How To Use Social Media Influencers

Posted: Apr 28, 2018

The ways people find new products in the wine space is changing. 44% of people regularly discuss wine on social media now, according to Collective Bias, a marketing company with a specialty in social media. The most typical ways consumers use social media to discuss wine are:

. 54% use it to get wine information.
. 51% use it to ask friends for recommendations.
. 47% use it to look up wine pricing.

WHY USE AN INFLUENCER? One increasingly popular way to reach new consumers is through social media influencers. "Influencers are a really great way to get your messaging out," said Brie Strickland, associate manager, influencer & music marketing for Southwest Airlines, during the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium this year.

So-called influencers often have an engaged fan base and are better for brands trying to connect with a certain demographic, versus when they just want as many eyes on the brand as possible. "Think of it as a mix between media and having a publisher.... you can really target different demographics and customer segments."

Southwest engages with influencers in several different communities including: mommy bloggers, travel junkies, fashion and beauty, hospitality and business etc., some of which will serve as ambassadors for 12 months at a time.

LET THEM DO WHAT THEY DO BEST. Kim Harris, an account manager for Collective Bias, noted that it's important that once a brand signs an agreement with an influencer to let them talk about and feature the product in the way that is natural for their medium. "Taking the handcuffs off the influencer, and allowing them to add their own personal touch is going to go a lot further for [wineries] than something that comes across as a very stylized, stock photo design for your product."

HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY THEM? The biggest challenge with influencers is the wide swings in payment requirements. Brie says "a person's price tag is $1 more than the last person paid them and there are companies out there writing blank checks."

The goal is to get influencers who genuinely believe and/or like your product. Brie says Southwest tends to find their influencers from people who are already engaging with the company on social media. "When someone really loves your product, they are willing to compromise their price tag." They may also be more willing to make a trade agreement.

A good tip is to look for people with under 100,000 followers on their platform because they're still trying to build their brand. After 100,000 followers the price tag starts getting a little hefty.

WHERE IT CAN GO WRONG. It's important to note that Federal Trade Commision rules state that if there is a "material connection" between an endorser and an advertiser "that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, unless it is already clear from the context of the communication."

The agency has stepped up its enforcement of this rule lately, sending letters to as many as 90 celebrities, athletes and social media influencers last year, per Business Insider.

You may recall, music producer and social media king DJ Khaled was recently in the news after advertising watchdog complained that many of his posts featuring alcohol brands were not properly labeled as advertising, according to AdAge. He was then pressured to edit the posts that were paid, while removing others that were not.

Source: Wine & Spirits Daily
April 26, 2018

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