Harness the Power of Regional Opinion Formers

21
May
2014

Harness the Power of Regional Opinion Formers

Harness the Power of Regional Opinion Formers
Rhubarb Fool’s blog has talked a lot about Social Media. This is with good reason – few things are as pervasive and influential these days as platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and the rest. The significance of social media doesn’t seem to be waning any time soon, so we expect to be talking about it for a good while yet. We all know that companies, big and small alike, are cultivating an online presence to better engage their customers and to promote their brand. Celebrities do the same thing, engaging their fans and controlling their public image. But what about the users themselves? They are not all mindless consumers. In fact, many are actually creators. One thing that social media has engendered is sharing on a whole new level, with blogging. Many bloggers have huge social media presences, and achieve a kind of Internet celebrity, particularly in their country of origin. Occasionally, this internet celebrity even transfers to ‘real life’, with bloggers being featured in magazines and television. A great example is Gabi Gregg of GabiGresh.com. Her fashion blog started out with her sharing her ‘OOTD’ (outfit of the day), and has grown to the point where she is a columnist for InStyle USA, a brand ambassador, and even collaborator on a plus-size swimwear line. By reaching out to Gabi, brands reach out to her followers and receive unique exposure to a specific target market (plus-sized fashion lovers). At Rhubarb Fool we call bloggers like this ‘Regional Opinion Formers’, and we know how important they are. Not only are they talented and creative, but they provide the opportunity to collaborate and consolidate a powerful social media presence for the brands we work with. When we create magazines for our clients, in addition to providing great design and well-known British writers, we commission these regional opinion formers to give a sense of authenticity and relevance to the final product. The publication goes hand in hand with a social media comms plan, allowing the bloggers to talk about our clients and the magazine on social media, thus increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to our clients’ websites. On our magazine for Selfridges, we had the pleasure of working with the fabulous Tala Samman, of myfashdiary.com. Her understanding not only of fashion, but also of the Middle Eastern market gave the magazine some real cultural relevance. Ultimately, her contribution helped to create a better product for the target demographic. More importantly, through her involvement, we were able to insert Selfridges into the existing fashion conversation going on in the Middle East. This unique approach is something we’re really excited about at Rhubarb Fool, and we’re already looking forward to applying it to several future projects.
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