Tag Archives: social media influencer

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Professionals can Instagram too.

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Social Media has revolutionized the way we consume information, the way we shop and created a new way we can silently envy others. In the early days of social media, it was a mere means of communication. But with so many developments, social media is changing the perception on what it means to be an entrepreneur and what it means to be a successful business. And with millennial consumption expanding beyond beauty products, fashion, travel and tech, platforms like Instagram allow us tap into industries that were once forbidden.

Recently upon browsing the Instagram explore page, I’ve noticed that transformations are the new craze. Be it weight loss, emotional healing or a nose job, this is the year of #transformation and everyone wants a piece. From dermatologist, Dr. Pimplepopper’s posts going viral to everyone bothering Kylie Jenner about her lips, talking about plastic surgery is no longer taboo. Everyone’s talking about it and most people have at least thought about it. It has opened up a dialogue educating users thus reducing ignorance and false judgement.

Social Media has not only given creatives such as bloggers, content creators and youtubers a footprint but, it has allowed professionals such as doctors the chance to use their platform to educate others on their practice and reach new clients. A topic such as plastic surgery that was once controversial and misunderstood is now commonly discussed. That in itself is progress and we have social media to thank for that.


Image result for kim kardashian and simon ourian instagram post

Image: Kim Kardashian and Dr. Simon Ourian (source: Hollywood Reporter)


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How Fabfitfun is Winning the Marketing Game

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We all have our go-to products. We find the one we like and we keep buying it because “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” – right? Our brand loyalties have typically made it difficult for new brands and products to make a name for themselves, but in this age of social media, all bets are off. With a unique strategy and the right influencers in support, new companies can gain serious traction. Throughout the next few weeks, I will be looking at a few companies that are still young but have caught the attention of the public by playing the game right on social media. I will call them “The Underdogs” – because, let’s face it, we all love to root for an underdog.

I am constantly seeing sponsored videos on Facebook and Instagram for Fabfitfun boxes that catch my eye because they are in the hands of celebrities and well-known influencers. Each box is different, and almost all of the products inside are from lesser-known brands. By combining surprise and anticipation to discover what will be in your Fabfitfun box with the faces of social media influencers, this company has created the perfect hook to gain attention. This mail order “treat yo’self” package includes all the products you would love to receive and try but would not buy in your typical trip to Ulta. Each recipient creates a video as she unwraps each goody in her box to show off what is inside, and it is clear that these influencers like Jojo Fletcher (former Bachelorette) have stirred intrigue on the product based on the comment left on this Instagram post: “@joelle_fletcher just subscribed because of this video! Can’t wait to see what I get.” With unique strategies like these, Fabfitfun is quickly breaking down brand loyalties with the help of social media influencers.

Underdog Pro Tips: 

#1) Utilize social media influencers – they will get your company name out there, and many people follow their lead!

#2) If you are a beauty product/brand, Fabfitfun boxes provide a unique and exciting avenue to can get your product in the hands of consumers with brand loyalties.

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Influencer Marketing

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Image result for influencer marketing

Influence Marketing is not a new concept but became a rising marketing tactic in 2017. Influencer MarketingHub defines an influencer as an, “individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.”

Influencers maintain a relationship with brands and often promote them through media platforms like Instagram. Influencers often help spread brand awareness and reach larger audiences regarding their specific categories and range from celebrities to bloggers. Many of these influencers create their own content and post daily while those that have large followings are usually paid to promote brands. The difference between a celebrity endorsement and and influencer is that influencers promote the brand as they see fit and provide a more authentic view on these brands and are usually more knowledgeable about the types of products they are promoting.



Image result for snapchat stock drop kylie jenner

A prime example of a celebrity influencer is Kylie Jenner, reality tv star and makeup guru, who has a massive social following. On February 21st Kylie Jenner tweeted:

“So does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is sad.”

In under 280 characters this tweet caused Snapchat’s stock to drop by $1.3 billion. Crazy right? But with such a following and social influence if Kylie said she wasn’t using Snapchat then neither were her fans. As simple as that.



But the real question is what makes an influencer and influencer? Three main things: credibility, attractiveness, and reliability.

Some of my favorite influencers are fashion bloggers and I will use @loverlygrey to show how the three characteristics listed above have gained her success.

Over time @loverlygrey has gained a strong and loyal set of followers that have helped establish her credibility as an influencer for brands. Her large following scored her fashion show invites and she was even selected as an exclusive early shopper for Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale.  Brands like Goodnight Macaroon also often partner with her by giving her a discount code to share with her followers. She also generates aesthetic content and has established her own style/look which helps attract followers. This in turn has brought her influence to the attention of brands who wish to partner with her. Lastly, people tend to trust those that they see as experienced because it makes them seem reliable.  While the main purpose of her account is to feature style inspiration and promote brands she also shares about herself which helps her followers connect more with her.

All of these characteristics combined are what make bloggers like @loverlygrey so influential in their given area. The blogger always tags her outfit details and links them back to the app LikeToKnowIt where followers can head over to shop her looks (http://loverlygrey.com/). She also advertises when her outfit pieces are on sale and you better believe that I and thousands of others head over to those sites and shop based off her style inspiration.

Digital marketing is constantly evolving and brands are noticing the power that influencers have and are choosing to partner with those that have a strong social media presence and following in order to drive consumers toward their brand. The power of influencers is prominent, but lets see what the next big marketing strategy will be!



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How to pick the right influencer 101

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Investing in influencer marketing is a key factor with consumers being more skeptical of traditional advertising and marketing techniques. Also the fact that with technology the consumers have more and more control over what they see or hear.

From an article in a digital marketing from the AMA.

An influencer is defined in the dictionary as: Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship”; in other words they are social media “celebrities”, with power over others.

Influencers are a powerful marketing tool because they are authentic and trusted creators of content. It is a totally different approach than a direct advertisement, which is usually not welcomed by the audience in the first place. Through influencers the brand can get closer to the audience and actually be helpful to the viewers. Although followers don’t know the influencers it is shown that ordinary people trust their opinions quite a lot; some research say that is even as powerful as families´ and friends´ opinions.  This digital “celebrities” are ideal to target specific audiences that might not be reached any other way through social media.

There are 4 rules to identify an influencer:

  1. Popularity ≠ Influence
    1. Look at the number of followers they have on social media but it is also important to see how they are connected to your target market.
  2. To be influential a person has to be actively writing on topics that matter to your audience.
  3. To be influential a person must have authority.
    1. This means that a person is quoted by others in the industry.
  4. Influencers drive action.
    1. This means that when they recommend something it should directly boost sales.

Investment in influencer marketing is a growing trend, but it is still very complex; especially the process of finding the right influencer. There are millions of people, a variety of platforms, a selection of products, endless posts, so we find ourselves immersed in this whole new universe. The brand needs to choose the accurate influencer or else these marketing efforts will be worthless.

From an article in digital marketing from the AMA

A company can manage their influencers either in house or outsourcing it. When choosing in house a good option is a software package that is able to help the firm identify influencers and measure results. In house is usually used when the firm has only a low-to-moderate budget, since this saves money, however it is more time consuming and less expertise from part of the business. The other option is to work with a third party that is responsible for all the arrangements; they would have more expertise and frees the firm´s marketers to focus on other things, but it is more expensive.

Some tips when choosing influencers:

  1. Know your target audience and your influencer´s target audience.
    1. Know who the potential influencer for your brand targets too. The fact that is talking about products in your industry doesn’t necessarily mean they are reaching your segment. Therefore when defining the audience the firm needs to be as specific as possible. This tip would not only help the business to reach the right audience, but it gives the influencer authenticity.
  2. Find values that align with the company´s values
    1. In other words, the digital “celebrity” needs to match with your business. Influencers become a representative of the brand so they need to embody what the firm is; they need to be advocates of what the company stands for.
  3. Set a goal
    1. Understand that as with any other medium there needs to be a strategy behind the content you are pushing, it shouldn’t be there just to be there. This would not only help the focus, the execution and choosing the right influencer, but will also aid later in evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign.
  4. Create a long-term relationship with your influencers that drive sales to your company.
  5. Have a plan in case the influencer screws up.
    1. This should not happen but should be there in just in case.
  6. Analyze the influencer quantity and quality
    1. Understand how they build their networks, how they engage with their audience and what type of content they post
  7. Start with the few and invest with the best

Also take in to consideration:

  1. How regularly do they post
    1. It depends on the platform: in Facebook it is recommended it is about 1 post per day; in Instagram is good about 1-2 posts per day and on Twitter is around 15 tweets per day.
  2. Do their fans interact with their photos
    1. Understand the number of likes and the comments people make on their posts. Also evaluate if the influencer answers to them and engages with their audience.
  3. How would your business compensate the influencers

Local businesses are also able to use digital celebrities to boost their sales. Some of the tips above may apply to them, but they should try to look for micro-influencers which usually have 1,000 to 10,000 followers.

Some tips to find micro-influencers are:

  1. Use hashtags that are related to your product, business or industry
  2. Conduct research on social channels
    1. See who has a large number of followers and see if they tag brands in their photos.
    2. “Choosing an influencer who is already a fan of your product or service makes it easier to persuade them into promoting your brand” (Chris Ake, Forbes)
  3. Research on Google
    1. Be very specific and take a special look at bloggers.
  4. Find influencers that engage with their audience, this is especially important for local.

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The Ultimate Influencer

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When I first got into social media, I was in high school and it was like exploring a whole new world. For me, I was excited about the prospect of seeing what was going on in the world of my favorite musicians and celebrities. I could not have cared less about what my friends were doing because in high school I saw them 5 days out of the week. I wanted a glimpse into a world that I had never seen before. Celebrities show us what they’re wearing, what they’re eating, where they’re going, what they’re doing and so much more. Musicians give us a behind the scenes look at their tours, the songwriting process, and their lives in general. And who wouldn’t want to be a musician (if the talent was there, of course). After saying all that, it wouldn’t be surprising if celebrities and musicians dominated the charts of most followers. But have you ever actually looked to see who’s the most followed person on Twitter? What about Instagram? Well as of December 2017, these are the people to follow:

Look at those lists. What’s the most common denominator? Yes, every single person on those lists are considered celebrities but 12 of the twenty accounts belong to musicians. Why is that? There’s no telling what  sets these people apart from every other celebrity. But I have a theory. (It’s probably not just me either) Have you ever listened to a song, and thought to yourself, “that is me” or “that just happened” or “I can relate”? How about with actors? Not movies, actors? It’s a lot easier to relate and empathize with a person when they are writing and singing about their innermost feelings and insecurities. I’d like to assume most people experience the same kind of emotions. So when Selena Gomez is singing about her broken heart or moving on, anybody that has gone through a break-up can relate. And we like to be able to relate. We are social butterflies. We want people to understand what we are going through so we know we aren’t the only ones.

So how does this relate to digital marketing at all? Take a minute and scroll through Katy Perry’s Twitter. She is constantly promoting her music, other musicians, her products and brand campaigns. And as of February 13th, 2018, Katy Perry has 108,532,367 followers on Twitter. Is there a better place for brand promotion if your brand line’s up with Katy Perry’s? Let’s look at Selena Gomez on Instagram. She is quite literally showing us what it would be like to live her life. There are magazine covers, brand campaigns, her friends, award shows and the list goes on. Selena has 133,604,980 followers with most of her pictures getting around 5,000,000 likes (so not including the people that saw it and didn’t like it). Both of these women would be an amazing opportunity for any brand that wanted to target their audience for promotion. Brands like Coach and CoverGirl are already using that. It’s genius. So who is the ultimate influencer? I have to say, it’s the musician.

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Not just a social media influencer, but a business

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I have always wondered how hard it is to be a social media star. Having to be in your phone 24/7 and instead of promoting a brand or product, promoting yourself. One of the most popular social media influencers is Alexis Ren, she is an American model and internet celebrity. Her full name is Alexis René Glabach, she was born in Santa Monica, California in November 1996.

Alexis started her modeling career at 13 when she was hired by clothing company Brandy Melville. A year later she signed a contract with Nous Model Management. Nevertheless her internet fame didn’t start until she was 16 with a photoshoot with Lucas Passmore, in which the pictures were posted on Tumblr, one the most important microblogging sites. After that shoot she appeared in a variety of magazines and campaigns. A few years later she was hired by Calvin Klein for #mycalvins campaign.

The model gained a lot of fame in 2014 with Jay Alvarez, who at that time was her boyfriend. They promoted themselves together by posting pictures and videos of them on Instagram and Youtube. After she broke up with Jay in 2016, Alexis kept rising.

Most liked picture on Instagram +1.1 million likes

Ren battled an eating disorder, where she over-exercised as punishment. She has used her confessions as a form of authenticity and openness to promote herself. Is like a brand being transparent to their customers. She also does community and service activities and posts about it on social media, it is like a company trying to be socially responsible.

After Candice Swanepoel, Alexis is the 2nd most influential lingerie model on Instagram, due to all her followers and engagement. She earns a lot of money for every sexy snap posted, around $50 grand per post. She usually has over 700,000 likes on her posts taking into consideration she is only 21 years old. Being a model is a lucrative career, but being a model in 2018 means they need to promote themselves through social media if they want to be even more profitable, with a special emphasis on Instagram.

Alexis makes a variety of social media advertising, usually promoting clothing brands. Her last series of advertisement was for the mobile game: Final Fantasy XV: A new empire. She has also featured for several TV spots. Furthermore her modeling career has grown to be in a lot of magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Maxim.

The social media influencer has leveraged her name, her body and her portrayed exercising image, to launch an activewear line called Ren Active. The official page for her clothing line is renactive.co.

Within all the social media channels, Alexis uses Instagram and Twitter the most, as a way of marketing herself. In Instagram she has 11.8 million followers and more than 450 posts. She usually posts pictures of herself (clearly), showing her body and face. There is a pretty good amount of posts of her in bikini or lingerie. Alexis´ Instagram also has some advertising posts. She is very active on Instagram, making about 5 posts per month. On the other hand, on Twitter the model has 1.5 million followers and more than 6000 tweets. She is even more active in this site making it almost like her personal blog, her posts are frequently about what she is thinking. She has about 1200 photos and videos uploaded in this platform. Ren also has a Facebook page with 475,000 likes and followers. Her Facebook is not that active, posts once or twice a month, about pictures that are already on Instagram and uses it to promote her activewear. Finally on Youtube she has about 288,000 subscribers but only has 5 videos.

She has built a legion of 11.8 million loyal followers. Alexis is a breakout star, just as many social media influencers. Today, Alexis Ren is not just an influencer name, it is a brand, and it is a business.

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Instagram #Ads

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The rise of social media created a new media elite, branded as “influencers.” These “influencers” boast a large number of dedicated followers, an attractive pool of potential customers who often share the same interests and style. Research shows that 90 percent of adults 18 to 29 use social media (Perrin). This large market portion regularly engages with social media platforms, and companies seize the opportunity to pay “influencers” to promote products in their profiles and posts. Usually these ads are accompanied with the subtle hashtag, “#ad.” This small token of paid posts is supposed to alert users to paid endorsements.

In an effort to be transparent about paid endorsements, Instagram announced that it encourages users to attach a “Paid Partnership with” label on advertisements to clearly mark ads vs. regular content (Wagner). Currently, the new label is a strong suggestion and not a rule, so Instagram announced that the creation of an official policy and enforcement similar to Facebook’s system is underway.

I think enforcement of this policy will be difficult. How will Instagram determine whether an endorsement from an influencer is personal or paid? I think there will need to be a level of disclosure not only from the influencer but companies themselves to alert Instagram to their list of paid endorsers. There will need to be an organized network of companies and endorsers, which may add some transaction costs to digital marketing on Instagram.

These new policies seek to protect consumers from unwittingly absorbing advertisements, and it will be interesting to see how Instagram draws the line. A rising trend in upcoming social media profiles is for the user to promote certain styles or products as if they are being paid to advertise. They do this to attract more followers and consistent “likes” by convincing viewers that they are legitimate and endorsed social media figures. Much of the time, they are not actually paid by companies to endorse products. Thus, the Jekyll and Hyde nature of social media for digital marketing. Social media can provide a valuable platform for building brands and promoting customer conversations, but it can lead to an uncontrolled representation of products.

The landscape of digital marketing continues to evolve, and platforms continue to adopt policies to react to changes. The use of influencers not only changed how companies reach audiences, they changed how companies relate to social media platforms themselves.



Perrin, Andrew. “Social Media Usage: 2005-2015.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 8 Oct. 2015, www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/.

Wagner, Kurt. “Instagram Wants Influencers to Clearly Label Their Paid Posts.” Recode, Recode, 14 June 2017, www.recode.net/2017/6/14/15792402/instagram-celebrities-branded-paid-content-posts-ads-advertising-ftc.

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Social Media in the Outdoors

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When you think of the audience that companies in the outdoor industry must reach, you might think social media is one of the last places any adventure seeking, nature-loving, outdoor enthusiast would look to find that one brand to become extremely loyal to. So why would outdoor companies invest marketing in social media? The fact is that over 80% of Americans have a social media profile, according to Statista. And while all of us who love the outdoors would choose a day in the woods over looking at our laptop screens or cell phones, most of us do have at least one social media profile and love to share our adventures with our followers. The outdoor industry has done an amazing job at utilizing social media to grow their following, while not losing the reason they all began.

Companies in the outdoor industry, whether they sell clothes and gear or provide people with the opportunity to experience unforgettable adventures, have found a way to market their brands on social media without making it seem like you’re even seeing an advertisement.

One way they do this is through the use of ambassadors. Most outdoor companies have ambassadors that represent their brand by getting awesome shots of them climbing, hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, or doing any other activity outdoors while using the company’s products. Then these photos can be used in various social media platforms. These pictures aren’t usually just photos of the person doing the activity they are passionate about, but the photos are taken in a way to make the viewer feel that they are experiencing the same joy of the activity as well. This draws the viewer in and makes them want to see more. Outdoor companies do advertise their products directly but very rarely nowadays. Now it is more important to make your audience experience your product rather than simply seeing your product.

Another way that the outdoor industry has strengthened their social media presence is by making their customers feel included and invested in the company. Many outdoor companies will not only use photos from their ambassadors, but will also use photos posted by many of their customers. Companies leverage the use of hashtags to help them find great pictures of their customers using their products and loving them. Then the next thing you know, your picture of you at the summit of Mount Elbert in Colorado is being featured on REI’s Instagram. This creates a sense of belonging and like you and the other REI customers are all one big outdoor adventuring family. This strategy has helped many outdoor companies develop very strong brand loyalty with their customers.

While this is a start at the look into what the outdoor industry is doing with social media, it’s not all that these companies do. Each and every company has their own social media strategy and has put their own little twist on how they plan to grow and spread their brand. Over the next few weeks we will dive in to how social media and digital marketing is used in various companies within the outdoor industry; we will look at large companies, smaller companies, and even a couple of startups to see what they may do similarly and what they do differently from each other.


*Statistic can be found here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentage-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/

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The story behind the success of an Australian-based personal trainer

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Kayla Itsines is an Australian 26 year-old personal trainer and author, but most important she is an entrepreneur. Her success is because she promotes her brand wisely, worldwide through different social media channels. Due to her impact in social media in March 2016 Time named Kayla one of the 30 most influential people on the internet. In April 2017 she was listed on the top of Forbes’ list of the world’s top social media influencers in the fitness world.

Currently she has more than 17 million likes and followers on her Facebook page; almost 20 million followers on Twitter; more than 220 000 subscribers on her YouTube channel and 8.5 million followers on Instagram. She is also on Tumblr, has a webpage and an app: SWEAT.

Kayla has been a personal trainer since 2008. Her market segment is women, due to the fact that she as a women understands their health and fitness goals. She started with a personal training business where she used to encourage people to take before-after photos to track their progress. That is how she came to use Instagram, at first only as a way to store her client´s transformations, but it ended up being much more.

Later, Itsines and her partner Tobi Pearce founded the Bikini Body Training in March 2013. They have published 2 eBooks called: Bikini Body Guide, which include both: workouts and nutrition facts. In November 2016 Itsines published her first print book, The Bikini Body 28-Day Eating and Lifestyle Guide, which later became a best-selling book. After a year, she published The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide.

Who would imagine that music artists were not the only ones that went on tours but personal trainers go as well! To promote her brand, in 2015 she made a world tour leading free group fitness classes called: “Kayla Itsines Bootcamp World Tour”. In 2016 she made another world tour called “Kayla Itsines Sweat Tour”, having huge success in both.

Her social media strategy is based on focusing on her followers and their transformation journeys rather than herself. Her success is due to her emphasis on the community aspect by making the product be women´s renovation itself. In all of her social media sites she introduces herself as a personal trainer and encourages women to join her force by promoting confidence, health and fitness.

“Join my online BBG Community and be supported and encouraged throughout your fitness journey. No matter where in the world you are, you can connect with positive women who help inspire you to keep working towards your personal goals.”

Her followers created the #BBG, which she now uses in all her media. She is the only person who posts on her social media accounts; though she has a team that helps her. Furthermore she is consistent in her brand´s image in all media channels. Even though the medium used the content is very similar. All of her social media has 5 main subjects:

  1. Photos of women´s transformation´s before and after using BBG and/or SWEAT
  2. Pictures and/or videos of Kayla herself exercising different series and routines
  3. Motivational quotes
  4. SWEAT products promotion and selling
  5. Pictures of healthy food options

Itsines doesn’t:

  • Promote anything relevant only to her personal life style
  • Promote something she doesn’t believe in
  • Sell any products (besides SWEAT products)

In addition to the previous content stated, on her Facebook page Kayla puts her information and then in a couple of paragraphs she tells a story about herself, explains her workouts and programs. Using motivational wording as persuasion. Her most viewed video on Facebook has 17 million views. In her Facebook page she also has different events she is going to host for the next months. On the other hand, on her website she offers a blog, a forum and BBG Groups. This last one encourages members of the BBG Community to join individuals that live in the same cities.

Kayla Itsines has become one of the most influential trainers worldwide because through social media she promotes changes not only in women´s bodies but also in their minds. Showing “women who have changed their lives” by using her guides.

“I’m known as one of the most influential trainers in the world and I’ve made it my personal mission to help as many women as possible to achieve their ideal body and to feel more confident and happy.”

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