To start, let’s define the term influencer and how it has evolved with social media. Traditionally, an influencer is someone with an audience who trusts their opinion. They have a vehicle to relay their message, they can be an expert in a certain area, or both. However, in the world of social media anyone can be an influencer, as everyone has access to multiple free vehicles that both enable and promote content to be shared among users. Below are two relevant examples, one more famous than the other.
Stew Leonard’s, known as Stew’s, is a local grocery store in Connecticut. While they provide great fresh food and produce, it is also a favorite spot for kids; as they have a small zoo, ice cream stand, and lots of entertainment as you wind through the store. Last year Stew’s took to Facebook to help promote the spring opening of their Zoo. They were having a small parade in their parking lot introducing the new animals and tons of other activities for kids. Upon seeing their post, I shared this event with some of my friends on Facebook who live in other parts of Connecticut and are not “Fans” of Stew’s on Facebook. My friends on Facebook ended up attending the event and after the parade those friends who do not traditionally shop there, ended up spending over $300 that day. Stew’s would have missed out on this business if I had not shared this information with my friends on Facebook. As we heard from Facebook directly at the IFA, the goal of marketing your Business on Facebook should be influencing your Fans’ friends. The main way to do this as a business is to run a Sponsored Post Ad on Facebook targeted to “Friends of Fans.”
There is a 16 year old kid in Chicago named Keenan Cahill whose hobby is making videos of himself lip syncing the words to many songs. His videos have a humorous take to them, and with his rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” he drew over 52 million views. There is also a very well known rapper named 50 Cent, who had a new song, but wasn’t getting the attention he wanted on the networks and stations. In order to gain awareness of his new song he relied on an unlikely influencer, Keenan. In this new day and age, 50 Cent needed to go to Chicago, to Keenan’s room and film this viral video. When in reality he is a celebrity with plenty of money and opportunity, but couldn’t rely on his traditional methods. Today Keenan is up to over 391 Million video views on his channel and has become a celebrity in his own right.
The moral of both of these stories is that anyone can be an influencer, regardless of the numbers of fans and followers they have right now, which is a point that Guy Kawasaki emphasized at IFA. By leveraging applications, it becomes quite easy to spot trends, engage where appropriate, and target messages through Facebook that persist through leveraging Facebook Ads.
- Steve Paster, Account Director Engage121