Local influencers can be invaluable for small businesses that have a regional focus. It’s getting harder attract an organic audience on social media (see Facebook’s algorithms adjustments), so business owners are looking for different ways to attract new customers online. This is where the right influencer can come in handy.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to be a global brand in order to work with influencers. In fact, local influencers usually have higher rates of conversion when compared to celebrity influencers.

Who are Local Influencers?

The term “influencer” is used to refer to those people with a lot of reach and trust with a certain targeted audience. Of course, celebrities are the most “in-your-face” type of influencers, but typically each industry has its fair share of individuals with similar powers.

A local influencer can be anyone from a blogger to a social media personality who is based in the same area as your business. A local influencer can improve your local SEO by improving metrics like social shares, mentions, and natural links.

Now that we established how a good influencer can help you with your SEO, let’s get to the hardest part: finding the right influencers for your business.

The ideal influencer

It’s impossible to create a general description of how the perfect influencer should look like. It all depends on your business niche and what do you need them to help you achieve. But here are a few pointers that might help you create a shortlist:

  • Someone with experience or at least some credible ties in your business industry.
  • Someone with a blog or YouTube channel with quality content.
  • Someone with a solid number of engaged followers on social media.
  • Someone with connections in the local press or at least someone agreed by the local press.

How to Find Local Influencers

Although some of the tips below might not apply to your particular situation, here’s a list of frequent practices that are often used to find local influencers:

Do your homework on social media

Start by scouting for local influencers on social media. Start by checking local groups and local hashtags for people with a good number of followers. If you own a new business, don’t jump on the most popular options because chances are they won’t be interested in leveraging an emergent business. Instead, look for micro-influencers with a focused audience that will earn you better conversions.

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Start on Facebook and then move up to LinkedIn and Twitter. See if you can find a person that has a strong presence on all networks. But even more important, see whether you have any mutual connections with him/her. If one person meets all of these criteria, you just found the ideal influencer for your business.

Use a specialized tool

There’s quite a number of social media tools that could assist your cause. Moz has a great tool called Followerwonk that is quite good at finding influencers for your niche based on Twitter analytics. Another similar tool to consider is Buzzsumo.

how to find local influencers followerwonk 1 - How to Find Local Influencers for Your Small Business

You can create a query and see if is anyone on Twitter that meets those keywords and is local. Once you got their names, use it to do more research about them and see if they fit your business niche. 

Ask your customers

Another popular strategy to scout for influencers is by interrogating your customers. You can ask your customers to complete a short survey after a successful purchase.

Among the all-popular customer satisfaction questions, slip a question about how they found your company – include Influencer among other choices like Yelp, Social Network, Friend Recommendation, Internet, etc.

Do you use other tactics to find local influencers capable of helping your business grow? Let us know in the comment section below.