Shopify President Harley Finkelstein says his loose-leaf tea business, Firebelly, has relied on micro-influencers to build its brand on social media and that’s a cheaper, smarter way to go for most brands than chasing the biggest names on Instagram and TikTok. At a CNBC event, he shared a few lessons he has learned firsthand from running his side hustle and impressed one big lesson on other DTC retail stores: spend the time to learn about micro-influencers across social media, including those on subReddits and Pinterest boards who are driving engagement in niches key to your business demographic. "If you’re selling kitchenware or silverware and want to find a great influencer, rather than look for the most subscribers on YouTube, look for small channels that have great engagement,” Finkelstein said. “It takes more time, but those are the people to go after, less expensive and you may see a higher return on investment. Those are the things that have been working best for us. You mind find some alpha, some arbitrage opportunity on a sub-Reddit or Discord group all of your competitors are ignoring, and it changes the entirety of your business.” Read the full interview here.
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