Social Influencers: Finding Your Michelle Phan

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As marketers, we’re all familiar with the story of Michelle Phan. Of how, as a video blogger on YouTube, she gained such influence that beauty giant L’Oreal wanted to be a part of her sphere. Thus Phan’s own makeup line, em, was born, and the topic of social influence spread like wildfire in the marketing world.

Social influence is the ability of everyday people to influence others with their words, videos, recommendations, images and other online content. And it’s powerful. According to a McKinsey study, social influence, or word of mouth, is twice as powerful as paid advertising.

So who’s your Michelle Phan?

It’s someone who is:

Already speaking
—and being heard—in the space where you want to be heard. It’s likely not someone who just started a blog last month.

Not short on followers. Keep in mind that the loyalty of these followers may be more important than the number.

Credible source of information. They motivate and mentor their followers, and their recommendations are genuine. Your social influencer is out there. It’s a matter of finding him or her. To do so requires a great deal of familiarity with the social hangouts of your customers, as well as with the types of conversations and personalities touching on topics related to your brand.

When you know where your customers are and to whom they’re listening, you’re on your way to finding your Michelle Phan. A real person with real influence over the kinds of people you want to reach. Where your social influencer partnership goes from there is exciting new territory to explore!

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