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Social billionaires are the new currency

How marketers can form effective partnerships with social influencers who have large followings.

5 min read

Social Media



Look out, there’s a new billionaire in town — the social billionaire. You know the type: They’re social gurus and content marketing connoisseurs. They’re visionaries who’ve reached 1 billion views or likes on social media in a world where the average person has the attention span of eight seconds. They are people such as YouTube’s Lilly Singh and media brands with growing social influence such as National Geographic

Traditional media strategy is being reshaped by the type of content that works well for social media. As more marketing agencies look to partner with social billionaires, it’s important to keep a number of factors in mind:

Millennials are drawn to organic advertising   

Millennials spend approximately $600 billion a year. Accenture predicts that by 2020, their spending power in the U.S. will grow to $1.4 trillion annually. In other words, millennials hold all the cards. They are the ultimate digital generation and have forced marketers to adjust to a digital age and develop creative strategies when advertising their brands and products.

A recent study found that the average millennial uses their phone for 3.1 hours a day — which is almost 22 hours a week, much of which is spent on social media. It’s essential then for marketers to capitalize on millennials’ social habits to advertise their brands.

Organic advertising, unlike paid advertising, is predominately used to build and maintain a strong brand presence and relationship with consumers. If there’s one thing millennials are drawn to — it’s authenticity. They don’t want to be talked to, they want to feel like they’re engaging with a brand and having a conversation. This is where social billionaires come into play.

Tap into the social billionaire’s audience

Gone are the days where an agency could place a catchy billboard on the highway or an advertisement in a magazine and wait for the money to roll in. According to a study by Nielsen and TapInfluence, influencer marketing drives 11 times more ROI than other forms of media.

Most social billionaires have loyal and dedicated followers with whom they interact on a daily basis. Thus, marketers must not only include the billionaires themselves in their strategies – but those followers, too. These followers are the backbone of the influencers’ popularity and the most successful influencers maintain a personable relationship with them. When a page has millions of followers on social media, it can influence what those people eat, read, wear and buy.

Identifying, tapping into and analyzing a social billionaire’s audience is key to a successful campaign. For example, Nike probably wouldn’t partner with a foodie influencer. On the other hand, a gaming brand would be a good fit to partner with my company’s brand, Gamology. The social billionaire should reflect the lifestyle and message you want consumers to follow.

Targeting the wrong demographic will lead to the loss of the social billionaire as well as the brand’s credibility. A lack of research on your part can end in a disappointing campaign.

Create relevant and personalized content

Once you’ve chosen the right infuencer, you can begin to create content together and distribute it on the appropriate channels. When working with social billionaires, it’s important not to get caught up in sending them generic and professional-sounding captions for their posts.

Followers will be able to easily spot a caption that has been copied and pasted and doesn’t sound like the influencer’s typical brand voice. It will seem too promotional and reflect poorly upon both the influencer, and you, the marketer. Conversational and personalized content will always win over ad-speak.

Social billionaires need to be given some sort of creative freedom in the content they produce for your products. Without it, the lifestyle you’re encouraging consumers to follow will be lost.

Flexibility and trust are essential 

Why have social billionaires become so successful and influential? Because they’ve earned the trust of their communities. Marketers, in turn, need to trust social billionaires and their processes. Most have built their followings from the ground up and understand the many little nuances about their followers that a marketer may miss.

Collaboration requires flexibility by marketers, as social billionaires may have nontraditional approaches. They may be unconventional, but they are successful. A major of millennials say Instagram impacts their online shopping and about one-third say Facebook does, according to research by LendEDU. These influencers know how to reach their audience and are experts on the platforms they use.

The new wave of the social digital era

Social billionaires are here to stay. They’ve created personalities and digital content that is innovative, personable and targets a niche market. In fact, they may become the next Viacom or MTV of the social digital era. The brands they’re building are going beyond social and becoming household names.

As consumers increasingly shift to social channels for news and entertainment, social billionaires’ content will become more and more effective, leading to more brand recognition and followers These social gurus have had the foresight to capitalize on social media and are reshaping marketing in the process, while creating the media brands of tomorrow.

They are the future of advertising.

Michael Philippe is the co-founder and CEO of social channel creator The Keli Network.