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Best Practice

What Traditional Marketers Can Learn from Social Media Influencers

Cherise Czaban

is the publisher and CEO of i4 Business. She can be reached at cherise@i4biz.com.

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I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures. — Paul Barron, executive producer of Foodable Network

48 | MAY 2019 | i4Biz.com

On a 1950s poster, Elizabeth Taylor smiles sweetly next to a picture of Whitman’s Chocolates and the words, “He remembered … and any girl loves any man for that! Why don’t you?” In 1992, Cindy Crawford drinks a Pepsi during a Super Bowl commercial, sparking a decades-long fascination with both the drink and the model. In 2016, Taylor Swift runs on a treadmill while singing and dancing, demonstrating the motivating power of Apple Music. Since before most of us can remember, the faces and voices of well-known celebrities have been used as a cornerstone of modern marketing. The newest step in this evolution, however, is marked by the introduction of social media to the landscape, creating a new persona known as the “social media influencer.” On Instagram especially, “influencers” are gaining more

and more traction, creating a new and more accessible form of celebrity with a huge impact on their audience. The sudden and meteoric rise of social media influencers is a testament to how savvy they are when it comes to building, sustaining and evolving their personal brands. Their reach alone is staggering proof of this: According to CBS News, fitness guru Amanda Cerny boasts 19.5 million followers on Instagram, while comedian Andrew Bachelor has 14.8 million followers on Instagram and 9.5 million on Facebook. Those are just two of thousands. Their impact has marketers wondering, what are they doing that our company isn’t? Here are a few of the crucial traits of influencer brands that can help your marketing team:

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