Social media “influencers” add a new twist to advertising

Social media “influencers” add a new twist to advertising

The post has received hundreds of thousands of likes and dozens of comments. It's simply a modern form of advertising called "influencer marketing," which allows for so-called influencers -- users who have a large following on social media platforms like Facebook (FB), Instagram, YouTube (GOOG), Twitter (TWTR) and Snapchat (SNAP) -- to partner with brands that are in sync with their lifestyles. In recent years, traditional celebrity endorsements have taken a back seat to brands' influencer-created content. What does it mean to be a social media influencer? Influencers use social media platforms to connect with their audience on a personal level. Brands hire influencers and pay them to endorse their product(s) or service(s) within photos and videos, which essentially act as word-of-mouth opinions similar to what you might seek from a close friend. Six years ago, Detert was an influencer himself. He urges advertisers to target the macro tier, which includes influencers who typically maintain 50,000 to 2 million followers. The future of influencer marketing As the power of social media continues to grow, it's arguably fair to say influencers will continue to have a stronger impact on consumer brand awareness. You'll actually be able to see if they actually bought the product that's being advertised."

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Social Media Influencers

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Picture this: You’re scrolling through your feed on Instagram and notice what appears to be an endorsed advertisement for a new workout supplement. The post has received hundreds of thousands of likes and dozens of comments.

Bewilderment overcomes you as you try to figure out why the Instagram user looks familiar. But at the same time, you feel intrigued to learn more about the product based on the amount of attention the post has received. And that glowing review, which acts as the photo caption, makes you feel inclined to purchase the supplement.

Don’t fret, this isn’t a scam. In fact, thousands of companies have been using this relatively new concept. It’s simply a modern form of advertising called “influencer marketing,” which allows for so-called influencers — users who have a large following on social media platforms like Facebook (FB), Instagram, YouTube (GOOG), Twitter (TWTR) and Snapchat (SNAP) — to partner with brands that are in sync with their lifestyles.

In recent years, traditional celebrity endorsements have taken a back seat to brands’ influencer-created content. So stars like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian have been replaced by that familiar, yet unfamiliar face that popped up in your feed moments ago.

And as long as Instagram and other platforms continue as go-to places for many shoppers, influencers will keep racking in thousands of dollars as quickly as their posts acquire likes.

What does it mean to be a social media influencer?

Influencers can be fitness gurus, gaming addicts, beauty bloggers, fashionistas, foodies, travel experts, etc. They offer an authentic presence on social media based on their copious numbers of followers and level of engagement. Generally speaking, each influencer maintains an audience of at least 10,000 followers on one platform, if not more.

But it takes more than having an attractive physique and a coveted blue “verified” badge to acquire digital celebrity status.

Influencers use social media platforms to connect with their audience on a personal level. They brand themselves within a specific industry by promoting content that coincides with their values and interests. For example, someone who correlates with fashion would be more inclined to promote a clothing company’s T-shirt as opposed to a travel agency’s sale on a vacation package to an exotic destination.

Brands hire influencers and pay them to endorse their product(s) or service(s) within photos and videos, which essentially act as word-of-mouth opinions similar to what you might seek from a close friend. Many consumers value the opinions of influencers, which subsequently makes them more inclined to purchase the product that’s being advertised.

Last year, Forbes released a comprehensive list of the world’s top influencers. The going rate for influencer-created content ranges anywhere from $500 to upwards of $20,000, or more, for each sponsored post.

Does influencer marketing work?

Influencer marketing — sometimes described as the “Wild West” for its lack of strategic guidance — has gained a competitive edge in the industry due to its tendency to form viral conversations…

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