Amazon introduced a new program called the Amazon Influencer Program, directed toward using social media influencers to promote products to their followers and earn a commission on the items sold. Amazon quietly started beta testing this program back in 2017, but it has recently gained the public eye.
The program focuses on using social media influencers from the platforms of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to sell their products.
The site explains that the Amazon Influencer Program is “designed for social media influencers with large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content.” This new program even includes a personalized site for each influencer, which they can use to showcase the products they recommend to their followers.
Amazon’s new program is capitalizing on the rapid growth in popularity of social media influencers. Influencers are a unique form of celebrity because they usually start out as ordinary people posting content on their favorite social media platforms. Because of this, they often feel more real and accessible to people than Hollywood celebrities.
Rael Magalit, sophomore psychology major, explained why this could be a good move for Amazon and social media influencers.
“(Influencers are) a reflection of who (consumers) want to be, but it’s more attainable than celebrities, because social media influencers are us,” Jeong said. “It makes it feel a little more relatable. ”
Magalit further explained how this kind of marketing can grab people’s attention.
“It’s an interesting way to sell products,” Magalit said. “I know certain influencers who do put stuff on their TikTok or Instagram where you can see it. And I actually get captured by those.”
Dr. Keanon Alderson, professor of business, explained the importance of social media influencers and why they appeal to younger generations.
“(Baby Boomers believed) if a company advertised on TV, that was a better company than one that did not,” Alderson said. “Younger generations tend not to believe TV ads or magazine ads. They prefer referrals from someone they respect. Hence, social media influencers who represent a product have replaced older, traditional methods of promotion.”
Ashley Daniele, freshman marketing major, explained how social media greatly influences our society, especially for younger generations.
“People are on social media all the time, especially our generation,” Daniele said. “So who they listen to and who they look up to are people on social media. It’s where people go to for most of their information.”
Anyone with a significant following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube can go to the Amazon Influencer Program page at www.affiliate-program.amazon.com/influencers and see if their account qualifies to become an Amazon Influencer to start getting paid to endorse products. Students may notice an increase in Amazon-affiliated recommendations from their favorite social media influencers.