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The Power of Social Media lnfluencers

Written by K. Ronzio

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Term Paper


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Term Paper: When people hear about public relations, they think of traditional media (Deitrich, 2012). Although this is a major function of public relations, it is not the only function that public relations professionals rely on to convey real information to the audience. Social media has changed the public relations game. Trust in the media continues to decline, but trust in others or "people like me" increases. Influence is defined as the ability to influence someone's character, development or behavior, or to influence oneself (Linton, 2017). Companies and organizations of all sizes are turning to influencer participation, which refers to collecting target people who influence the target audience on social media (LePage, 2017) to purchase products or services. According to Taplnfluence's research, the effect of social media influencer marketing is 11 times that of traditional advertising (Saiidi, 2016). Nearly half (49%) of consumers make purchases based on social media influencer marketing, which affects 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions. This may be because the desired target audience penetrates through social media channels and influencers. Nielsen’s survey found that 58% of global online consumers trust “own media”, such as messages on company websites, and 50% believe that the content in emails they agree to receive is credible (Grimes, 2012) . I am a public relations assistant at the David Osley Art Museum on campus. According to data from the American Museum Alliance, more than 850 million people visit museums in the United States each year (2014). According to the daily safety report, the annual number of visitors is approximately 26,000. I contacted the campus museum of Indiana University, which is about the same size and scope. Their education director mentioned in an email that there have been 20,000 visitors this year (Aherne, 2017). The campus of Ball State University has more than 70,000 students and more than 20,000 students. There is a lot of room for growth in the number of visitors each year. Museums need to focus on attracting and engaging student visitors. The mission of the university is "to be the most student-centered and community-engaged university in the 21st century public research universities, and to transform entrepreneurial learners into influential leaders-dedicated to improving everyone’s Quality of life," (Bauer State University, 2017). When students visit museums and other cultural institutions, they are fulfilling this mission. Many students do not even know the existence of the museum, which is a large audience of university museums. According to a survey released this week by the online auction site Invaluable, nearly 23% of Americans found artworks that appealed to them on social media channels such as lnstagram or Pinterest. In contrast, 20% of people discover artworks by visiting museums, and nearly 16% discover artworks by visiting physical galleries. (Kiara, 2016). The student body receives emails from the museum every week, but this is the only contact method pushed to students. Students can delete these emails without opening them or opt-out of emails. In addition, social media is the most effective way to achieve the Millennium Development! Audience (Yu, 2016). Knowing that millennials value art and are known as online content creators, how can museums spread awareness to freshmen to persuade them to participate? For this project, my goal is to create a real student ambassador/influencer event in the museum to interact more with students (the desired target audience). Compared with other age groups, millennials are more susceptible to the influence of friends, family and opinion leaders than experts on a certain subject (Jade, 2016). Therefore, influencer marketing is an effective way to gain the trust of the target audience. I researched effective ways to create this activity, implemented the activity, and then evaluated the activity. My goal is to prove the value of influencer participation and create a mutually beneficial relationship between participating students and the museum. I created a strategic list of campus social media influencers and invited them to visit the museum. Finally, I evaluated the effectiveness of this method through social media analysis and monthly safety reports, and provided recommendations based on the evaluation. For this event, my target is micro-influencers, which means a group of people who may already be familiar with the museum's target concentration (Barker, 2016). Targeting micro-influencers is beneficial because the interaction looks more natural and real: asking them to interact with the brand does not need to be so convincing. (Barker, 2016). Micro-influencers have 1,000 to 100,000 followers (Linton, 2017), so they have a real influence on their communities and act out of enthusiasm rather than social status. "Advocates are usually not interested in accepting'things'," said Christopher Caffey, head of social operations at PwC. "They tend to think of value as recognition or special treatment, such as early access to upcoming releases, the opportunity to meet company leaders at VIP dinners, or the opportunity to express opinions on new products, (Aquino, 2013). This is why I plan to provide selected social media influencers with unique travel experiences and object research so that they feel that their interaction with the museum is real and serve them specifically. Although many people think that visiting a museum is a passive My goal is to make it active through social media and the experience of influencers. Change is Patrick Jackson’s behavioral communication model (1998). Read Less