Methods of influencer marketing and communication:

Methods of influencer marketing and communication:

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Social Sites; Methods of influencer marketing and communication:


Originally, a distinctive feature was that it confined photos to a square shape.

You can upload photographs and short videos, follow other users’ feeds[89] and geotag images with longitude and latitude coordinates, or the name of a location.

The explore tab was introduced in mid-2012 in which 21 photos are featured when a user clicks the tab second from the left on the bottom bar of the Instagram app. The photos must be of a public user whose profile is not set to private. This section of Instagram is where users can search for specific users or particular hashtags that interest them.

Since the app’s launch it had used the Foursquare API to provide named location tagging. In early 2014, after being purchased by Facebook, the company was switched to using Facebook Places.[67]

New features 2015 – 2016 :

  • In September 2015, Instagram Direct received a major update, adding new features such as instant messaging, adding more than one user & sharing more than one photos in a single conversation, and sharing post & profiles from feeds directly to the user


  • On October 22, 2015, Instagram launched Boomerang,[68] an app where you shoot a one-second burst of five photos that are turned into a silent video that plays forwards and then reverses in a loop.[69]


  • In the early quarter of 2016, Instagram increased the 15 seconds limit on videos to 60 seconds.[105][106][107][108] On February, the capacity for 60-second video rolled out to advertisers and select Instagram influencers, but allowed for all users in March 2016.


  • On May 11, 2016, Instagram updated its app design إضافة صورة للوقو الجديد
  • On August 2, 2016:Instagram’s new stories are a near-perfect copy of Snapchat stories. Instagram has launched a new feature called Stories that strongly resembles Snapchat’s section of the same name. The latest addition to the picture sharing social network lets users create ephemeral slideshows of photos, short videos and Boomerang loops that last just 24 hours. It is designed to let Instagram users show their followers what is happening “behind the scenes” of their well-manicured feeds. Similar to Snapchat, the new section has a pen annotation tool, common Instagram filters and is only available in the mobile app.—everything-you-need/


Instagram statistic :

Instagram user statistics;Instagram now has 400 million active users, 75% of Instagram users are outside the US, Over 60% of users log in daily, making it the second most engaged network after Facebook, 30% of internet users are now on Instagram. 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35.

Instagram financial statistics; in 2015, Instagram was forecasted to bring in $595m in mobile ad revenue, By 2017, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion.

Instagram history statistics; launched on October 6, 2010. The network was bought by Facebook on 9 April 2012, for $1 billion. At the time, Instagram had only 30 million users. Instagram introduced advertising for select brands in October 2013, but didn’t open up advertising for all until September 2015.

Instagram usage statistics; Over 40 billion photos have been shared. Instagram clocks up 3.5 billion likes every day. On an average day, 80 million photos are shared. Instagram usage has doubled in the last two years. When Instagram introduced videos, more than 5 million were shared in 24 hours.

Understanding The Different Types Of Instagram Influencers:

Many of today’s top Instagram influencers have attracted millions of engaged followers by focusing on a specific niche or content category. Here are some of Instagram’s most popular verticals and the most prominent Instagrammers that command each space, niche interests, and advertiser categories:

1-         Top Beauty, Make-Up, & Fashion Instagrammers

2-         The Best Travel, Hospitality, & Adventure Instagrammers

3-         Men’s Lifestyle & Fashion

4-         Design & Home Instagram Influencers

5-         Top Healthy Living & Activity Instagrammers

6-         The Best Food Instagrammers


Why Brands Should Use Instagram:

In 2016, digital marketing expert eMarkerer predicts that nearly 100 million Americans will log on to Instagram at least once a month, and by 2017, over half (51.8%) of all social network users in the U.S. will be on the fast-growing photo and video sharing platform. As greater numbers of consumers turn to Instagram to keep abreast of the latest trends, receive news through the app’s growing number of Instagram publishing channels, and make purchasing decisions, developing a comprehensive Instagram marketing strategy is now one of the best ways to reach audiences who spend hours a day on social media apps and networks.

To grow and remain viable in today’s hyper-competitive commercial landscape, successful brands must find a way to capture the attention of audiences who now look to social media platforms for entertainment and information by generating momentum through both owned media channels (the company’s own Instagram channel) and earned media (word-of-mouth or influencer marketing) recommendations. Developing an effective Instagram marketing strategy can be a powerful way for companies to showcase their brand, goods, and/or services in the most favorable light, solidify brand messaging through branded sponsored posts, boost brand relevance, and gain exposure to millions of new consumers.


Because Instagram is the favorite platform for teens and millennial users (Wall Street Journal), brands who engage in Instagram marketing now will also be in a better position to reach future generations who will wield more purchasing power as they get older.












New features 2016:

  • Snapchat’s biggest addition in this update was the inclusion of improved video and voice calling, a development that indicates just how serious Snapchat is about becoming an all-encompassing social media network on par with industry giants like Facebook and Google.Basically, the update features five buttons on the chat screen – from left to right: a photo button, a phone button, a snap button, a video button, and a sticker button. The photo button allows you to send pictures from your phone’s library, the phone button allows you to make voice calls, the snap button (as you might expect) allows you to send a snap, the video button starts a video call with your contact, and the sticker button gives you the chance to reply using one of several hundred stickers.


  • Campus Stories are Live Stories (stories curated through submissions by people who are within a certain geographic area during a set period of time) that have been created for selected college campuses. You will only be able to see these feeds if you are currently on a college campus, or if you have been there within the last 24 hours.


  • Snapchat Geofilters are images that can be applied to your snaps within a set geographic radius. Recently, Snapchat has opened up their Geofilter process so that you can create one for any event or area that you would like – as long as it follows their guidelines and you leave enough time for them to approve your image


  • Memories is a new way to save Snaps and Stories on Snapchat. It’s a personal collection of your favorite moments that lives below the Camera screen. Just swipe up from the Camera to open Memories!You can use Memories to create new Stories from Snaps you’ve taken, or even combine different Stories into a longer narrative! It’s fun to celebrate an anniversary or birthday by finding a few old Snaps and stringing them together into a new Story 🙂


  • Discover has you covered! Stumble upon channels from top publishers who curate content daily, watch Live Stories from an event, or check out local Campus Stories — you’ll never get bored! Press and hold on a channel icon for a quick summary of what it has to offer. If you’d like to see that channel on your Stories screen every day, just tap Subscribe!صورة توضيحية


  • a Filter! After you take a Snap, swipe right or left on the preview screen to add colored Filters, the current time, local weather, speed overlays or Geofilters to your Snaps. Learn how to enable them here.No need to stop at one Filter either. Stack Filters to make your Snap game oh so strong 💪🏼. After taking your Snap and applying your first Filter, press and hold then swipe to add another. Pro Tip: No need to ask for the date anymore – simply tap 👆 on the time filter, for the date to appear!



snapchat statistic :

  • Snapchat has 100M daily users, 65% of whom upload photos

spiegel said onstage today at the Code Conference that Snapchat has close to 100 million daily active users “in developed countries.”

More than that, 65 percent of those people actually contribute content — snaps and stories — of their own, which is a remarkably high level of active engagement.

Spiegel also said that Vodafone has attributed 75 percent of its customers’ upload bandwidth usage in the U.K. to Snapchat.

  • Snapchat users share nearly 9,000 Snaps every second. According to the Newscred survey, 54 percent of use the site daily, and 32 percent use the site two-to-five times a week. This engagement is a big draw to marketers, and 30 percent of them are including Snapchat in Super Bowl marketing campaigns.


  • Percentage of snapchat users that purchase products online 76%



  • Snapchat’s 100 million-plus daily users are spending an average of 30 minutes inside the app every day. And this: More than half of the new users signing up to Snapchat these days are over the age of 25.


  • Snapchat 70% of Users Are Women.






  • From May 2015 to May 2016, Snapchat’s daily video views have grown 400% over the course of the year (from 2 billion to 10 billion, according to Bloomberg). At a linear monthly growth rate of 33%, Snapchat will surpass 18 billion daily video views by May 2017. The Financial Times also noted that Snapchat’s video views have tripled every 6 months.



  • Snapchat now boasts over 10 billion videos views per day, according to Bloomberg, surpassing rival Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views (Fortune) at:


  • Snapchat Now Has More Users Than Twitter.

An estimated 150 million people now use Snapchat, according to Bloomberg. The messaging app now claims more active users than the micro-blogging platform Twitter, which now has only 140 million active users.


  • Snapchat Is Now Worth $20 Billion.

In light of its latest round of fundraising (which yielded $1.8 billion), Snapchat’s current valuation is approximately $18 billion (TechCrunch).


  • 60% Of All Smartphone Users Are Now On Snapchat.

An eMarketer report found that 18 to 24 year-olds make up 45% of all Snapchat users in the U.S., and comScore discovered that 60% of U.S. 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are Snapchatters (Snapchat). According to Forbes, 37% of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24 and over 60% of U.S. 13- to 38-year-olds are Snapchat users.


  • It Would Take 158 Years to Watch Every Snapchat Story.

At 500 million Snapchat stories per day (calculated at 10 seconds each), it would take over 158 years to watch an entire day of Snapchat stories. According to Business Insider, users spend an average of 25-30 minutes each day on Snapchat.


Why Brands Should Use Snapchat

  • Ever since consumers became smarter about determining which brands to involve in their daily lives, advertising alone isn’t enough for brands to market their product. You have to tell a story. Take them on a journey. Sell them a lifestyle. Not only does it have to communicate benefits and value, it has to be relatable. How do you do that? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Target their emotions. Engage with your audience by using the language of social media — be human.




Snapchat: Snapchat in the World of Storytelling

One of the biggest players on social media engagement right now is video. It’s everywhere! Not only that it promotes engagement on social media, it’s an effective platform for creating interactive content. And now you have one perfect tool to craft interactive content (including video): Snapchat.

Snapchat does hit every aspect. You can create content on your own (minus the technical editing) and it has your personal touch in the sense that its similar to a homemade video. You create your own story; you tell it the way you want it. Since audiences nowadays want to see and hear stories (close to reality) rather than a bunch of product placements and hard-selling, Snapchat is the best tool and platform to humanize your brand. You can also inject humor and creativity with your snaps.

The 24-hour stories promote a sense of urgency to content consumption for your followers. It’s like Zara for fast fashion — you create limited supply for a bigger demand. Also, the real-time snaps could spark real-time engagement. Your followers can reply to your snaps. As for the limitation on audience reach, I believe Snapchat is effective in loyalty acquisition as it lets you engage a smaller community of your biggest fans — people who are genuinely interested in what you’re doing.

These fans are more valuable, not just because an existing customer is more likely to consume your products than a new one, but because these people are more likely to become advocates of your brand. That’s the most important factor of a customer’s decision-making process before they buy a product.

  • With 10B views a day and close to 200M active users, Snapchat is the next go-to brand platform


What Is a Snapchat Takeover?

A Snapchat Takeover is when a brand allows a social media influencer to “take over” the brand’s Snapchat account and create a story from the YouTuber, Instagrammer, Viner, or Snapchat star’s unique perspective. Takeovers typically last a few hours or an entire day, and the digital influencer enlisted to commandeer the brand channel prefaces the takeover by asking fans across all their social media channels to watch his or her story on the sponsoring brand’s Snapchat account.

By leveraging the attention of their audiences (oftentimes in the millions of fans, followers, and subscribers) and, in many cases, capturing new audiences and exposing them to an exclusive experience or behind-the-scenes look, social media stars can increase brand exposure and grow a brand’s Snapchat followers exponentially.





Influencer Marketing

The voice of the customer has always been one of the most powerful concepts in marketing, and today’s social media platforms act as one giant megaphone for that voice.

In fact, social media has fundamentally changed the balance of power between customers and brands because it enables peer recommendations to play a much greater role in purchasing decisions. According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Given the importance of peer recommendations and their amplification through social media, influencer marketing has become a widely discussed topic among marketers. This is especially true given the prevalence of influencers in the growing “millennial” and “mom” demographics.

Celebrities have been used in advertisements for a long time but according to Crowdtap (2014), consumers today avoid messages through the traditional media (TV, print and radio) and the messages through them rank low on trust. Peer-­created social content or user-­generated content is trusted more than other types of media.

Through social media consumers have gotten closer to the celebrities and influencers. Over time they have formed a relationship and consumers trust the influencers.


What is the influencer Marketing?


  • Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers. [1]

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, and so on).[2]

The first approach to that theory comes from a communication classic, The People´s Choice(Lazarsfeld and Katz), a 1940 study on political communication that was also known as Multistep flow model, that claims that the majority of people are influenced by secondhand information and opinion leaders.

  • nfluencer marketing campaigns are an expanding speciality within digital marketing. Social marketing increases sales by bringing influential online celebrities and businesses together to talk directly to niche audiences, activating brands online potential during the process.

Our network of more than 30,000 of the most influential people online (including bloggers, vloggers and social media stars makes growing your reputation easy and cost-effective.


  • Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy. This market influence typically stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. Marketing to an audience of influencers is similar to word of mouth marketing, but it doesn’t rely strictly on explicit recommendations (See also Word-of-Mouth Marketing).

Influence can come from a wide range of places. Any person, group, brand, or place could potentially be an influencer. For example, celebrities are often used to market products because they are highly respected and highly visible. When a celebrity uses a product, the maker of that product gets exposure and the respect that comes from a celebrity endorsement (See alsoMarketing with Celebrities).

Bloggers have become important influencers because they are seen as authentic and have loyal followings. When a blogger recommends a product it seems more trustworthy than traditional advertising. By using influencers, companies can avoid much of the cynicism and skepticism that is directed at straight forward marketing messages.

This form of marketing is unique because it appeals to the needs of the influencer rather than the customer. Companies must give influencers respect and form open and organic relationships for the influencer to endorse a product. This might include giving the influencer access to a soon-to-be released product, or inviting the influencer to visit the company in person.

The only major drawback of influencer marketing is that it isn’t as controllable as traditional marketing. While some influencers only add to the positive image of a product, influencers who encounter legal trouble or fall out of the public light might negatively impact a product’s chance of success. Marketers must prepare to deal with negative fallout if the influencers they use misrepresent or reject their products.

  • Influencer marketing can be loosely defined as a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers. In the past, brands may have focused on popular bloggers and celebrities but today there is a new wave of “everyday” consumers that can have just as large an impact.

Finally, in addition to improving your customer experience, a brand should also be aware of influencers who are actual industry experts with large followings.


  • Social influence occurs when one’s emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others.[1] Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales and marketing. In 1958, Harvard psychologist, Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.[2]
  1. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others, but actually keep their dissenting opinions private.
  2. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity.
  • Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately.
  • Influence

Most discussion on the generic topic of social influence centres on compliance and persuasion in a social environment, as exemplified in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: Science and Practice.[3] In the context of Influencer Marketing, influence is less about argument and coercion to a particular point of view, and more about loose interactions between various parties in a community. Influence is often equated to advocacy, but may also be negative, and is thus related to concepts of promoters and detractors.[4]



  • Social Media Influencers:

Generally speaking, a social media influencer is any individual or group that has cultivated a large following by producing content solely on today’s most popular social media channels (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and/or Vine) or by creating, contributing to, and managing a successful blog. Often, top social media influencers operate within niche areas of expertise—fashion, for example, or cooking—and thus command the attention and respect of audiences with the same set of interests.


What truly sets social media influencers apart from their movie star counterparts (and makes collaborating with digital stars so beneficial for brands) is how they engage with their followers. Most social media stars spend years developing a unique relationship with their fans by responding to comments and engaging with followers personally, making digital influencers far more accessible, believable, and genuine than traditional celebrities.


  • Influencer marketing has become one of the most valuable and effective ways for brands and brand marketers to engage audiences that spend hours each day on social media platforms and expand brand awareness by leveraging the relationship between YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, Viners, bloggers, and their fans.


When did Influencer Marketing Start?

Marketing historians point to The People’s Choice as the first time the idea of influencer marketing was fully fleshed out. Though this book focused on political communication, the idea was universal—consumers respond better to the opinions of friends and family than those coming from large brands or political figures. The authors of The People’s Choice, Elihu Katz and Paul Felix Lazarfeld, argued that a two-step flow of communication (what they dubbed the Multistep Flow Model) would be a much more effective means of persuading the masses. As you might guess, the two-step flow entailed first marketing to influencers, and then incentivizing influencers to market to the wider public.

Though that book was written almost 70 years ago, recent studies have confirmed the ideas contained within The People’s Choice.  Nielsen recently published a study that asked consumers which forms of advertising they trusted the most. The overwhelming winner was “Recommendations from People I Know” at 84%. Towards the bottom of the list were online banner ads (42%) and ads served in search engine results (48%), two staples of online marketing for the past few decades. Given these statistics, it’s a natural progression for brands to use influencers to spread brand messaging.

Though influencer marketing has existed in some form for the past half century, it wasn’t until the advent of social media that influencers were able to substantially increase their personal reach. This larger reach has increased the value of influencers to brands, and made it more lucrative to be an influencer.




Taya of influencer:


Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. In consumer spending, members of a peer group or reference group act as influencers. In business to business (organizational) buying, internal employees (engineers, managers, purchasers) or external consultants act as influencers



And social media influencers are referred to as social media stars, brand influencers, digital influencers, and terms like YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, Snapchatters, vloggers, and bloggers, are used when describing platform-specific influencers. – Read more at:

  1. The 5 Types of Influencers On The Web

Based Lisa Barone, co-founder of the firm Outspoken Media (New York), in contrast, proposes a simpler list of Influencers On The Web.A list which corresponds very well to the five main types of influencers that found on social media:

  • The networker (Social Butterfly): one who has the biggest contact list and found on all platforms. He or she who knows everybody and everybody knows him or her.
  • The opinion leader (Thought Leader): one who can become the best ambassador of a brand. He or she has built a strong authority in his or her field by based on credibility. Their messages are most often commented on and retweeted.
  • The discoverer (Trendsetter): one who is always the first to use a new platform.  Constantly on the lookout for new trends, they become the “hub” in the sector.
  • The sharer (Reporter): one who distributes information to the bloggers to journalists through the specialized webzines. He or she usually amplify messages.
  • The user (Everyday Customer): one that represents the regular customer. He or she does not have a network as large as the networker, but his or her network remains equally important.







  1. Social Media Influencers – Read more at:


  • Generally speaking, a social media influencer is any individual or group that has cultivated a large following by producing content solely on today’s most popular social media channels (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and/or Vine) or by creating, contributing to, and managing a successful blog. Often, top social media influencers operate within niche areas of expertise—fashion, for example, or cooking—and thus command the attention and respect of audiences with the same set of interests.

What truly sets social media influencers apart from their movie star counterparts (and makes collaborating with digital stars so beneficial for brands) is how they engage with their followers. Most social media stars spend years developing a unique relationship with their fans by responding to comments and engaging with followers personally, making digital influencers far more accessible, believable, and genuine than traditional celebrities. ]


  • An influencer is an individual with a large social reach that has the power to “influence” the decisions their audience makes. Because they’ve built an engaged audience that follows them across top social media channels, influencers can become powerful brand advocates as they promote brands and make a product or service relevant to their audience. In a world where an influencer’s recommendations, suggestions, likes, and follows can affect real-world decisions about what brands customers care about, influencers now wield power similar if not much greater than most celebrities.



  • Platforms like Instagram and YouTube have led to the rise of a new generation of influencers that have amassed huge followings on niche subject matters such as fashion, beauty, and food. One such example is Michelle Phan who started a series of YouTube videos featuring simple make-up demonstrations and tutorials. Overtime, she has amassed over 6 million followers. More important than her follower count is the personal brand she has been able to build. Michelle Phan has become a cosmetics authority that many consumers have come to trust…to the point that L’Oreal actually co-branded a cosmetic line with her.









C-Who micro-influencers

Though no clear definition delineates “micro-influencers” from traditional social media influencers (even the line between digital stars and traditional celebrities is now steadily eroding), most marketers consider micro-influencers to be any YouTuber, Instagrammer, Snapchatter, or blogger with a relatively small (less than 100,000) follower-base of highly-engaged, extremely attentive social media users.


many brands are finding that partnering with smaller, niche-focused “micro-influencers” may sometimes yield higher levels of engagement and better returns for brands.

82% of people are likely to follow the recommendations of a micro-influencer.


In the wake of revelations that some high-reach influencers actually purchase followers to artificially inflate their reach, many brands are eschewing the “bigger is better” (in terms of audience size) influencer marketing mantra in favor of working with smaller, more engaged social media stars. New research suggests that micro-influencers because:

1-Have Higher Engagement Rates

A recent survey found that a correlation existed between engagement rates and the number of followers an Instagram influencer claimed—as the number of followers an Instagrammer earned increased, the influencer’s engagement (predictably) plunged. Instagram influencers with fewer than 1000 followers reported an 8% engagement rate, while those with over 1 million followers only engaged with 1.7% of their audience (Digiday).


2- Are Better At Driving Consumer Action

According to a study conducted by The Keller Fay Group and Experticity, 82% of consumers said they would follow the recommendations of micro-influencers. The study also found that, on a weekly basis, micro-influencers give over 20 times more recommendations than the average consumer (Marketing Dive).

3- Offer High Returns On Marketing Investments (ROIs)

Like celebrity endorsements, some partnerships with high-reach influencers can be expensive—marketers can expect to pay $50K–$100K for just one post from a “famous” Instagrammer or blogger. Collaborating with micro-influencers not only ensures that brands are targeting the right audience, it also allows CMOs to create multiple campaigns and achieve a level of brand ubiquity in a given niche or marketing vertical.

D- A celebrity:

Celebrity is fame and public attention in the media, usually applied to a person, group of people (celebrity couple, family, etc.), or, occasionally, to animals. Celebrity status is often associated with wealth (commonly referred to as fame and fortune) and fame can often provide op to make money.


Successful careers in sports and entertainment are commonly associated with celebrity status;[3][4] political leaders often become celebrities. People may also become celebrities due to media attention for their lifestyle, wealth, or controversial actions, or for their connection to a famous person.

Primarily Valued for Level of Exposure He or She Can Provide, Not Necessarily Tied to Knowledge Base or Credibility

Made Famous Through More Traditional Channels (TV, Radio, etc.)

Not Necessarily Running Their Own Social Accounts: The Brand Partners with the Personality, Not the Creativity or Content Creation


Most digital influencers still work regular jobs, have families, and engage in normal social activities that readers, viewers, and followers can relate to. While celebrities usually have a large, impersonal following, digital influencers have a dedicated audience that regularly engages with their content and follows them specifically for both style advice and inspiration.


A digital influencer’s sole purpose is to share their style, making brand endorsements a natural fit. Because celebrities aren’t necessarily viewed as authorities on fashion or style, marketing campaigns with celebrities typically see less engagement and fall short when it comes to ROI. Integration is the key to a successful influencer marketing campaign, and the more authentic a campaign appears, the more influential it will be on targeted consumers. –


But Leverage Digital Influencers & Celebrity Due to the different audiences celebrities and digital influencers reach and the varying levels of engagement among their fans and followers, both celebrities and digital influencers can be employed to create a successful integrated marketing campaign. Celebrities are very useful for creating awareness about the brand, since they reach a mass market of consumers, while digital influencers are better at creating an intimate connection between audience and brand. It is this connection that ultimately drives the conversions and sales brands are seeking.


Finally, . Social engagement, in fact, is one of the most important factors brands should consider when looking for a social media star to collaborate with, and the most successful social media influencers spend time facilitating conversations with their followers through YouTube and Instagram comments, tweets, and blog post threads.To capitalize on engaged social media audiences, it’s important for brands to realize that social media platforms and digital influencers are not simply vehicles to distribute a brand’s message – they are actual communities with special sets of norms, values, and ways of communicating. Campaigns are most successful when companies recognize what makes every social community’s unique culture and niche interests.

Nathan McDonald, co-founder of We Are Social, says that authenticity is one of the reasons why social media stars are so impactful and why social media marketing campaigns typically enjoy high rates of success. Audiences feel a genuine connection with the social media stars they follow, and part of the reason for their trust stems from the raw, authentic, unedited nature of social media platforms like Snapchat and Vine. See how DJ Khaled has leveraged his authenticity to amass a huge following on Snapchat here.













Methods of influencer marketing and communication:


1-   Two-step flow of communication:

The theory is based on a 1940s study on social influence that states that media effects are indirectly established through the personal influence of opinion leaders. The majority of people receive much of their information and are influenced by the media secondhand, through the personal influence of opinion leaders.


The two-step model says that most people are not directly influenced by mass media, but that they rather form their opinions based on opinion leaders who interpret media messages and put them into context. Opinion leaders are those initially exposed to a specific media content, and who interpret it based on their own opinion. They then begin to infiltrate these opinions through the general public who become “opinion followers”.[1] These “opinion leaders” gain their influence through more elite media as opposed to mainstream mass media.[2] In this process, social influence is created and adjusted by the ideals and opinions of each specific “elite media” group, and by these media group’s opposing ideals and opinions and in combination with popular mass media sources. Therefore, the leading influence in these opinions is primarily a social persuasion.[3]

History and Orientation

The two-step flow of communication hypothesis was first introduced by Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet in The People’s Choice, a 1944 study focused on the process of decision-making during a Presidential election campaign. These researchers expected to find empirical support for the direct influence of media messages on voting intentions. They were surprised to discover, however, that informal, personal contacts were mentioned far more frequently than exposure to radio or newspaper as sources of influence on voting behavior. Armed with this data, Katz and Lazarsfeld developed the two-step flow theory of mass communication.

Core Assumptions and Statements

This theory asserts that information from the media moves in two distinct stages. First, individuals (opinion leaders) who pay close attention to the mass media and its messages receive the information. Opinion leaders pass on their own interpretations in addition to the actual media content. The term ‘personal influence’ was coined to refer to the process intervening between the media’s direct message and the audience’s ultimate reaction to that message. Opinion leaders are quite influential in getting people to change their attitudes and behaviors and are quite similar to those they influence. The two-step flow theory has improved our understanding of how the mass media influence decision making. The theory refined the ability to predict the influence of media messages on audience behavior, and it helped explain why certain media campaigns may have failed to alter audience attitudes an behavior. The two-step flow theory gave way to the multi-step flow theory of mass communication or diffusion of innovation theory.


Published Works on the Theory

The People’s Choice

The presidential election of 1940 saw President Franklin Roosevelt seek an unprecedented third term in office. Funded by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Life magazine, and the pollster Elmo Roper, Columbia’s Office of Radio Research conducted a study of voting. It was based on a panel study of 2,400 voters in Erie County, Ohio. Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet supervised 15 interviewers, who from May–October interviewed the strategically selected 2,400 members of the community several different times in order to document their decision making process during the campaign. They focused on what factors would influence their decisions as the campaign progressed. The People’s Choice, a book based on this study presented the theory of “the two-step flow of communications,” which later came to be associated with the so-called “limited effects model” of mass media: the idea that ideas often flow from radio and print to local “opinion leaders” who in turn pass them on to those with more limited political knowledge, or “opinion followers.” The results of the research led to the conclusion that sometimes person to person communication can be more effective than traditional media outlets such as newspapers, TV, radio etc. This idea developed further in the book Personal Influence.

Personal Influence

In 1944, Paul Lazarsfeld contacted McFadden Publications in regards to his first book, The People’s Choice. The two collaborated forming a mutually beneficial partnership in which Macfadden saw a way to financially profit from advertising to the female population and Lazarsfeld saw a way to gain more information on social influence . Out of this came the study conducted by the Bureau of Applied Social Research in which 800 female residents of Decatur, Illinois, where interviewed through panel interviews to discover what and who primarily influenced their decision making. Lazarsfeld worked with Robert Merton and thus hired C. Wright Mills to head the study. Another part of the research team, Thelma Ehrlich Anderson, trained local Decatur women to administer surveys to targeted women in town. By 1955. the Decatur study was published as part of Elihu Katz and Lazarsfeld’s book Personal Influence. The book concluded that ultimately, face to face interaction is more influential than traditional media influence and thus confirmed the two-step flow model of communication.[16]

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2-   Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM, WOM marketing)

92% Of People Say They Trust Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations Over Ads

Neilsen, a global statistics and measurement company, reported that 92% of people say they trust the advice and/or recommendations of friends and family members over any form of advertising. Considering the relationship many followers have with social media stars, regarding them as trustworthy sources of information and entertainment, this influencer marketing statistic speaks to the impact social media stars can have on their large, engaged audiences.

also called word of mouth advertising, differs from naturally occurring word of mouth, in that it is actively influenced or encouraged by organisations (e.g. ‘seeding’ a message in a network, rewarding regular consumers to engage in WOM, employing WOM ‘agents’). While it is difficult to truly control WOM, research [1] has shown that there are three generic avenues to ‘manage’ WOM for the purpose of WOMM: 1) Build a strong WOM foundation (e.g. sufficient levels of satisfaction, trust and commitment), 2) Indirect WOMM management which implies that managers only have a moderate amount of control (e.g. controversial advertising, teaser campaigns, customer membership clubs), 3) Direct WOMM management, which has higher levels of control (e.g. paid WOM ‘agents’, “friend get friend” schemes). Proconsumer WOM has been suggested as a counterweight to commercially motivated word of mouth.[2]

George Silverman, a psychologist, pioneered word-of-mouth marketing when he created what he called “teleconferenced peer influence groups” in order to engage physicians in dialogue about new pharmaceutical products. Silverman noticed an interesting phenomenon while conducting focus groups with physicians in the early 1970s. “One or two physicians who were having good experiences with a drug would sway an entire group of skeptics. They would even sway a dissatisfied group of ex-prescribers who had had negative experiences!”[3]

With the emergence of Web 2.0, many web start-ups like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Digg have used buzz marketing by merging it with the social networks that they have developed.[citation needed][clarification needed] With the increasing use of the Internet as a research and communications platform, word of mouth has become an even more powerful and useful resource for consumers and marketers

Research firm PQ Media estimated that in 2008, companies spent $1.54 billion on word-of-mouth marketing. While spending on traditional advertising channels was slowing, spending on word-of-mouth marketing grew 14.2 percent in 2008, 30 percent of that for food and drink brands.[7]

Word of mouth marketing today is both online and through face-to-face interaction. The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science has shown that to achieve growth, brands must create word of mouth beyond core fan groups – meaning marketers should not focus solely on communities such as Facebook.[citation needed] According to Deloite further research has shown that ‘most advocacy takes place offline’ – instead it happens in person. According to the Journal of Advertising Research, 75% of all consumer conversations about brands happen face-to-face, 15% happen over the phone and just 10% online. On the other hand, some see social media interaction as being inextricably tied to word of mouth marketing.[8]

Concepts/Models of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

The Network Coproduction Model This next development in word-of-mouth marketing. This saw marketers introduce “one to one seeding and communication programmes”.[9] This model encourages conversations between customers about the certain product through releasing information on a particular product.[10] This word-of-mouth model is more focused on online activities, using blogs and online communities as sources in communicating the message of the product. The network coproduction model gives marketers the opportunity to control and manage word of mouth activity online[9]

– Seeding is one example of how Marketers use the network coproduction model of word-of-mouth Marketing. With seeding marketers can use various techniques and approaches these approaches can be indirect like engineering WOM conversations and direct approaches[10] – The engineering approach consists of marketers constructing conversations, so there is more buzz created and the number of conversations based on an organisations product increases.[10] – A direct approach to seeding is targeting special selected consumers and allowing them to sample products that an organisation has. This allows these selected customers to present their feelings towards these products through online communities or blogs.[10] – Seeding campaigns can offer marketers the ability to reach a new set of consumers. It is most effective when the product is at the beginning stage of its product life style and helps to set the reputation of the brand and product into motion.[10]


Marketing buzz or simply “buzz” is a term used in word-of-mouth marketing—the interaction of consumers and users of a product or service serve to amplify the original marketing message.[11] Some describe buzz as a form of hype among consumers,[12] a vague but positive association, excitement, or anticipation about a product or service. Positive “buzz” is often a goal of viral marketing, public relations, and of advertising on Web 2.0 media. The term refers both to the execution of the marketing technique, and the resulting goodwill that is created. Examples of products with strong marketing buzz upon introduction were Harry Potter, the Volkswagen New Beetle, Pokémon, Beanie Babies, and the Blair Witch Project.[12]

Viral effects

Viral marketing and viral advertising are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of virus or computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.[13] Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) — and have a high probability of being taken by another competitor — and create viral messages that appeal to this segment of the population. The term “viral marketing” has also been used pejoratively to refer to stealth marketing campaigns—the unscrupulous use of astroturfing on-line combined with undermarket advertising in shopping centers to create the impression of spontaneous word-of-mouth enthusiasm.[14]

WOM has been researched for many years and as a result much is known about what drives WOM (e.g. customer satisfaction, trust and brand commitment) and its far-reaching consequences (e.g. affective/emotional, cognitive, and behavioral) for both consumers and organizations.[7] WOM’s effectiveness as an information source for consumers can be broken down into two factors: WOM’s reach and WOM’s impact.

According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Given the importance of peer recommendations and their amplification through social media, influencer marketing has become a widely discussed topic among marketers. This is especially true given the prevalence of influencers in the growing “millennial” and “mom” demographics.


3-  Storytelling:

Storytelling often involves improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values.

The earliest forms of storytelling were thought to have been primarily oral combined with gesture storytelling for many of the ancient cultures. The Australian Aboriginal people painted symbols from stories on cave walls as a means of helping the storyteller remember the story. The story was then told using a combination of oral narrative, music, rock art, and dance.

Traditionally, oral stories were committed to memory and then passed from generation to generation. However, in literate societies, written and televised media have largely replaced this


method of communicating local, family, and cultural histories. Oral storytelling remains the dominant medium of learning in some countries with low literacy rates.


storytelling is the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view. The term ‘storytelling’ is used in a narrow sense to refer specifically to oral storytelling and also in a looser sense to refer to techniques used in other media to unfold or disclose the narrative of a story.

Storytelling In marketing

Storytelling is increasingly used in advertising today in order to build customer loyalty.[60] According to Giles Lury, this marketing trend echoes the deeply rooted need of all humans to be entertained.[61] Stories are illustrative, easily memorable and allow any firm to create stronger emotional bonds with the customers.[61]

A Nielsen study shows consumers want a more personal connection in the way they gather information. Our brains are far more engaged by storytelling than by cold, hard facts. When reading straight data, only the language parts of our brains work to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well. This means it’s far easier for us to remember stories than hard facts.[62]

Developments include the use of trans-media techniques, originating in the film industry which Build a world in which your story can evolve. Examples include Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory”.[63]

Why Storytelling? Major Shifts = Opportunity

The game has changed. We no longer live in a broadcast era where marketers can simply buy people’s attention with a TV campaign. There are different rules now and we need to earn the attention of our audience.

We have a connected consumer revolution. The consumer is now in control of what they view, what they share, and how they view (on what screen). So there has been a major shift in terms of the relationship between consumers and marketers.

And there are bigger things at work as well. We saw it with the Arab Spring, and the critical role social media had in the way information was shared. We saw it with the Occupy Movement as well. Social media can have an impact on traditional power structures.

From a marketer’s perspective, that means that we’re moving towards pull versus push approach, sometimes referred to as inbound marketing. We can no longer push our messages across, we need to pull customers in with engaging, useful content.

All of these trends are turning the traditional media model on its head, and brands are evolving into media properties. One of the best examples of this is Red Bull. Red Bull is putting out such compelling content that traditional media properties like NBC are buying the rights to this content. They’ve completely flipped the model around as a brand, where the broadcasters are after them for their content. They’re a great example of a brand doing it well in social.

So as marketers how do we take advantage of these trends? One of the best ways we can do that is by combining the power of storytelling with social media. Stories are the way that humans make sense of the world.

After all, we are not “businesses” connecting with ‘consumers”; we are people connecting with other people. At Hootsuite, we try to keep this in mind in all of our communications, whether it’s a holiday message (and a video describing our product) or a Game of Thrones inspired infographic illustrating our role in the social media landscape.

The best marketers and communicators have always used storytelling to connect and inspire an audience to act. They have used traditional storytelling structures to share their messages; there’s a beginning, there’s a middle and there’s an end. As storytellers we need to answer these questions. Who is the hero? What is the plot? What is the setting? And, a scary thing for some marketers, what’s the conflict? If you’re telling a story, there’s always a conflict. It’s not always unicorns and rainbows and the hyperbole that lazy marketers often resort to.


With the growth of social media, a storytelling approach to building a brand is critical. We know that stories are inherently social and social media is about making connections. The alternative title to this post could be “Social Media and Storytelling: Duh!”. In this ongoing series we will explore the intersection of Social Media and Storytelling and how marketers can use them to drive results.


Why People Share?

The NYTimes Insights Group published a study that looked at the key factors that influence people to share content. Unsurprisingly, they discovered that sharing is all about relationships. They outlined these key motivations for people to share:

    To bring valuable and entertaining content to others.

    To define ourselves to others.

    To grow and nourish relationships.

    To get the word out about causes and brands I care about.

Psychology of Sharing

Some of the other reasons people share are at a deeper psychological level. The journal Psychological Science published a study about the psychology of sharing in 2011. The research uncovered that evoking certain emotions can help increase the chance of a message being shared. Here’s a quote:

“The sharing of stories or information may be driven in part by arousal. When people are physiologically aroused, whether due to emotional stimuli or otherwise, the autonomic nervous is activated, which then boosts social transmission.”

Of course, storytelling is an effective way to convey this emotive content.  You don’t need to be constrained by the 140 characters of a Tweet. Often social is the channel we use to point to longer form content. Other times, a story in this context could be a photo embedded in a post or a short Vine or Instagram video.

When you look at the types of emotions, you will notice there are two sides of the spectrum: positive and negative messages. They both work at getting your content shared.

If you want to create a long-standing powerful brand you should be telling a positive story. Focus on stories that place your customer in the role of the hero.


So what does this all mean? It means there is a science to creating shareable content. It’s not an exact science, but by following specific guidelines and playing into the needs, wants and psychology of your audience, you can drastically increase your chances of getting your content shared. Here is what to keep in mind:

6        Tips to Creating Content That Gets Shared

1-      Appeal to your audience’s key motivation – to connect with each other (it’s not just with your brand).

2-      Tell a story.

3-      Trust is the cost of entry for getting share, ensure you have established credibility

4-      Keep the message simple.

5-      Appeal to positive emotions like inspiration, illumination or amusement.

6-      Embed a sense of urgency.

The Growth of Visual Storytelling

Social Media has evolved to become a highly visual medium. We see that in the rise of Vine, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook’s move to timeline. It’s all about images. You can probably see that in your own digital behaviour, you are sharing and viewing more photos, graphics, infographics, GIFs, videos etc.

The stats below reflect this shift, the visual-centric social networks have seen explosive growth and valuations; while photos and video posts are getting higher engagement levels:

  • Pinterest now has 70 million users
  • Pinterest had the largest year-over-year increase in audience of any social network in 2012
  • Instagram has over 120 million monthly active users and was bought by Facebook for $1 Billion
  • Photos receive 2x more likes than text posts on Facebook
  • Videos
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