If the name Txunamy doesn’t ring any bells, you’re probably not a tween girl. The 7-year-old fashionista has nearly 700,000 Instagram followers. But Ezra Dabah knows Txunamy well: When the former Children’s Place exec was looking to bring brand awareness to his startup, Kidpik, he decided the best way to reach his target audience of young girls wasn’t with print ads or Facebook posts, but by enlisting a small army of pint-sized social-media stars.
“These influencers are celebrities within their own circles,” says the CEO of Kidpik, which sells clothes, footwear, and accessories. When Kidpik hired a handful of young influencers, including Txunamy, for a livestreamed fashion show, the video hit 10,000 views within an hour and wracked up more than 250,000 social-media impressions within a week. “Working with influencers means you’re able to build a brand in ways that you were never able to do before–in a much shorter time and for much less,” says Dabah, who doesn’t spend any money on traditional advertising.