Jean Naim

4 People Who Can Help You Build Your Brand For Free

We are now navigating the challenges of rising costs, supply chains, and price pressure even worse than the pandemic. And it’s affecting the way businesses are operating trying to quickly adapt — yet again.

So, how does a business skillfully manoeuvre the difficult road ahead and still thrive despite the growing global challenges?

| Our answer — solid brand building, through people's voices.

It’s one of the best strategies that can drive your business forward. A solid brand creates deep-rooted audience loyalty that can be readily turned into revenue.

But given how powerful social media is, there are chances when you’ll be the center of polarizing topics and it could kinda damage your brand if you’re not careful. 

The good thing is, such mishaps are easily avoidable if a brand is careful and vigilant. 

Brands should adopt a strong social purpose before even coming onto social media and setting up shop. 

Instead of hiding behind a cold and stylized logo, your brand building should be actively adopted by people with real faces and real voices. 

In other words, a more personal and humanized approach.

As Max Lenderman said, “Brand purpose is no longer something you just message. It’s how the purpose is activated by the people inside the brand and received by people who buy it.” 

If you’re thinking about influencers, you’re not exactly wrong. But…

Did you know that aside from your typical influencer who you vet and then pay for collaboration, there is also a different breed of people who can do the marketing for you?

Ones who are closer to your brand than you think. The best thing about them, you can get them to help build your brand for free!

Ready to find out who they are? Let’s dive in.

The 4 underrated influencers you never thought about

In this context, influencers don’t have to mean those lovely people brimming with aesthetics. Sometimes, it’s the people you personally know and know the business inside and out.

Ready to meet them?

1. Founders

People want to buy from people they can relate to — a well-known fact.

Getting your founder involved in the marketing of your product or service helps put a face on your business. Consumers relate more when they know who they’re looking at, instead of some cold and nameless corporation.

As social influencer founders or CEO, they have to master the art of story-telling and publishing their content on social media. Effectively build your brand by sharing interesting facts about your product or service. Tips on how to hit the ground running and important life lessons.

Well-known founders who have successfully owned their social media brands are the likes of Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Dave Gerhardt of Exit Five.

These founders are so active on Twitter and Facebook that one statement of theirs can reach hundreds of thousands, even millions, of followers. 

2. Brand employees

Your employees are not only there to do their tasks, but they’re also the closest witnesses to your brand’s commitment and dedication to pursuing your purpose.

Get them to advocate for your brand actively. Find a platform everyone is comfortable using, connect, and encourage them to share their interesting stories while working for you.

Salesforce does employee branding so well on LinkedIn.

They have a section Life where they showcase their people, reviews, and company photos where their employees show what it’s like to work with such a company.

It has helped them find like-minded people and has been a career hub for them.

3. Customers

There is a reason why customer reviews, social proofs, and user-generated content(UGC) are so powerful marketing material — they’re candid and truthful. Plus, they cost almost nothing.

Buyers are so obsessed with authenticity that it’s the first thing they prioritize when choosing a product or a service. 

Encourage customers to post feedback regarding your product or service. Their content is a good way to show prospects your authenticity and trustworthiness.

Hot tip: If you’re wondering which of your customers you can tap for this particular task Sociata can help you. It can easily analyze content performance and audience engagement on their social accounts to determine which of them are best chosen to spread the word.

4. Social followers

Not every follower is a customer but they’re still great for brand leverage.

If you’ve constantly produced relevant and engaging content, chances are you’ve snagged some followers who also have a following of their own. You can tap into these individuals to further amplify your marketing.

Hot tip: You can use Sociata to find any of your followers who have high resonance with their social fans and followers.

5. Influencers 

Lastly, the social media celebrities — the influencers. They’re the individuals a lot of people love following on different social media platforms. These people have built-in expertise in a certain niche and built a reputation on their own.

What makes influencers valuable is how they have such a deep-rooted sway over their followers. This stems from the fact that genuine influencers know their audience and their market inside and out.

Did you know that influencers are divided into 4 categories according to the size of their followers? Nano influencers, micro-influencers, macro influencers, mega influencers.

Each tier has a different impact on your funnel and is effective depending on the goals you’ve set.

Nano influencers (1K–10K followers) - despite having the smallest number of followers, Nano influencers have the closest relationship with fans. 

They love engaging in their comment section and are highly appreciative of the individual comments and reactions. They also tend to work with small local brands and are very loyal to them.

Best to use nano influencers if you're a startup or an SME with a limited marketing budget. 

Micro-influencers (10K–100K followers) - these influencers are niched and knowledgeable in the field. 

Although they can’t engage everyone in their comments, they still tend to have engagement rates with high shares and reactions.

They often only promote products or services that align with their niche. Think about a real estate influencer promoting a list management tool. Or a marketing writer promoting Grammarly or Hemingway Editor.

It is best to work with micro-influencers if you’re ready to generate more focused and warm leads.

Macro influencers (100K–1M followers)
- for the most part, macro influencers were already specialists in their fields before deciding to take to social media. 

When it comes to content, they're very active in publishing helpful tips, roadmaps, and anything informational in their niches.

Use macro influencers if you’re after the best of both worlds — a massive yet engaged audience in a given niche.

Mega or celebrity influencers (1M+ followers) - they’re the A-listers of the influencer marketing game. With over 1M followers, working with them ensures your brand, product, or service will have a huge number of eyeballs on them.

They come with a hefty price tag but exposure to over a million audience is guaranteed.

Want to find the best-performing influencers who can best represent your brand? Sociata can help you! Its Creator Intelligence feature allows you to research influencers in different niches that have high resonance with their audience.

How to maximize each role’s impact on your customer journey

Each type of influencer offers different benefits across the customer journey, it is up to you to determine which part of your funnel needs populating and the below chart guides your influencer choices accordingly. 

Brand awareness

As a general rule of thumb, founders or CEOs are best for creating brand awareness. They have to be very good storytellers to hook the attention of their audience. They become the face of the business and anything they say or do will impact the view of people towards the company.

The same rule applies to employees. They take part in the representation of the business so they bring a lot of impact on the public’s opinion when they openly discuss their work culture. 

In addition, macro and mega influencers play that role well. 


As a rule of thumb, people-led conversations in general influences consideration the most. However, UGC and customer proof are the name of the game. 

For a customer, it’s like standing at a fork road, customer authenticity could very well be the key that they decide to turn toward you.


To ensure that you get the best ROI on the lower funnel, micro influencers and affiliates play a great role. 

They are more accepting to collaborating with you through a performance-based model, more likely to stay loyal to the brand and can drive continuous conversions as they grow their followers. 

Brand strength comes from people

Stop hiding behind cold and lifeless business logos.

A people-led and purpose-centric marketing approach exhibits genuineness to own one’s brand story. When the target audience sees the real faces of the people working for a brand, they start entrusting you with the hope that you truly are out to solve problems.

Want to find the right people for your brand building? Use Sociata — an all-in-one platform to help you find the right individuals for your influencer marketing campaigns, be it your employees, customers, social followers or industry tastemakers. 

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