How SMBs Can Use Social Influencers to Find Leads


The dust has settled and the buzz has died down, and social influencers are still a relevant, useful part of your business marketing strategy. Especially for SMBs, social media influencers could be a hidden gem of lead generation if you use them appropriately. And while as many as 70% of all brands are measuring their influencer campaign returns, not many understand how to properly execute a solid influencer marketing strategy. 

Let’s start by defining who (and what) social influencers are. 

What is influencer marketing?

Social influencers are individuals who have developed large followings or been designated as an expert in a specific niche or market. These people promote products and services for companies of all types and sizes, usually in exchange for compensation, free products, or even just the exposure of getting more followers. 

This type of marketing is more effective for younger generations who appreciate social proof as part of their buying journey. However, it can be effective for almost any audience if you use it properly. Over 4 billion people are using social media around the world, and that number is only going to continue to grow. Therefore, small businesses that engage with influencers will find plenty of potential for new leads and audiences. 

Why do you need social influencers?

In an article from Brandwatch, various studies and reports showed several reasons that SMBs (and all businesses) need to invest in social influencer marketing:

  • 80% of consumers reported making a purchase based on social media content. 
  • 37% trust social media influencers more than businesses. 
  • 42% of online users have ad-blocking technology that removes a lot of digital ads. 
  • 89% of companies report that their ROI from influencer marketing is better than other channels, or comparable at the least. 
  • 86% of females look to social media for buying opinions and advice. 
  • 74% of consumers say they trust social networks to help them make buying decisions. 

So, as you can see, social media influencers aren’t going anywhere and it’s time for your SMB to get on board if you want to reap all the benefits of this unique marketing avenue. 

Create a plan and goals 

As with any part of your marketing strategy, you’re not going to be able to succeed with influencer marketing without a proper plan. The overall goal is more leads and exposure, of course, but what exactly are you trying to do by using social influencers? Some examples of influencer marketing goals include:

  • Showcase a new product/service 
  • Reach a new target audience or demographic 
  • Drive social traffic to your business website 
  • Increase engagement with social marketing 
  • Build brand authority and reputation 

Of course, when you’re creating your goals, they’ll need to be much more specific than this—SMART goals are a must:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Relevant/Realistic 
  • Time-bound

So, you could make a goal of increasing brand mentions on social media by 25% through social influencer marketing, or perhaps a goal to generate 10% more leads from at least two new target audiences within six months of launching your campaign. 

Once you have goals, you will then be able to create a plan to put social influencers to work for your outreach needs. Your plan should include:

  • How you will accomplish your goals
  • What materials and tools you will use 
  • Whether you will use media outside of social networks for influencer marketing
  • Which social media platforms you will use 
  • What your budget is for social influencer marketing
  • What content you will create/repurpose/share

Find your influencers 

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to go out and find the social influencers that you will work with. There are several ways that you can go about this. You can research popular influencers, find influencers specifically related to your industry or area of expertise, or even just post a request for influencers to reach out to you about a marketing opportunity. 

The good news is that you can do all this for pennies compared to traditional marketing efforts, so it’s affordable in addition to being effective. And when you find the right influencers, the returns are exponentially better. When searching for social influencers, here are some tips:

  • Look for people who you’re already connected with, as they’ll be more willing to collaborate. 
  • Look for frequent commenters or regular engagement from individuals. 
  • Ask your audience if they can help. 
  • Conduct a survey or post a poll to help you choose your influencer(s). 
  • Search hashtags to find relevant influencers. 
  • See what the competition is doing with influencer marketing and borrow from them when you can. 

The returns on influencer marketing speak for themselves 

If you’re doing everything correctly, your social influencers will pay you handsomely, to the tune of more than $5 earned for each $1 spent on these marketing campaigns. Compared to traditional banner ads, that’s an improvement 11 times over on your ROI. That’s no small difference. 

Social influencers are successful because people trust other people. They don’t want companies selling them products and services. They want people to help them find solutions to their problems. That’s exactly what influencer marketing is. And these days, it’s not just for big businesses that have the means to entice social influencers into a partnership. 

Let your influencers use their voice to build your brand. For a fraction of what you’ll spend on the rest of your marketing, you’ll get some of the best resources out there: the people. People listen to other people, which is the main selling point of influencer marketing. 

Speaking of returns, who is returning all the calls while you’re busy with the clients?

Optimizing your influencer marketing strategy means there’s going to be an influx of new leads. If your team is already tapped, consider partnering with the virtual receptionists at We can provide a 24/7 answering service so that you never miss a lead, along with support for lead intake and appointment scheduling. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to 


Business Education
Small Business
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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