Making an impact on social media is harder for brands now than it ever has been before. Every social media channel is filled with people trying to make an impact and resonate with potential clients. A recent study from the Journal of Consumer Research has found that people who are active in social media are likely to be influenced by the opinions of those they follow on those social media channels. For marketers and business owners, this means that connecting with trend setters who have a large amount of followers is more important than ever.

These connections and the resulting endorsements can be much more profitable than conventional methods of advertising, which typically cost much more than advertising online. The potential reach of social media trend setters can also be much farther than a television commercial or newspaper ad. The right social media post can go viral, resulting in invaluable exposure for the brand.

The Power of Word of Mouth

There was a time when people would look to professional restaurant and movie critics to get an opinion on where to spend money. With the invention of social media, people became connected in new ways that allowed them to share opinions and experiences quickly and easily. Sites like Facebook, Yelp, Urbanspoon and YouTube all offer a wide variety of reviews and information from people across all ages and social groups.

As a result, people became less dependent on the opinions of strangers and more likely to read reviews and experiences posted by those they follow on social media. This can mean friends and family, casual acquaintances or even social media celebrities who are only well known online. While some users still post reviews anonymously, these reviews no longer have the same impact as one officially posted by a well known trendsetter.

Social Media Branding and More

From free giveaways in exchange for mentions to sponsored posts that act as a sort of commercial on social media channels, brands are finding many ways to connect with customers in this new space. While many major brands have official social media channels, which they use to promote new products and upcoming events, the reach of these channels can be limited to only those who already fans and supporters of the brand. Teaming up with a person who is influential can expose the brand to new potential clients and result in increased media attention and exposure.

The average social media influencer has thousands or even millions of followers, who may check social media multiple times a day. In some instances, they may even share the opinions of their favorite trendsetters with even more people, by retweeting a tweet or liking a post. The potential of a social media trendsetter is hard to measure, as a single post or mention can go viral and result in millions of eyes seeing it. But the resulting attention is easily trackable through Google Analytics, making it easy for brands to see exactly what is working and what is not.

Who Are The Trend Setters on Social Media?

The trend setters who have large followings on social media can range from well known celebrities to those who only have a name on the Internet. If a particular brand cannot afford to put together a partnership with a major mainstream celebrity due to budget limitations, there are a host of Internet celebrities who may fall within the amount they have. By checking every social media channel to identify the most active people with the most followers, brands can find new product ambassadors who have the potential to expose the product to many new clients.

The posts and activity on their account are a good indication of whether they are a good fit for the brand. There are also firms who specialize in connecting brands with social media trend setters. These firms will often negotiate an entire campaign of perfectly timed posts to give exposure to a certain product or event. This takes all of the guesswork out of the process for brands who are new to working with social media trend setters and want to ease into it.

Why Social Media is Now Key to Successful Branding

The popularity of social media continues to rise, and it shows no sign of stopping. With more people turning to social media for all forms of entertainment, the reach of more conventional media forms is shrinking and will continue to shrink. Brands that want to reach customers through social media have to look at ways to run an official social media channel as well as connecting with trend setters who can push the brand even further.

Only through doing both of these forms of marketing can brands truly tap into the potential of social media channels and reach every potential customer out there.