How to manage micro-influencers

Mar 08, 2017

Micro-influencer marketing is incredibly powerful but managing the campaigns efficiently is no easy task. There’s a delicate balance to be struck between getting people to promote your brand and making sure they enjoy the process.

There are two major phases of managing a micro-influencer campaign: the onboarding process and the ongoing management. Both are absolutely vital if you’re looking to succeed and dropping the ball on either will greatly reduce the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Onboarding micro-influencers

We’ve all heard the saying “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This is definitely true for micro-influencers that you want to promote your brand. How you onboard a new team member will set the tone for both their work ethic and your collective relationship down the line. There are four objectives you want to achieve:

1. Make them feel like they are part of the team

First, it’s important to make them feel like they are part of the team. If you’ve read our other posts about micro-influencers then you’re aware just how important the aspect of “community” is for recruiting and rewarding your team members.

An easy way to achieve that right off the bat is by introducing them to the other team members. Mention them in your private Facebook group or include them in a micro-ambassador newsletter for example. Make them feel welcome and appreciated - this will translate directly into how enthusiastic they will be about promoting your brand.

2. Get them excited

Remember: your micro-influencers and brand ambassadors are not your employees and you shouldn’t treat them as such. They’ve joined your team because they like your brand, want to be identified with it, and are looking to be part of a small circle that has exclusive access to information and goodies.

Make sure to remind them, either in a single message early on or throughout the onboarding process in smaller batches, about all the exciting benefits of being your brand ambassador. Mention the exclusive goodies, rewards, access, events, and monetary rewards. Even better, if you already have an ambassador that has been performing exceptionally well and has benefited from being on your team - share them as an example. The more tangible the benefits feel to your new team member the better.

3. Set expectations

Many brands drop the ball here. They do a good job of getting new team members excited but are then surprised when these people who were showing so much passion not too long ago don’t take any action.

Often it’s due to them simply not being sure what’s expected of them. You can avoid this by painting a picture of what their journey as your brand ambassador will look like. Let them know what they can do right now, what rewards they can expect as a result as well as what else is in store in the next couple of months.

You’re looking to give them actionable tasks and prevent them from getting overwhelmed while keeping their excitement alive.

4. The first step is the hardest

A deciding factor for software companies (like ours) when it comes to retaining customers is whether they actually used the product. The reality is that life often gets in the way. Someone might be interested in your product but they get so busy with other stuff that they forget trying it out and eventually cancel. This means that it’s incredibly important to help customers make that first step. The same applies to your micro-influencers. Team members who do something for you (e.g. like sharing your content) early on will be more committed and stay on longer as a result. Give them an easy to complete task early on and they will be far more likely to become become amazing brand ambassadors for your business.

Ongoing management of micro-influencers

If you’ve followed the advice given above and optimized your onboarding process then you’re already far ahead of the competition. That said, onboarding is just the starting point - it’s just as important to continue managing your micro-influencer campaigns well.

Community Building

Arguably the most important part of making a micro-influencer program work is creating a sense of community for your team. The more interaction there is between your team members, the more enjoyment they will get out of participating.

One of the most powerful free community building tools you have at your fingertips is Facebook Groups. Creating an exclusive group for your team gives them a digital hangout. Somewhere they can connect, share information, articles, links, cat gifs etc. One of the great thing about Facebook is any time something is posted in the group, everybody gets a notification. And since most people live on Facebook anyway – you’re sure to keep people attentive and engaged.

Communication

How you will communicate with your micro-influencers depends on your team members and their preferences. If you have an exclusive Facebook group and all your team members joined it then it could be your sole means of communication with them.

Email is the more conventional way to keep in touch but many times, younger people don’t really manage email that well. You might find that messages occasionally get lost in a sea of unread junk mail. Also, you’re not getting the same community effect often provided by Facebook. But, especially for one-on-one communication email is still a popular and effective channel for communication.

Same goes for phone calls and SMS – Very to the point and a great response rate, but again it’s hard to build community over a group text or conference call. Also people tend to guard their phone number and even email a bit more than their Facebook.

Our personal (and biased) recommendation would be to use your Facebook group for general announcements and an app like CrewFire for getting people to share your content. When you suggest content through CrewFire they get email and/or SMS notifications so you can be sure that they won’t miss your content.

Tracking

If you’re running micro-influencer campaigns, you’re going to want to keep tabs on your team’s social media activity. This is especially true if you’re providing performance based incentives. It could be as crude as requiring your team to post screenshots of their posts in the Facebook group, or they can send them to you directly via sms or email.

The more elegant solution would be to use an app like CrewFire. Check it out if you’re interested in streamlining accountability and reporting for your team’s online activity.

Rewarding

How to reward your ambassadors is such an important topic that we dedicated an entire blog post to it. Check it out: How to reward and motivate micro-influencers.

Outsource the management of micro-influencers

If that all sounds like a huge headache then there’s one final option we haven’t mentioned yet: outsourcing your micro-influencer management. If you read this post then you’re aware how much work goes into running efficient and effective micro-influencer campaigns. It’s unquestionably worth the effort but some companies simply don’t have the manpower or time to figure out the ins-and-outs of ambassador marketing. If that’s you then you can drop us an email at [email protected] and inquire about our micro-influencer and brand ambassador management services.

Thanks for tuning in. Hopefully you learned a few new tips and tricks to make your micro-influencer campaigns more effective and efficient.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through email or drop your two cents below in the comment section.