The Power of Social Media

Recent data shows that celebrity endorsements are no longer a “sure thing” when it comes to promoting a product, getting noticed, or increasing sales. Celebrities are losing their advertising power. Ads featuring celebrities aren’t performing as well as they did in the past proving that celebrities aren’t as “worshiped” as they once were. When it comes to purchasing a product or paying for a service people pay much more attention to the opinions of the people that they trust, like friends, family, and colleagues. Social media has certainly made it easier to share and connect with other people that share your interests. Social media outlets provide access to lots of people and lots of opinions and users are more likely to pay attention to those in their social circle than they are of a celebrity that they really can’t relate to.

Social sites like Twitter and Facebook were created with sharing in mind. People can share just about anything, whether it is the details of the outfit that they are currently wearing, or an interesting article about a new product. Average everyday “Joe’s” now have a captive audience. People are paying attention to “Joe”, which means that “Joe” has power. Whereas this power was once reserved for celebrities and spokespeople, social media has turned the normal folk into spokespeople, sometimes without them even realizing it. A Facebook user may notice that a friend of theirs “likes” something. They trust that friend and value their opinion, so they may check it out too. Without even knowing it, the original “liker” just endorsed a product.

This is why it’s important for companies to be involved in social media. If a business has a social presence, it allows for an opportunity to get “liked” and “followed” by many current and or potential customers and clients. A company should never underestimate the power of its customers. In many cases, it’s likely that their support will get the company noticed in a much more targeted way than any celebrity would ever be able to achieve. Consumers aren’t dumb. They know that Paris Hilton is getting paid lots of money to promote a product. Sally from Psychology class isn’t, she genuinely “likes” the product enough to support it publicly, which means that it might be worth trying.

Of course, some “regular” people have more influence than others and it’s best to try and get the attention of the “influencers” on social media sites. The website Klout measures a users overall online influence using over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter. Klout measures a users True Reach (the size of their engaged audience), Amplification Probability (the likelihood that their content will be acted upon), and Network Influence (the influence level of their engaged audience). While Klout is certainly a useful tool, it’s important not to get too hung up on it. A social media strategy should be measured by its success in creating conversions, not on its Klout summary.

Article by Nick Stamoulis.