The Rise of Influencer Marketing

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To understand the rise of influencer marketing, it’s first important to have a grasp on what “influencer” means. Social media influencers are celebrities or simply those online users who have amassed a large following. Typically followed by at least 100,000 users, these individuals use their reach to promote the brands and products they care about and can often make a career out of this type of marketing.

Influencers are on the rise

Although they have been around as long as social media itself, influencers are really just starting to gain attention for what they can provide. Big corporations and even small business owners are partnering with influencers to help market their products or services. By way of an example, Cristiano Ronaldo partnered with Nike and helped the company generate almost $500 million in revenue.

How does Nike know it was Ronaldo and not just the popularity of their brand that generated that revenue? They tracked Cristiano’s activities and the responses he garnered. In 2016, he posted a total of 1,703 times. Those posts generated 2.25 billion responses in the form of likes, comments, and shares. Looking closer at those posts, Ronaldo mentioned Nike in 347 of them and those posts alone resulted in 447 million interactions. This means Cristiano provided Nike with $499.6 million in media marketing.

Every business can afford an influencer

While the partnership between Cristiano Ronaldo and Nike might be an exceptional example, there’s a social media influencer to fit every budget. From micro and medium-sized influencers to top name celebrities, everyone is getting in on this game. Since it benefits both sides of the partnership, it’s easy to see why it’s taking the place of more traditional methods of marketing and advertising.

An influencer is approachable, too. In traditional marketing, consumers get little more than a hard sell. In influencer marketing, however, the celebrity can interact with other users. He or she can explain why the brand they’re representing is their top choice and what they like about it.

The reason this works so well is because people emulate their idols and want to be just like them. If Ronaldo Cristiano wears Nike, so will his fans. Combined with greater accessibility, the ability to share a love for a product drives consumers to that influencer’s brand of choice. Even where they may not realize it, consumers are drawn to products promoted by people they admire. Compared to a system of pay per click advertising, it’s easy to see the big draw of contracting with influencers to sell your products.

 

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Important Facts About the Facebook Issue and How to Keep Your Information Safe Online

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Recently, Facebook has come under significant fire for a data breach within the last couple of years. This issue is particularly concerning as more and more companies have their data compromised. Any business from a gas station, to a department store, to an online shopping center or site has experienced issues with hackers acquiring users private data. While some data breaches may be more serious than others, such as bank information or social security numbers being stolen, any invasion of private information is unsettling, especially with a company as large as Facebook, where many people feel safe using the platform.

What happened?

People in America and Britain learned that a political data firm, Cambridge Analytica, linked to President Trump’s campaign in 2016 was able to collect private data from over 50 million Facebook users. This breach of privacy is bad enough, but lawmakers learned that Facebook failed to notify users about the data breach.

The data firm was founded by Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer, both supporters of President Trump. The firm used the information it gathered to identify American voters for specific criteria and then influence their behavior in the 2016 election. Though it’s under debate how much these efforts actually influenced voters, the main issue is that Facebook failed to notify users that their data had been compromised. Lawmakers in Britain are currently looking into concerns of fake news and Russian interference that led to Brexit occurring in 2016 as well.

Facebook was already under scrutiny because of fake news and trolling by Russian sources, so this coverup of the data breach is only adding fuel to the fire.

What steps are being taken?

As Facebook moves to make up for failing to release the information on the date breaches, lawmakers are calling for Mark Zuckerberg to appear before Congress. Their initial silence raised red flags and brought the issue rapidly into the spotlight as more and more people demanded answers. People are searching for whose responsible for this error and other are even questioning the purpose of continuing to use Facebook.

Facebook higherups have begun breaking their silence, but there are still plenty of questions about what happened and what needs to be done to prevent instances like this one from reoccurring. It remains to be seen what happens now.
How can you protect yourself?

As this issue becomes public knowledge and people and businesses are scrutinizing their own privacy and security preferences, it’s more important than ever before to make sure your personal information is secure, whether you’re simply using sites online or you’re running a business that holds others’ private information.

If you’re responsible for a business that’s storing private information, the best step you can take is simply keeping your security up-to-date and frequently check its strength. If you do not have someone in-house capable of this step, find a contractor or company who can do it for you. The investment is certainly worth it if it means it keeps private company and consumer information safe.

If you’re simply concerned about how to keep your personal information safe online, there are a few steps you can take. Remember to only give private information to sites that are labeled as secure and always use a secure browser. Avoid saving passwords or credit card information and regularly update your passwords for different accounts. Finally, monitor your credit score and accounts to detect any fraud early on.

Use Social Media for Your Philanthropy

Social media is incredibly useful for businesses and I’ve already addressed how entrepreneurs can benefit from it, but it can also be utilized for philanthropies. Since so many people around the world use social media, it’s a great way to get the message out about your philanthropy and attract new donations, volunteers, or even just awareness. Follow a few simple tips on how to use social media for your philanthropy and you’re sure to see success!

Create succinct design

As you begin creating your social media sites for your charity you’re using a succinct design across all platforms. While some layouts and other small details differ from site to site, you can control the major aspects. As you create your social media accounts, make sure you use the same username across the sites, so anyone searching for your philanthropy can easily find it. Create a new logo, color scheme, and themes you can use for all sites. You want your social media look to be easily recognized so volunteers and people who are interested in your cause can find your accounts.

Regularly update

Something you certainly want to avoid is creating an abundance of social media accounts and then never updating them again after the first few weeks. Instead of making an account on every site possible, choose carefully which are the most popular and can help your charity out the most. Research when the best times to post on each site are and begin making regular posts. Try to post something at least once a month, ideally every week. The more original content you generate, the more traffic you’ll attract to your sites, but make sure what you’re posting is good quality!

Engage your audience

Even if you regularly update your sites, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t actively engaging your audience. Avoid mindlessly posting and sharing content, because that won’t excite your following. Put thought into what you’re posting and try to make and find unique posts. Consider giving away free raffle tickets to a random social media follower if they interact with a post or just make sure what you’re posting is eye-catching and thought-provoking.

Start a blog

Research shows that charities most commonly use Facebook and Twitter to promote their cause, but there are plenty of other platforms and methods you can use. A great way to generate a larger following and make more people aware of your cause is by creating a blog where you post unique content. Update it regularly; once a month shouldn’t be too difficult to do! Make short write-ups about your events and news for your philanthropy and share events on a calendar. Include important contact information, forms for volunteering, and anything else that might be important on your site so anyone who’s interested can easily access it. You could even create positions for volunteers to run your site; crafting social media skills is useful and there are a lot of people who want to get more experience doing it!

The Importance of Social Media for Startups & How You Can Use It

It’s 2017 and billions of people use social media every day. There are various sites that cater to different niches, some for specific industries like real estate, education, or fashion. Businesses have realized the benefits of creating social media accounts for their brands and gaining a loyal following online. People from all over the world purchase goods and services online and discover new companies. As you create your startup, it’s time to plan how to use social media for your new company as you find your place in your industry. Social media can be an entrepreneur’s secret weapon when it comes to marketing a business.

Why is social media so important to my startup?

Social media is the chosen form of keeping up with communication and news for a lot of people. When someone wants to learn something about another person or company, they often take a look at their social media, where information, reviews, products, and events are listed. By understanding how best to use social media as you launch your company, you’ll generate interest in it before it’s even officially up and running. You can attract followers and customers with well-crafted ads and posts, in addition to generating interest around your product. Properly using social media marketing allows you to compete on the same playing field as much larger companies.

One of the biggest shifts social media has caused is the importance of focusing on what the consumer wants from you as a company. Do your research and learn what attracts consumers and what kind of social media posts your target audience responds to well. People on social media are accustomed to scrolling past ads without giving them more than a quick glance, much less ever clicking on ads that pop-up in their news feeds. Startups face a huge issue when it comes to advertising and getting recognized in such a fast-paced culture, which is why it’s vital to develop high quality, eye-catching social media accounts that attract consumers to your business. To accomplish this goal, you need to know what it is that the consumers like.

How can I best use social media?

Now that you understand the importance of using social media as an entrepreneur with a new business, you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to use it to help your business. Most people use social media without a full understanding of how to do so effectively. The first step to take is identifying and understanding your target audience. Once you know your target audience, do some research on what social media networks they use the most frequently and when is the best time to post on those outlets. Keep up with the latest news on social media platforms so you know how to use the features, what consumers think of the different features, and what styles or methods are trending on those platforms. Check out this social media guide to find even more ways to utilize social media platforms for your small business.