Businesses looking to further their reach online often rely on the fame of celebrities or well-known bloggers to get their name out there. I hate to break it to these businesses, but putting an ad on Perez Hilton’s blog isn’t going to give you the extra push you’re looking for. Your most reliable brand ambassadors are actually right under your nose: your every-day, run-of-the-mill fans.

Famous Endorsement Blunders
Sure, the saying goes, “any press is good press,” but the truth is that no one wants to have their name dragged through the mud after a celebrity makes a mistake. Several major brands like AT&T, Gatorade, GM Motors, and Gillette were forced to abandon entire ad campaigns featuring Tiger Woods when his cheating controversy came to light in 2009. Similarly, Wrigley and “Got Milk” campaigns loved the publicity that Chris Brown brought with him in their ads, until he physically assaulted his girlfriend, Rihanna.

origin_7571852962

Utilizing the Internet
Businesses are better off using brand ambassadors instead of celebrities that spend their entire lives in the spotlight – and social media is the perfect way to find them. The music industry figured this out quickly back when Myspace became popular in 2005. It was a fast and easy way to share music with friends without downloading it illegally and still being able to boast hundreds of thousands of plays.

Posting and Tweeting
Today, Myspace is a thing of the past while Facebook and Twitter take over the social media world. You know you’ve “made it” when your business is able to rake up the likes and followers on these sites. Even if you’re still trying to make your way in the world, you can easily build up your like and follower count when you focus on getting your fans to share your company’s message.

large_8571247015

Who do You Trust?
When it comes down to it, everyone has an opinion about celebrities. Even the well-loved ones like Jennifer Lawrence have haters. It’s the unfortunate truth that they are practically handed everything – which leads to some serious mistrust among the public. Celebrities are given money to tell people they like a product, but that doesn’t mean we believe them. On the other hand, when our friends tell us they like a product, we trust their opinion much more.

Methods to Generate More Fans
Liking a page on Facebook or following an account on Twitter doesn’t cost your fans anything – but losing them can cost you a lot. Give your fans incentives for following and rewards for sharing what you post. One of the most successful methods of getting the love group to advertise to the swing group is to enter anyone that shares your message into a contest. You’ll get a large reaction while still maintaining a small budget.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that celebrities aren’t your friends. Rather than using their online presence to maximize yours, use your existing following to share why they love your brand with their friends and you’ll find that your like and follower count will skyrocket – and then your sales will, too.

Once More, With Feeling

Photo Credits: Lotus, Justin, and AFS-USA Intercultural Program.

Jamie Bates