It’s easy to see that social media has revolutionized the way businesses communicate. The popularity of businesses using social platforms to advertise has opened the door for types of marketers beyond the definition that we’re used to. One of these new titles is the Social Media Influencer. These influencers are individuals who have gained an online following through a digital persona featured on a YouTube channel, personal blog, themed Instagram account, etc. And endorsement from a prominent social media influencer has come to be just as effective in marketing as a high quality advertisement, with 88% of consumers trusting online recommendations as much as personal recommendations. The same principle applies to the effect of positive online reviews and recommendations, real people sharing the endorsement of your products.
You don’t have to sponsor an Instagram star with 500K followers to achieve this same effect. Your business can take advantage of this shift in effective marketing by integrating User Generated Content (UGC) into your online presence. UGC is content created solely by your consumers, like an Instagram post on a customer’s personal account showing a real life application of your product. There are plenty of ways to encourage your consumers to create UGC, like featuring calls to action in your social content and creating special hashtags that can be used to share photos and videos related to your business. The modern tech-savvy consumer has become familiar with differentiating between sponsored and genuine endorsements, and authenticity takes the cake every time. Embracing the way social media has changed marketing is essential in keeping ahead of the curve. Keep the power of social influence in mind when it comes to promoting your business, and try not to underestimate the value of a 5 star rating on Google or a hashtag on Instagram.