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How you can use geo reporting to find influencers

There’s a lot of value in geo reporting aside from just getting a general idea of where your fans and followers live. In this post we’ll walk through a particular example: You’re setting up a bar in a new city and you want some local influencers to get interested in your brand. We’ll say your bar is focused on craft beer and you’re in NYC.

They don’t have to be huge influencers either; as a newer brand, you likely can’t afford to spend all of your marketing on hosting a celebrity influencer. Local influencers can be more effective though, as micro-influencers are often shown to have higher engagement levels with their audiences than the big ones do. This is especially true if they’ve built their influence around a particular area.

Sound good? Let’s get to it! And if you’ve got questions, comments or concerns you can always find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Step 1: Find craft beer and cocktail enthusiasts in your city

For this example we’ll focus on our Instagram geo reporting, since food and beverage does extremely well on Instagram and that’s where most people look when they’re looking at influencers. If you’re interested in our Twitter geo reporting, you can learn more here.

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up a topic tracker that’s relevant to your business interests, in this case NYC craft beer. Once it loads and gathers up some good data (if it’s not in your backfill, wait a few days to start digging in) you’ll find your geo report at the bottom:

geo report influencers 1

And the good news is that so far the people discussing this topic on Instagram are located in NYC. Click “View geo report” to go deeper. This will pull up a world map where you can see 5k people around the NYC area are talking about this (and geo-tagged a location in their post).

Click on the map marker to zoom into the NYC area a little closer and you get this:

geo influencers 2

The ellipses mean there’s more than one location on that pin, so you can keep zooming in as much as you need to. Drill down into different neighborhoods to see who your competition is (other craft beer-focused bars), which local breweries you want to cultivate a relationship with, and which NYC craft beer loving influencers are frequenting both of these places.

Which brings us to the next section, the posts within the map area. This post list shows:

  • Post thumbnail and info, including the account that shared it and the caption
  • The post timestamp indicating when it was posted
  • The number of likes and comments the posts received
  • How many impressions were generated by this post
geo influencers 3

In this list you can see a good influencer candidate at the top and some potential competition for your brand below them. Follow both. Nurture your relationship with the influencer (more on that in the next step) and learn from your competition.

What’s their strategy? How is it working for them? What can you bring to the community that they aren’t or can’t? What’s working for them that you can reshape to fit your own brand? Analyze their approach to help you hone your own and keep checking in with them as you grow to keep your strategy fresh and competitive.

Step 2: Follow and target them for campaigns

Now that you have a list of influencers to start working with, you should follow them from your brand account. We’ll skip ahead and point to step 4 here too: Don’t be creepy about it. Follow them and like a post or two, but don’t scroll back to the beginning of their feed liking and commenting on every post. That’s bad Instagram etiquette for brands as well as other users.

Stay active as their follower, liking and commenting on relevant posts. Encourage any activity engaging with your own account too, as their followers might start interacting with your account as it overlaps with their interests and/or they see the influencer engaging with you. You can also consider some targeted Instagram advertising to compliment your organic strategy if that’s within your brand’s resources.

Step 3: Invite them to a soft opening

Once you’ve built a good enough rapport, use it to send some personalized invitations to the influencers and active community members you’d most like to cultivate a relationship with to come by your bar for its soft opening. You could also plan a behind-the-scenes tour, private tasting, preview dinner or whatever makes the most sense for your brand and the resources you have to work with.

Just make sure you plan everything so it’s extremely Instagrammable, focusing on good lighting, a festive atmosphere and good plating if you’re serving food. (That means plenty of power outlets and extra chargers too.)

Step 4: Don’t be creepy

This is probably the most important step because if you use your geo knowledge to be creepy you’ll wind up alienating all of the influencers you want to work with and possibly the community your brand needs to be a part of in order to be successful.

As a general rule, don’t be aggressive and overly salesly in your interactions with influencers or the fans and followers you attract organically. Just communicate like a human being on social media with shared interests because that’s what you are behind the brand, after all.

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