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Gloucestershire Business News

Businesses urged to use Gloucestershire's hottest social media influencer

If you want to raise your company's profile and sell the magic formula these days often seems to involve social media and a celebrity.

The power of their audience is persuasive enough for a business to see the potential of a little product placement, leaving aside that their celebrity status and the money they command remains bewildering.

But now businesses in Gloucestershire have a chance to be in at the birth of a new 'social media influencer', and this one is born and bred in the county.

In a tongue-in-cheek plea for a listener to step forward to show how easy it could be to become a star of the image-conscious celebrities' favourite, Instagram, Heart's Myles Galloway unwittingly gave birth to the very thing he was mocking.

"I was thinking out loud and said something like 'how hard can it be to become a social media influencer like Kris Jenner?' - but I said it on air," said Myles, the station's new morning presenter, referring to one of the darlings of Instagram.

The next thing he knew he was challenging a caller to the station to take up the baton and show Gloucestershire could also deliver its own iconic go-to face.

And in the spirit of the good-natured challenge up stepped Karen Buckland, a hairdresser from Stroud, all the more endearing for her healthy lack of interest in celebrity and social media.

"I didn't even know what type of phone I had when Myles asked me if I would be up for the challenge," said Karen, a mother of two who runs Kazcut, as if to prove her credentials as a true novice of social media.

"I have a son (Toby Gardiner) and a daughter (Sian Gardiner) who both said to me 'what have you done?', but my daughter has helped me set up my Instagram account and the handle - '@karentheinfluencer '. I didn't have a clue. It has been good fun."

Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the social-media-famous Kardashian family, has only ever posted 4,600 times on the picture channel site but has a mindboggling 20 million-plus followers who have helped her corral an estimated $60 million.

"Ed Sheeran might have 24.8 million followers, but Gloucestershire has a new influencer. Karen is doing well - she has 38 followers with an average of 12 likes per post after her first day," said Myles, tongue firmly in cheek.

When we looked yesterday afternoon (August 9) that figure was now touching 100 followers - and rising.

And that is not all. Like all bona fide social media influencers she is also open to a little product promotion, and to boost her chances Myles also turned to Moose Marketing and Punchline-Gloucester.com to drum up some support.

"Sibling Gin have come forward and I had a chat with Cicely," said Karen. "They are sending me a bottle to 'test' as well."

The Cheltenham-based drinks-maker is run by brothers and sisters Felix, Clarice, Cicely and Digby.

Those businesses which enter into the fray could also get the added benefit of a mention on Myles's morning show - as well as the benefits of the growing audience on @karentheinfluencer.

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