in a specific topic or category has the ability to increase awareness for your business while engaging with their own audience. Influencers can be categorised by the size of their followers. From the biggest influencers such as international celebrities with the most followers globally to the next category, macro who may just be famous in a country, and the smallest category, micro who are also smaller and local influencers. Generally speaking, small businesses cannot afford macro-influencers due to budget constraints. The best way for small businesses to promote themselves is to work with micro or local influencers that have a relevant audience in their region.
As a local business, take Micro as an example where local influencers also fit in this category, are known to have a higher engagement rate. As the number of followers increases on an influencer, the engagement tends to decrease. This is why micro/local influencers appear more relatable and authentic than celebrities with their humble backgrounds and personalised interactions. They are able to connect with their audience and their audience is able to understand them on a personal level.
How to remunerate influencers?
Merchants who choose to collaborate with influencers can offer remuneration in various ways, with offers such as complementary and discounted meals, products, services, accommodation stays, beauty treatments or monetarily.
In exchange for these offers, Influencers are expected to promote their experiences with a product or service amongst their community by posting on their social networks. This way, authentic marketing content is generated for the respective businesses. This in turn organically increases its brand awareness and leads to client and customer acquisition and retention.
London’s local merchant’s, MBare, rebranded its businesses profile with the use of influencer marketing. From October until December in 2019, 105 influencers were welcomed through its doors which increased foot traffic for the business. In addition to 105 influencers, greater awareness was brought to their audience attention. Now MBare, being one of London’s new dining Hot spots, is often fully booked even on the quietest nights of the week such as Tuesdays. Influencers together had a cumulative reach of > 5 million followers and engagement of >35,000 likes and comments showing traction and results in a short amount of time. In addition to the quality of content and engagement that influencers generate for social media, MBare also receives professional management of their Instagram profile account.
Freachly is the solution provider that helped MBare succeed. Freachly offers software solutions for automatic influencer acquisition, Instagram account management, content distribution to rating platforms and the orchestration of professional photo shootings. Operating in more than 20 cities and having over 35,000 selected influencers and >1,000 partners from the gastronomy, hotel, beauty, and leisure industries. Some of their current partners include Buddha Bar, The Sanderson, Haidilao Hot Pot, Montcalm Beauty and Spa, Flip Out, UCI Kino, Wonderwaffel, Grant Hyatt, and many others.