ist magazine April 2023

Notes from the Road

Use Your Influence to Find Influencers By Lisa Saavedra

U nless you live under a rock, you’ve heard the term “in fluencer.” When we think of influencers, we typically think of people on social media with a ton of followers who get paid to promote a brand. That is mostly true; but let’s dive deeper into the ways you can utilize local influenc ers to grow and bring awareness to your business brand. Influencing Facts • 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow social media influencers! • 33% of Gen-Zers have bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past 90 days. • 50% of Millennials trust an influencer’s product recommendations, compared to 38% for celebrity recommendations. For the most part, influencers fall into one of three categories; macro, micro and nano. A macro-influencer is essentially one step from celebrity and mega-influ encer status. They have anywhere from 100,000 to one million followers and a huge online presence. They tend to charge big money for social media posts because of their large – and usually global – reach. Micro-influencers are the ones I encourage you to work with. They typi cally have 1,000 - 100,000 followers and focus their posts on a niche category. For example, a micro-influencer who loves beauty will post all about makeup, skincare, hair products, etc., while one who loves to cook will post recipes, images of dishes they prepare and more. A nano-influencer typically has a low number of followers, but there is still val ue in utilizing one. They can create great

visual content for use on your social and advertising materials. You can display a counter sign that says something like “Check in on social and be entered to win a free ____!” and have a weekly prize-drawing. Change it up next week: “Post a selfie with your favorite lotion and tag us for a chance to win____!” How can a tanning salon utilize influencer marketing? First, you need to identify key influencers in your area – this is as easy as searching location-rel ative hashtags on Instagram or TikTok. Devoted Creations is located in the Tampa Bay, FL area, so if I wanted to find potential local tanning influencers, Although we tend to think of influencers as people with a zillion followers who get paid well to post, we can scale this down and use it to our benefit on the salon level. I would search hashtags like #Tampa Bay #Tampa #TampaGirl #TampaLife. You could dial that in even further. Let’s say you are near a college, like the University of South Florida. You could search #USF #USFgirls #USFsororities #USFlife #USFBulls – from here, it will find people with public profiles who have posted using those hashtags. Check out their profiles. Do they have a decent follower count? Do they post

often and have good engagement? If the answers are “yes”, reach out! Message them and offer a free month of tanning in exchange for X number of social posts or story mentions. Local brand ambassadors are a great way to gain traction with consumers who may not know about you and your services. Another great search word is “Moms.” Moms love self-care (and are very deserving of it!) and our industry is all about self-care. Search #TampaMom, #MomsofTampa, etc. Offer the same things – free services and even product discounts in exchange for posts. Even if they don’t reach a ton of people, you still get fantastic user-generated content you can post on your own social pages to promote your business. Now, let’s think about current clientele. Do they have good social engagement? Offer them nice product discounts or extra free services in ex change for posts. They already use and enjoy your services, so let them tell their social followers how awesome you are! Although we tend to think of influ encers as people with a zillion followers who get paid well to post, we can scale this down and use it to our benefit on the salon level. Exchanging services for content will help you reach a new audience, as well as create a constant flow of user-generated content which is essential to not only increasing your brand awareness, but also attracting new clientele. n

About the Author: As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales

training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen the IST Magazine “Person of the Year” five times.

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April 2023

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