4 reasons to work with influential social media users

The internet is full of characters. Many could benefit your organization if you can strike a partnership and transform them into brand ambassadors. Here’s how you can get started.

Brand managers are continually finding ways to partner with influential social media players and integrate them into their campaigns.

From small local businesses to the biggest international brands, the use of bloggers and internet celebrities continues to increase.

Using these people as brand ambassadors in a campaign works for many reasons, and putting together the right person with the right message can help reach your target audience and create a message that resonates.

Why does this tactic work so well?

Here are four ways these influential users can boost your brand:

1. They breed trust. We all have that one blogger/YouTube star/Instagrammer that we follow assiduously. Although social media influencers with a large following fit the definition of “famous,” they aren’t seen as celebrities. It’s almost hard to believe that Justin Bieber and Beyoncé are real people when all we see of them is in the news media, where they look poised and rehearsed.

Social media personalities are much more raw and down to earth; they almost feel like a trusted friend who shares your interests. Their fans like them and trust them, which can be incredibly powerful when they’re promoting your brand or product.

2. They create engaging content. They are masters at communicating and cranking out potent content, and partnering with them gives you fresh and engaging material to work with. When they share videos, blog posts or social images about your brand, that content can then be re-shared and used by your brand. Also, their content plus your own output equals even more eyes on your brand’s campaign.

They can drive traffic and create leads. Partnering with social media stars who have a large, engaged community usually leads to more visits to your brand’s social channels and website, bringing more fans—and potential customers—into your own community.

3. Their brand can work for your brand. They have built up their own brand persona. Maybe they are known for being funny, outrageous, health-focused, a foodie, etc.

If you can find and partner with personalities whose tone and image match well with your brand, then your campaign message will feel like a natural fit and resonate with the audience. FREE DOWNLOAD: Time management and productivity: A guide for corporate communicators.

A great example of this is Barilla’s recent campaign, which combines key influencers with fun and engaging content in support of the brand message.

Barilla, the international Italian pasta company, launched a campaign called “While the Water Boils.” In the midst of no-carb and gluten-free diet trends, this campaign seeks to revive people’s passion for pasta.

Barilla partnered with YouTube/social media star Hannah Hart, who became famous among millennials from her YouTube cooking series “My Drunk Kitchen.”

For the campaign, Hart talks to an array of celebrities, such as Bill Nye the Science Guy and fashion icon Rachel Zoe, during the time it takes to boil water—about 5 minutes.

Their conversations focus on each celebrity’s passions: Rachel Zoe shares how she discovered her love for fashion at a young age, and Bill Nye raves about science and its impact on the world around us. Then, Hannah and Barilla cook a pasta dish customized for that person.

Everything about this campaign is geared toward appealing to millennials. The strategic partnership with Hannah, the celebrities being featured, the content (people talking about their passions) and that the campaign is mobile-focused.

By combining these components, Barilla promotes its products and brand through engaging content that appeals to its target audience.

Mary Stankiewicz is a freelance writer. A version of this article first appeared on the Belle Communications blog.

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