The Influence of the Influencer

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The Influence of the Influencer

There are eighty-three million millennials in the U.S and eighty-five percent of them own a smartphone. Five out six of millennials use social media to connect with various brands and sixty-three percent use social media to stay updated on their favorite brands. On average, they touch their smartphones forty-five times a day.

It’s safe to say – to capture a millennial, one of the best channels to use is digital media. So, should every brand post a plethora of pictures on their social media hoping for success? – no. Posting a picture or video simply isn’t enough. Millennials pay attention to the items they see people they like using, whether that be friends, classmates or even influencers they follow online. So, what does a brand do to capture some millennial attention? The biggest way right now is through partnering with influencers. Influencers are individuals who have used social media to gather an active following of people who typically have a similar style to the one they have themselves. They also tend to be the innovators of the market, buying and trying new items  and giving reviews to their followers. Influencers work on building their own personal style and brand that they “sell” to their followers and followers tend to respect and trust the influencer because the followers almost seem them as a friend, as result.

When a company is trying to select the influencer they’d like to collaborate with, there are a few things they should keep in mind. First, does the influencers actually like their product? If they do not honestly like or use the product, this could show through to their followers. Further, if they become known for doing collaborations with companies they do not like, they weaken their own brand and loose the trust they’ve build with their followers. On the other hand, if they love the product, this too will be clear to their followers and can serve to be extremely beneficial for the product that is sponsored. Next consider, do they have an image and personality that aligns with the brand and its values? Though there are numerous influencers to choose from, a brand must be sure they work with individuals that not only like the product, but also represent values that the brand has as well. Lastly, they need to look to see if they have active followers. If their followers engage with the influencers across various platforms and through comment and likes on their posts, there is a much stronger chance for the company to see success from their partnership with the influencer. Stronger engagement often translates into a stronger acceptance of a sponsored product.

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