Harness the power of nearby influencers to build a business following

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Study concludes that that nearby nano-influencers are most effective for developing a social media following that generates sales leads.

Researchers from five international universities have published a new article that examines why firms aiming to build a large follower base might be better off focusing on their own follower base, rather than seeking out remote influencers. 


The study, appearing in the American Marketing Association’s peer-reviewed Journal of Marketing, is titled ‘Targeting Nearby Influencers: The Acceleration of Natural Triadic Closure by Leveraging Interconnectors’. 


User-generated content platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn understand not only that businesses seek to build and expand their follower base to increase the reach of the content they upload, but also that they apply the follow-for follow approach for this purpose.


Existing research has largely focused on the follower base of influencers. However, there has been scant attention paid to the follower base of the firm.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels


“This is a missed opportunity due to the tendency of the follow-for-follow approach to attract somewhat remote followers who do not necessarily fit in well with the creator’s follower base,” researcher Jacob Goldenberg explains. 


The new study considered the case of unpaid endorsements, also known as the follow-for-follow approach, which is a popular way of building a follower base. It concluded that the most straightforward way to build a follower base is to follow second-degree followers. 


“We maintain that the creator’s own follower base is an overlooked area in the network for finding surprisingly valuable influencers,” says researcher Andreas Lanz. 


Lessons for chief marketing officers 


The researchers say CMOs should keep in mind the following lessons when formulating their social media influencer strategy: 


  • To build and expand their follower base, firms may be better off targeting followers of followers, or nearby influencers, rather than cherry-picking remote influencers, including paid influencers. This means that nearby nano-influencers are most effective. 
  • Businesses that are using work-related platforms such as LinkedIn for customer acquisition may benefit from leveraging interconnectors to gain access to companies that they want to sell their services to. This means that promising sales leads in such companies should be interconnected with the firm, or followers of followers. 

You can find out more about the study here. 

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.