Influencer Marketing: How Social Media Can Sell
Prior to social media, we were all just people surfing the internet. Before Tom Cruise jumped on a couch and basically created viral video (and short clips that we play over and over), we didn’t share all that much. If you had an internet presence, it was probably to sell something on your website or just give people information about a hobby or a business.
The Evolution of the ‘Net
Now, if you’re on the internet for personal or business use, you probably have 5 or 10 different ways to reach people. You could have a web page, a Facebook, a Twitter, a Tumblr, a Pinterest, an Instagram, a YourFaceSpace… more than you can even count. Okay. That last one might be made up, but you get the gist. The point is that we’re no longer just “people” searching the “web”. Now we’re shoppers, friends, followers, subscribers, bloggers, vloggers and, most recently, influencers.
Putting on the Positive Pressure
Social media thrives on peer pressure. Sometimes it’s negative, but often, it’s a great way for brands to connect directly with customers. You can manage that by creating internet presence and interacting with your clients and customers, but an ever expanding way to get to your demographic is to use a social media middle man.
As average people manage to grow their followers and friends lists to thousands upon thousands of people just by sharing content, being funny or having a platform, they also have the unique opportunity to speak directly to a whole bunch of people who trust their judgement. These accounts and people have become “influencers”, and they’re an incredibly effective way to instill consumer confidence in your brand.
Flex Your Influence
Influencer marketing, according to The Explosive Growth Of Influencer Marketing And What It Means For You from Forbes.com, is when brands and companies identify a person or group that have influence over a segment of people and select them to represent their brand or product in some way.
Basically, it cuts through the amount of time that it takes a new company or product to build trust with customers because the person recommending it is already likely respected by their followers. Usually, the paid campaigns work directly with bloggers and similar internet presences to get them to talk about a product or service. Often, it’s a compensated arrangement either with money or free products to review. Sometimes, it’s just an informal symbiotic relationship where the brand brings recognition to the blogger and vice versa.
Social media’s influence on buying decision by channel
Why It Works
Really, it’s bypassing the expensive pay per click advertising and boosting your returns by capitalizing on the fact that these influencers have already done the work to develop a relationship with their social media followers. Influencers post, interact, share information, and have a fairly large following to show for it.
From The Ground Up
Even better, it’s totally organic. Influencers don’t have to be big celebrities or expensive names. Social media has made it possible for regular people to gain large lists of friends and followers. And because follower lists aren’t limited, people can follow as many accounts as they want. There is no limit to the amount of influence these average Joes can have as long as they continue to provide something that people love and want.
No Pressure. High Impact.
Peer pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing as long as it’s being used for a good outcome. In fact, influencer marketing is one of the lowest pressure marketing and sales efforts available. Businesses let other people do the work to create good will, and then they make good use of it down the line. As long as you provide a product or service that is commensurate with the quality that your influencer expects, and it doesn’t devalue their opinion, they’ll likely appreciate the mutually beneficial relationship.
For more information on how to build an influencer marketing program– or how to become an influencer yourself– contact Grapevine Logic today!