The Likelihood of “Staff Influencer” in a New Social Media Era
When I search for the information related to influencer marketing, I feel the term “Employee Influencer” or “Employee Influencer Marketing” has been increasing recently. There are a lot of words like “authenticity”, “transparency”, “micro”, “nano” and so on in this field as well, but I think employee influencer is kind of different from others. If you want to dive into this new marketing method, you can’t keep your eyes off this kind of trend in the influencer marketing industry. What is employee influencer? What should you care about when you try to deal with it?
Usually, influencer means the people who have many followers on their account of social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and so on. There might not be a lot of people who have the own channel of YouTube, but YouTuber is one of the so-called influencers. In almost all cases, they are not organization but individual. As you see, the individual has been turning into something like media as social media is getting common. They have a strong influence on their fans. The micro or nano influencer has a high engagement rate usually because they have a niche field, unlike celebrities. As a result, the brand company has no choice but to take notice of this kind of trend. As a matter of course, an employee in the company is the individual. When you think of the above reason, we can understand employee influencer marketing started to being paid attention recently.
There are already a lot of articles which treat employee influencer. After I read these articles or comments on social media, I noticed they dealt with B2B scene in many cases. As you know, there are almost two categories like B2C and B2B in the business scene. Why does employee influencer play an active role in the B2B field? Why do they fit into not B2C but B2B situation?
Ordinarily, B2B influencer needs more professional knowledge and authority than B2C influencer. In fact, they are the expert, commentator, business executives and so on in many cases. I think employee influencer has definitely professional knowledge because they are involved in their mission as a full-time job. It is not necessarily that employee influencer is the authority like a business executive, but they should have a royalty for their company and products or services more or less. Since they have product knowledge and royalty, I believe they are powerful candidates of micro or nano influencer in the B2B field.
I absolutely agree with this kind of principle. I won’t criticize them at all. On the other hand, as far as I’m concerned, I feel new potential about employee influencer in B2C scene. For example, some staffs in the apparel shop have charisma, and they’re already like social media influencer. Other than apparel field, I believe there is a significant potential in the cosmetics field. In particular, the beauty expert in the shop has professional knowledge about their products. I guess they complete the criteria of influencer. In my opinion, they should be called not an “employee” but “staff” influencer.
Let’s give thorough thought to staff influencer in apparel shops. I think they are eligible for influencer the most because the fashion sense is critical in this field. Majorities of them have a unique or wonderful sense about fashion. And some consumers respect the staff in the shops. Many crews already have a strong influence on some consumers. If they try to utilize social media as an influencer positively, they will be able to influence more consumers. As a result, the shop can increase the sales figure eventually, and the staff themselves might get some incentives. As long as I know, some apparel companies already adopt the unique influencer program. The companies have not banned but encouraged their staffs to use their own social media. This kind of policy should be used as a reference by their competitors.
Although apparel influencers are already ordinary in some areas, I don’t think the cosmetic influencer is so. Many specialized influencers focus on cosmetics genre, but majorities of them are freelance. They don’t belong to a specific company. Existing beauty experts belong to the company, though they might not be a full-time job. They work in a limited place like department stores on only working time. From my perspective, the cosmetics company should prepare for a special influencer program. They should allow beauty experts to take advantage of social media as some apparel companies do. Though their presentation looks different enormously, some of them might surpass the official website of the cosmetics company. I believe they should fly out of a limited place, and then play an active role on social media which is an extensive, borderless, and potential stage by their own name.
The only thing I can say for sure is that the trend in influencer marketing has been turning into micro or nano influencer. No one will become conscious of the number of followers in the meantime. I feel the staff influencer is one of the prospective marketing methods in the influencer marketing industry. Of course, many staffs in many categories will be able to play outstandingly as well as apparel and cosmetics region. Every staff influencer can involve the consumers through their own name by taking advantage of various methods, especially video and live streaming. I believe not only consumers but also brands can no longer ignore so-called staff influencer.