You probably already understand the importance of influencer marketing, but have you considered using micro-influencers to promote your brand online? Whereas influencers are often celebrities or social media superstars with a million or more followers, micro-influencers have smaller networks of a few thousand people.

Micro-influencers are rarely public figures, but are usually well respected on social media within their niche. Although their networks are smaller, micro-influencers usually have better engagement rates, making them the perfect choice if authenticity and a personal touch are important factors in your marketing campaign.

How can you find suitable micro-influencers for your brand? Here are six methods you can try.

1. Start With Your Own Customers

Do you already have customers? Are you generating more than $100,000 a month in revenue? Is your brand identity or mission driven such as health / fitness, accessories or apparel?

Then you are ready to recruit micro and nano influencers from your existing customer base!

Smart brands use BrandChamp’s Ambassador Software to recruit and scale their ambassador programs to thousands of participants with less time and effort.

2. Browse Your Follower List

Your own social networks are often the best place to start looking for micro-influencers. Scroll through your lists of fans or followers, looking for people who have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Next, take a look at the profiles of these popular social media users to see which ones share content that resonates with your brand message.

3. Research Hashtags

Hashtag research is a great way to find micro-influencers who are already interested in products and services like yours. Search relevant hashtags to find the accounts sharing the tagged content that gets the most engagement. Be sure to choose your hashtags carefully; instead of jumping on the latest trend, look for hashtags that are highly relevant to your brand.

4. Use Paid Tools

Don’t have time to spend days trawling social networks to find suitable micro-influencers for your brand? Speed up the process by using a paid tool. Buzzsumo, Ninja Outreach, and Followerwonk can all help you quickly identify the social media users that would make the best micro-influencers for your brand. The easy searching and sorting tools that these services provide make them well worth the fee.

5. Get Savvy With Advanced Search

If your marketing budget can’t stretch to paid tools, you need to become a savvy searcher. Did you know Twitter offered an Advanced Search option, which you can use to search for tweets that mention particular people or come from particular locations? This tool allows you to pinpoint specific types of content and the users that post them.

6. Join Social Media Groups

It is likely that groups relevant to your target topics already exist on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Join these groups and review their recent activity to identify the most valuable members. Once you have a list of regular contributors, you can view their activity to work out which individuals are a good fit for your brand.

7. Use Google Search

Google is your one-stop shop for researching hashtag activity across all social media platforms. If you are looking for hashtag trends on a particular social media site, you can limit your search by adding, for example, to your search query. Heading to Google is a great way to quickly check out what’s going on across all social media platforms and gather information that can help you narrow your search.

Micro-influencers often aren’t as publicly visible as celebrity influencers, but they can have much higher engagement and a very positive impact on your brand’s online marketing campaigns — as long as you choose them carefully.

Haven’t started your program yet? Learn how to start a brand ambassador program with BrandChamp.