There is power in word of mouth advertising, but if you’re having trouble just getting people in your digital door, it might be hard to accomplish. Word of mouth happens when people hear about you, so how do you get more people to hear about you? Keep reading and find out!

People prefer personal referrals

92% percent of all consumers trust referrals from people they know and 49%, according to Twitter, seek guidance about what to purchase from social media influencers. People have adopted the newest way of procuring instant trust, and it doesn’t have to be someone they know personally anymore. It can be someone they merely “follow” on social media like Kylie Jenner.

You don’t have to spend a fortune

Granted, getting Kylie Jenner to be a spokeswoman for your product or service would be expensive, but think smaller. There are influencers, and micro-influencers, who are people just like Ms. Jenner, but with a much smaller following and who generally work or specialize in a specific industry and frequently share social media content related to that industry. The best part is that these people cost very little to employ to get the word out about your business.

But their following is smaller than mine?

Don’t be fooled by their paltry looking 2k “Likes” or Followers/Following. The fact is, micro-influencers have a much better rate of engagement than those with more of a following. As an influencer’s following increases, their engagement decreases. The number of comments, likes and other engagement metrics sharply decreases as more people jump on board. You want to actually look for those people who only have 1k- 2k followers on Facebook or Twitter, and then ask if they’d like to help promote your business, and it won’t cost much.

Who to choose

There will certainly be research required to make sure you get the person or people most suitable for your industry. You also want to make sure that the people you choose align with your own brand and story. You wouldn’t put a fox in a hen house, so don’t use any influencers you don’t personally like, or feel you have something in common with. You also wouldn’t pair Kylie Jenner with auto parts sales, because most of her followers wouldn’t care even a little about auto parts, but if you were selling makeup palettes, then she’s the best one you could go for. You want the influencer you choose to be the best representation of your industry, and the reflection of how you feel about your business.

Right under your nose

These people may be hiding on your OWN social media page! Your fans are the best place to start your search, since they already like you and might be more inclined to work with you. Look at their pages, and their number of friends and followers, if they’re any kind of influencer it would say so by what type of page they have, and how many people are following them. It may also state it in their employment sections.

If your business sells physical products like an egg slicer for instance, you could approach food bloggers, or chefs in your area who are well-known to approach about a partnership. You can outright pay them, but you could also just offer to give away your product to them in return for a shameless plug. If you’re selling a service like manicures, you might want to approach that regular who always comes, and see who they follow on social media, or ask if they have any following themselves.

Facebook Search?

You can use Facebook’s search bar to find influencers using tags that every single one of us has built up over time. All of us have hundreds to thousands of tags to our names for the sole purpose of delivering dynamic content that is personalized, as well as advertising. This is meant to be passive and unnoticed, where it would just normally appear organically in a News Feed, but those tags exist, and they’re working every day. You can make these tags work in your favor while looking for an influencer by typing in your industry, but be specific.

Facebook isn’t fond of long strings to search with so you may need to be creative and find all the jobs which might fall under your industry to search. There are also other sites like BuzzSumo which will help you do a search for influencers, as well as see the statistics of every influencer given by the search query. It will even allow you to target micro-influencers with a category called “Regular People”.

What do I offer them?

While money is the obvious answer, you could offer them anything at all, but it should be something that will provide instant value to their lives. Many will tell you no, but keep trying and you’ll get plenty who will agree instead. If you’re the manicure establishment, consider offering free manicures to the person for a year. If you’re selling the egg-slicer, give away a gift package of that slicer and anything else you’re selling as trade for the plug. Sometimes, only money speaks the loudest and that’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to pay what they want.

Don’t waste time or insult them

These influencers might have smaller followings but those followers are LOYAL and are worth a great deal. It’s also hard work keeping a blog and presence active and engaging, and by offering them pay for their services, you’re showing the respect due to them for creating and maintaining such a thing, and appreciation for the work that has gone into it.

Ask them how much they would like to do what you’re asking if you cannot give away a product or service, but don’t lowball them. You have room to negotiate, but don’t go too low because it’s terribly insulting. When you message them or speak to them, be sure you mention why you’re messaging in the first few lines. You want to open with why you want to partner with them, and then you can explain why you think it’s a mutually good idea. This just saves lost time if its not a good fit, and it also shows you’re direct and clear about your goals.

Original picture by Freepik