An influencer is defined as “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.” Typically an influencer is actively engaged with social media followers in a particular niche – so it can be really helpful to make sure you’re in touch with any influencers active in your target market.

How do you find them? A good way to start is to see if anyone is writing a blog, or producing a vlog (video blog) in your area. You should also check Instagram to see who has a large following featuring photos of products like yours. If you are not sure how to do this, ask your best customers for their favorites. And look to see who is tagging your store on Instagram already.

Social influencer active in your area have hopefully already been in your shop, but a personal invitation can go a long way. Invite them to come in for a private tour of new arrivals, and offer a gift card as a thank you for their time.

It would also be a good idea to host a special social media evening with refreshments and incentives such as door prizes and the opportunity to photograph products up close.  Influencers often enjoy the opportunity to meet each other, especially if they have been following each other’s posts without ever making a face-to-face contact.

Not all types of merchandise have influencers, of course. But if you sell fashion, kitchenware, crafts, or children’s clothes and toys, you should make an effort to see if there are potential influencers in your community who could help you reach new customers for your store.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder