What in the World Wide Web is Social Media Influencer Marketing?
Social Media are forms of communication that allow people to create, share and exchange information, ideas and pictures/videos over a wide range of technological devices. The relative ease of use and inexpensive options of these devices has led to a global proliferation in the use of social media sites. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat allow people to build virtual global communities and attract and influence groups of like-minded individuals of “followers” or “friends.”
Social media differs from traditional media in that it is dialogic or participatory. This has transformed media into something that is more immediate, usable, grassroots, has much broader reach, and is mobile.
Many current and savvy businesses have recognized the value of adopting social media marketing strategies. Likewise, the people who are using social media in a dynamic fashion and attracting many followers are being employed in powerful new marketing campaigns by companies with the foresight to use Social Media Influencer Marketing as part of their marketing strategies..
What exactly is Social Media Influencer Marketing?
*Flashback* (cue weird Twilight Zone music)
It’s 1985 and we’re in high school. Kenny is our best friend. Kenny is good looking, smart and has a ton of friends. Because Kenny is smart and always on top of the latest trends, people often ask for his advice and most of the time they follow it. Kenny is a social influencer.
One day, Kenny shows up to school wearing “Bugle Boy” parachute pants (1980s in fashion). They are red, shiny, and covered with zippers. One of Kenny’s many friends asks where he bought his cool pants and Kenny told him, “At Cool Kids Clothing” a local boutique. Throughout the day, ten more kids ask Kenny where he bought his pants. Everyone is talking about Kenny’s cool, new pants
The next day, two more kids show up to school wearing parachute pants. The day after that there are six, then eight, and by the end of the week it seems like half the school is wearing parachute pants.
Kenny is an influencer who has a lot of friends and because they trust Kenny’s fashion sense, a good percentage of them buy parachute pants. The real winners of the story are “Cool Kids Clothing” and “Bugle Boy”, because they inadvertently capitalize on Kenny’s popularity.
Now, flash forward a few (30) years and instead of just being the coolest kid in school, Kenny is a powerful social media influencer. Instead of a hundred friends he sees at school daily, he has 100’s of thousands of followers on Instagram who trust him and follow his many daily posts on fashion, music, and millennial trends.
“Cool Kids Clothing” and “Bugle Boy”, the maker of parachute pants, know that 15,100,000 consumers go to social media channels before making purchase decisions (Knowledge Networks).
They recognize Kenny’s potential as a Social Media Influencer and connect with Kenny to attach their brands to his posts. Instantly their brands have credibility with Kenny’s millennial followers who see pics of Kenny wearing their pants building authentic trust and long term customer value.
Kenny’s influence turns likes and follows to conversions and because Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals (Hubspot), the re-birth of parachute pants is under way.
This is a win-win-win situation. Kenny gets paid to post about a brand he loves and “Cool Kids” and “Bugle Boy” are seen by hundreds of thousands of Instagram users. Plus the two companies can track the success of their campaign in real time.
And that, my friends, is the story of Social Media Influencer Marketing.
The story is fictional, but the influence is real. Capitalize on its popularity while you can.