Written by: Zoe Share, Founder & Chief Executive Schmoozer, Schmooz Media
Before social media marketing, and even before marketing became an official business function, a business owner would grow their business and connect to new clients by providing a great service that not only spoke for itself but also encouraged others to speak on its behalf. We all know this concept as word-of-mouth.
At Schmooz, we like to think of word-of-mouth in the digital realm as influencer marketing. For small to mid-sized businesses, and especially for new businesses, influencer marketing lends much needed credibility and reliability, and we’re not the only ones who think so, according to Medium there is a current influencer market size of $1.6 Billion.
For a small business owner looking to take advantage of influencer marketing and get others talking about a product or service, the first place you can start with is your current clients. Who better to talk about your product than the people who are currently using it?
Ask your clients about their opinions, listen to what they have to say and be open to their feedback. Building a strong relationship that could lead to referrals and learning how to improve your business? Double the benefit!
Another benefit? Putting time and energy into your current clients is a great way to reach their friends, families and others in their networks.
A good place to start is by asking for permission to take notes or record the conversation to re-purpose your chat into content for your social media. A 20-minute phone conversation with a customer could lead to testimonials that can be turned into blogs and digital art to be shared across multiple platforms. Once these are live, asking the customer to share it within their own personal networks as well. This can lead to a new group of people visiting your website and inquiring about your services. Best of all, they’re doing so because they were introduced to your brand by a trusted source and are therefore more likely to trust your brand as well.
The rise of social media has also led to the rise of influencers. People who have amassed huge social media followings and built a community around themselves or a specific topic. Partnering with them allows you to tap into and create relationships with their already existing communities. There are many reasons why influencer marketing is so effective. It takes advantage of people’s propensity to trust a recommendation from a credible or familiar source, it’s social and can be easily shared across multiple accounts and social networks, and most importantly it’s organic and places your brand within the consumer experience rather than interrupting it.
Many times, business owners allocate time and resources to getting client testimonials and partnering with influencers that they forget who the biggest influencer for their brand is – themselves! You have a voice! Stand tall and be proud of what you are doing and where you are going.
As a business owner, you’re not only knowledgeable about your own product or service, you’re most likely also knowledgeable about the industry in which you operate, the policies that affect that industry and the different market segments within it. Share your expertise. Reach out to industry blogs or other experts and spark a conversation and offer to collaborate on a blog article with them. This is an opportunity to tap into their followers who will naturally read your piece and if interested, visit your website or social media profiles. Having your articles hosted on other websites will also generate back links to your website and search engine optimization (SEO) which will help you show up higher in Google search results.
All this means putting yourself out there, which isn’t comfortable for everyone. But remember this – you’ve come this far. You’ve created a business that you love and now it just needs a little push. Be genuine, listen to the feedback people are giving, and be thankful when they take the time to give it to you. If people like your product or your services, they are often more than happy to help.
Zoe Share is the Founder and Chief Executive Schmoozer at Schmooz Media, a social media marketing and communications agency. Learn more about Schmooz and their services on their website!