E-commerce giant Amazon has quietly debuted a “social influencer” program in hopes of recruiting stars from YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to tout products on its site.
Amazon would choose among a pool of applicants based on factors including how many followers each one has across social media, and the quality and relevance of their posts for Amazon.com. Also critical, is the level of engagement their posts receive in the forms of “likes” or re-tweets or comments.
Amazon’s social influencers would be paid based on the purchases they induce others to make.
Many familiar consumer brands including Nike (NKE) pay influencers to tout their products online. Top social influencers across the broad media spectrum include reality TV star Kim Kardashian and self-help guru Tony Robbins. But there are many more influencers with more targeted but still large audiences that many companies court. Here, The Hollywood Reporter breaks down a list of 30 top YouTube (GOOGL) stars compiled by ad agency Ogilvy Mather, for example.
Amazon already offers an affiliate program that involves people or companies earning fees based on product recommendations that lead to sales. As of this month, for example, Amazon affiliates will earn $10 for each referred customer who signs up for a free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited, a digital music subscription service that competes with Google Music and Spotify.