From Customer to Influencer: Building Your Social Army

Posted on November 12, 2018

If you’ve been in the game long enough, you’ve heard about the social media influencer. They are the next gold rush, as digital prospectors scramble every which way to gain some bit of marketing share with them. But how do you begin working with them? What if you don’t have the immediate capital to pay them? The solution is closer than you think. 

If you’ve sold goods on your store, you’ve almost certainly encountered some level of influencer. An influencer technically is defined as someone with a social media reach to at least 10,000 people. Wow. That’s a heavy number to try to leverage. But here’s the good news: there’s a place for people with smaller spheres too. 

A micro-influencer is defined as someone with a reach of around 1,000 people. That doesn’t seem so unattainable, does it? Odds are, a customer you’ve already sold to is a micro-influencer. By utilizing services such as the Shopify app UserGems, you can identify these micro-influencers and leverage your current customer base to gain new customers. 

It’s the classic principle of volume being your biggest ally in business. Maybe you can’t afford to make a mega-influencer a brand ambassador yet, but by giving discounts to micro-influencers you’ve already sold to, you can still reach the thousands of people. Just use ten micro-influencers. You don’t have to worry about whether or not they like your product, because they’ve bought from you already. They definitely like your product.

That’s also operating under the assumption that you can’t get into a branding deal with a larger influencer. I don’t think that’s as unattainable as it might seem either. Some of the best advice I’ve followed in my life is Shea Serrano’s classic mantra, “shoot your shot.” Play the influencer marketing scene like that theory. As long as your smart about it, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen if an influencer rejects a branding deal? You maintain the status quo? That’s not too bad. Move on and shoot your shot again. Eventually, someone will resonate with your product and you’ll have the deal you’ve been seeking. 

Influencer marketing as a trend may be newer and seemingly difficult to navigate, but when you take a step back and stop panicking, it becomes clear that you’ve got more going for you than you think. Build up your army of customers who are micro-influencers and shoot your shot with big-name influencers. You just might find yourself marketing to tens of thousands of people, and finding that the gold rush runs through your store.