Social Influencers: Are They Worth the Risk

Everyone is looking for the best ways to connect on social. Do you like lists? Chances are someone else likes lists. Do you like pictures showing people having fun? Chances are many people like the same thing. This gives content creators opportunities to craft powerful pieces of content, designed to reach a large audience.

One way that many companies are trying to reach a massive audience is through social influencers. These influencers can include celebrities who you pay or provide samples to promote your products. By utilizing these names, you are more likely to reach a massive audience. A big-name influencer could mean the difference in how your product is viewed in the marketplace.

Charest believes the role of an influencer is quickly becoming one of the most sought after options for social, saying “The most significant trend in the evolution of this practice is the integration of influencers”.

However, the influencer road can be risky in many ways. Whether it’s a bad fit (i.e. Kendall Jenner in the Pepsi “Live Now” campaign: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/pepsi-ad-kendall-jenner-echoes-black-lives-matter-sparks-anger-n742811) or someone who is careless (Scott Disick failing to remove the copy from a social post he was supposed to post: https://www.refinery29.com/2016/05/111399/scott-disick-bootea-instagram), influencer marketing can go wrong. And when it does, a company can take a hit.

From a professional standpoint, I have personally seen companies I work for use influencers. None are huge names, but they can still make an impact. One example is Jordyn Mallory, an upcoming country music singer. Bristol Motor Speedway has worked a deal with Jordyn to promote our races. She is featured in our commercials (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwo_zKzIywA) and she also posts Bristol related content on her social media platforms (https://www.instagram.com/p/BhaMEAMnA-Y/?hl=en&taken-by=jordynmallory).

Personally, strategic social media has a major role in the current business environment, especially in sports. As sports fight for sponsors and fans in an ever-changing world, it’s imperative to set yourself apart. If you can utilize influencers in a positive way, you can advance yourself and your brand in a way that you couldn’t organically. But have these influencers backfire, and your brand will take a hit.


Charest, F., Bouffard, J., & Zajmovic, E. (2016). Public relations and social media: Deliberate or creative strategic planning. Public Relations Review, 42(4).

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