Micro-influencers are a hot topic. In a world of Selena Gomez and the Kardashians (with millions of followers), micro-influencers are stealing headlines with their ability to get big results from far smaller numbers of followers. Micro-influencers have also been shown to have a 60% higher engagement rate than big name celebs.
But who are these mystery micro-influencers you’re overlooking? If you’re part of an organization, there might be a whole team of potential micro-influencers sitting right under your nose… or in the next office over. That’s right, your own employees could be the ultimate micro-influencer.
Still not sure what a micro-influencer is? Let’s start by looking at the influencer marketing trend, and what’s making CMOs and marketing departments take notice.
What is B2B Influencer Marketing?
An influencer is someone who leverages their following to promote a product, aka “sponsored posts.” Influencer marketing has become a go-to method for B2B marketers due to its effectiveness in reaching audiences across a wide range of fields from IT and professional services to financial services and the travel industry. 71 percent of people reported making buying decisions from recommendations they were given on social media.
Why Micro-Influencers are Gaining Popularity
In a world where it’s increasingly easy for audiences to block ads, social media influencers can still get messages through to their followers. 94 percent of marketers say they find influencer marketing to be an “effective practice.”
What’s the difference between an influencer and a micro-influencer? A micro-influencer is defined as a social media influencer with a smaller number of followers. While the number of followers is usually between 1,000 to 100,000, it’s a far cry from the mega-watt celebrities of Instagram. Micro-influencers with 30,000 followers or less have been shown to get 6.7x more engagement than a large-scale influencer.
Are Your Employees the Ultimate Micro-Influencer?
The stats on micro-influencers are undeniably impressive. Yet, the results from employee influencers could be even more alluring. Brand messages are re-shared 24x more on social networks when shared by an employee.
When employees share messages they had 561% more reach versus the exact same message shared on the company’s branded channel. It could be because employee posts are seen as more unbiased so they have more implicit trust than brand channels. In an age of advertising overload, it’s not hard to see why people would prefer human messages to those from brands.
Employees have also been proven to have better reach than brand channels on social media sites. On average, employees have 10x more connections than brand channels. It could be that brand channels are better at broadcasting than connecting to people, but it’s a clear advantage for employees over brands.
Where Micro-Influencers are Focusing Their Activity
What are some of the best social networking sites to focus your employee micro-influencers? It’s important to keep in mind the kind of business you have and where you’ll be able to best connect with customers who are interested in you. Certain companies don’t lend themselves to Pinterest mood boards. Others may not be a good demographic fit for the younger audiences on Snapchat.
It’s also important to keep an eye on the numbers. A recent influencer marketing survey shows where influencers are spending the most time. Not surprisingly, Instagram takes the top spot for micro-influencers with 99% spending time on Instagram. Followed by 70% who spend time on Facebook and 46% who spend time on Snapchat. Twitter was the next most popular with 42% of influencers spending time there. YouTube had 37%, and Pinterest had influencers spending 27% of their time there.
Key Benefits of Enabling Your Employees to Become Micro-Influencers
An employee advocacy program can enable a company to create dozens, even hundreds, of unsponsored micro-influencers (aka your employees). With 76 percent of people reporting they’re more likely to trust content shared by people in their social network versus branded content, there are big reasons to transform your employees into advocates for your brand.
You can both grow your business, and build your employer brand to better attract new hires. There are positive internal effects too. An employee advocacy program can help you mobilize your sales team and streamline communications throughout your organization. Considering a disengaged employee can cost a company $10,000 in annual profit, it’s also a potential way to foster increased engagement in the workplace.
How Companies Can Enable Employees to Become Micro-Influencers
So, how can companies turn employees into micro-influencers for their brand? It’s not without its pitfalls. Employees must be encouraged. It’s also important to have guidelines, so the right kind of content is shared – both to ensure your brand gets the best results and to protect your company’s online reputation from harm.
Using a proven system for your employee advocacy program will help your new employee micro-influencers create the most effective content for your brand. With employee advocacy software, your company has one centralized portal to create, share and review content making it easier to motivate your employees and unleash the marketing power of micro-influencers.
Now, Put Your Employee Advocacy Program into Action
Ready to spring your employee advocacy program into action? Learn how to create a system for transforming your employees into micro-influencers for your brand. Download our social media guidelines for enterprise.