Social media influencers are becoming the new “opt-in” mailing list for major brands.
If you asked people on the street who is the most famous social media person and you would likely hear the name, Kim Kardashian.
Of course, the list of top social media personalities includes many entertainers and sports stars such as Lady Gaga and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But the landscape is full of social media stars that grew a following on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. mostly from social media activities.
This includes comedy, fashion, makeup, cooking, sports and even political talk.
Nadia Giosia, the Montreal-born TV Celebrity Chef, started out with a YouTube channel called Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen. The YouTube channel was picked up by Food Network for its Cooking Channel.
Now she works for Food Network, writes cookbooks, organizes a music, food & comedy festival called Riot Grill and even plays in a not so famous yet all-girl punk band.
Amanda Steele is one of the youngest YouTubers to build a following with her channel MakeupByMandy24 and recently signed a modeling contract with IMG. She started with YouTube at age 10 and only 7 years later is taking her social media success into a modeling career.
Not all social media starts move into “regular” careers. Many do very well with their channels and often gain sponsorship from brands to appear in advertising or promote products on their social media feeds.
SOME SOCIAL MEDIA STARS MAKE MILLIONS FROM THEIR FEEDS
Most social media phenoms started out with affiliate links and once they became popular landed some direct sponsorship deals.
Previously, smaller companies would often use these social media stars to promote their brands. It was a “cheaper” alternative to regular advertising.
That is rapidly changing as major brands have jumped in and recognized the value of these people. And instead of calling them social media Stars, they are now called social media influencers.
AMAZON JOINS THE FIELD OF HIRING SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS
Quietly, Amazon has now joined the list of major brands seeking out social media influencers. The program is in beta and is open by invitation only.
The program is officially called the “Amazon Influencer Program”. Amazon created a list of basic requirements on their page for consideration to join this program.
They are very careful to separate this program from their standard affiliates program. Probably because the payout scheme is very different.
Could this be part of a precursor to hiring talent for their own Twitch social media network? Some of you may remember that YouTube started to buy popular channels on their site.
It will be interesting to see where this will go. Amazon’s entry is a confirmation of the power of social media taking over traditional media marketing.