Macy’s is turning its store associates and personal stylists into social media brand ambassadors, allowing the retailer to exert more control over its influencer network, according to Glossy. Employees are now eligible to apply to the Macy’s Style Crew program, which has them share promotional posts on their social media feeds to promote Macy’s products and services. For example, a video of a bartending tutorial leads to glassware and other cocktail accessories available on Macys.com.
The program has grown from a trial of 20 ambassadors in fall 2017 to the current network of 300 employees. Participants share short video clips produced in partnership with Macy’s and Tongal, a branded video program, which showcase the employees’ personal interests. Style Crew members are incentivized with a portion of the profit realized from product sales.
The move is part of the retailer’s push to be viewed as more fashion- and trend-driven, according to Cassandra Jones, SVP of Fashion and Digital Strategy. Similar efforts have been undertaken by Kate Spade, which featured one of its general managers in an unboxing video, and Everlane, which regularly features its head of social media on its Instagram page.
Lovesac Marketing Manager Mike Majlak and Astral Health & Beauty VP Marketing Julie Campbell explained how retailers need to evolve their relationships with influencers into two-way partnerships during their presentation at RIC 2018. They discussed how influencers can help craft messages while marketers help guide the content.
The use of non-traditional influencers also is on the rise, with micro influencers gaining popularity, according to Bob Glazer, Founder of affiliate marketing agency Acceleration Partners in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. While micro influencers only have 10,000 to 50,000 followers, they often inspire higher levels of engagement than high-powered influencers with millions of followers. A study by X-Cart found that micro influencers have a 4% engagement rate, compared to a 1.6% engagement rate for celebrities.