When Snapchat lost $1.3 billion in value after Kylie Jenner’s critical tweets in February, brands of all stripes likely asked themselves, “How can we make something like that happen, but, you know, with a positive result?”
For better or worse, a celebrity shoutout on social media has serious power, and companies have scrambled accordingly to attract and deploy influencers – often for a pretty penny.
And while a well timed #sponsored tweet from a celebrity can yield an immediate burst of attention, it’s more cost effective (and potentially, plain old effective) for brands to enlist influencers who A) Don’t command a massive payday for 140 characters, and B) Won’t stop tweeting positively about a company once the paid arrangement is over.
After all, consumers, increasingly wary of all types of brand-sponsored efforts, are far more likely to trust the recommendations of their peers. In our era of peak influencers, it’s the everyday people who can bring the most value.
Bringing regular folks into the influencer fold is not only a more affordable and sustainable approach, but possibly more insightful as well. Micro-influencers – people with under 30,000 followers – often identify emerging trends before anyone, and can track the evolving sentiment of consumers in a particular market.
The onus is on brands of all sizes to listen to the relevant conversations taking place on social, and to identify those driving the dialogue forward.
That’s just half the battle. The other piece is becoming a reliable source of compelling information and networking opportunities. Indeed, throughout the digital world, brands must serve as hubs for the constant exchange of interesting ideas. That will allow them to attract more influential figures and build momentum in a cyclical way.
As opposed to shooting for one-off endorsements from big-name influencers, companies (regardless of size) should seek to establish and continuously strengthen relationships with the smartest people in the digital trenches.
It should be an “always-on” strategy, not a set of sporadic attempts to win Twitter for a single afternoon.
Sometimes, the stars align (get it?), and brands find themselves with celebrity influencers who also happen to represent key customer segments. Reebok is one example of a brand with a strong following of everyday activewear fans and pop culture icons alike.
Recently, Reebok announced its partnership with singer Cardi B. The brand’s colorful collection of Aztrek apparel blends fashion with comfort, making it a good fit for new-mom and style-influencer Cardi.
When considering influencer partners, brands should take this cue and look for people with strong followings who also relate to their customer bases. This creates a more authentic relationship between the brand, the influencer, and everyday fans.
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