Amazon

Amazon Goes Social

Calling all social media stars! Amazon wants you to join its new “social influencer” program.

Amazon has been recruiting big names from YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and more, said Fortune, to build up a network of internet product spokespersons. Amazon will be selecting candidates based on their number of followers and the level of follower engagement — likes, retweets, shares — they rake in.

Social media influencer sponsorship is common among major brands like Nike, Nordstrom, Payless Shoes and other brands looking to extend their marketing reach beyond banner ads and videos played before other content. Influencers will often promote products and services they like as part of an ongoing relationship with a brand or as a means of generating income based on affiliate sales.

Amazon already has an affiliate program that pays individuals and organizations whose product recommendations contribute to monthly sales, though the push to social influencers will likely contribute to higher conversions per effort.

Social media has a major influence on the path to purchase of many consumers. More than one-third of U.S. adults look to social media as a way to connect with brands when they are considering making a purchase, while shopping and even after a purchase has been made.

Shopping today is more social than ever, with 75 percent of consumers visiting Facebook before shopping to gather recommendations and advice from friends and family.

It’s not just a U.S. phenomenon.

In China, celebrities are playing a greater role in influencing consumption behavior of the middle-class Chinese consumer. Brands across categories are collaborating with celebrities to increase brand awareness.

A study by business intelligence firm L2 found that when a celebrity posts about a brand on their Weibo page, the post engagement can be up to 6,000 times that of the brand and the post can reach a fanbase 1,800 times greater than the brand has.

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