Influencers are not new to the social media landscape. On the contrary, some influencers were early adopters of fledging social marketing platforms whose personal brand audiences grew along with the sites they frequented. Other influencers catapulted to social media stardom as their celebrity – or notoriety – expanded and attracted greater attention, sometimes to the tune of millions of followers. While some people dismissed social media as a fad in its early years, savvy marketers recognized an opportunity to align their brands with these new spokespeople who could deliver their messaging to targeted, receptive, attentive and qualified audiences.
Many organizations, and associations in particular, cannot afford or choose not to spend their valuable marketing dollars on virtual endorsements. After all, these campaigns can and sometimes do backfire when the influencer is the subject of public scrutiny or the recipient of bad press. Several high-profile scandals from the ill-fated Fyre Festival to the more recent alleged college admissions schemes have ended badly for some social media influencers and the brands with which they were affiliated.
Who are social media influencers? Celebrities, musicians, and professional athletes with large numbers of social media followers are among the best-known social media influencers in our culture. Pundits and subject matter experts are also social media influencers because of their popularity and credibility. Another hallmark among social media influencers is the posting of quality content, in a timely fashion and on a regular basis.
Social media influencers – especially those with high levels of visibility – are compensated for their posts. Celebrities make paid in-person appearances or take part in commercials to support a product or brand. Sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become additional opportunities for the famous to sell their personal brands while influencing followers to take notice of the companies they represent. Since so many of today’s influencers are easily recognizable in photographs, Instagram has become an especially popular (and successful) platform for this type of advertising.
We’ll talk tips in our next blog!