SOCIAL MEDIA SUPERSTARS EARNING MORE THAN EXECUTIVES
Written on the 26 June 2015 by Laura Daquino
WHEN teenage girls start earning more money than company executives just by posting a photo on social media, you know this burgeoning industry means business.
"I can tell you now that we have social media influencers on our books who earned more in the first three months of this year than they did in the entire 2014."
From Platform Me's uptake, more and more people are commercialising and monetising their social media accounts, and in terms of return on investment, he believes social media is far more transparent and reliable than traditional advertising.
To put this in perspective, Cosmopolitan, which targets a similar demographic, had a readership of 300,000 in the 12 months to March 2015 according to Roy Morgan Research.
Lorraine Murphy, founder of another blogger talent agency The Remarkables Group, knows this story all too well.
She has seen the impact on small business to multinationals like Woolworths, who signed up five Remarkables bloggers as annual ambassadors in 2013 and has since renewed the contracts, and Olympus, who has hosted a series of reader lunches with four Remarkables bloggers.
Murphy, who sometimes advises the use of dedicated discount codes to better measure return on investment, draws on the case study of Brisbane Remarkables blogger Nikki Parkinson (pictured below left).
"We always evaluate the level of interaction the content receives such as likes, comments and shares, and then we can go one-up to track an exact return on investment for certain types of products that can be labelled with dedicated discount codes," she says.
"Nikki, who runs the blog Styling You, worked with a fashion brand to find her content had generated an astonishing $300,000 in sales on its website alone, which is obviously much more than she charged."
This is a highly tangible outcome, but what about situations where everything is a little less obvious?
That's where Brisbane-born startup Scrunch can step in, which relocated to New York last week, the heart of the growing industry.
Platform Me was born out of frustration with the existing marketplace, where 'ancient paradigms' prevailed, and through Scott's inkling the industry was morphing into a different kind of beast.
However, other influencers on Platform Me's books earn anywhere between $50 and $1000 per post through strictly negotiated contracts. This might range from a one-off post to a three- or six-month stint promoting a particular product.
"It's not just about numbers for us though, people think you have to engage the people with big followings, but that's actually not the smartest way to work," says Scott.
"We also always make sure the influencer has the final signoff on the product - there is no point engaging them with a product that isn't suited to them - it will harm their credibility, reduce their relevance and just waste the client's money."
Lorraine Murphy (pictured left) says her agency turns down work all the time for this reason.
"Brands are often surprised at the number of campaigns our influencers decline," Murphy says.
"Influencers are brands in their own right though and need to be careful which clients they partner with.