Ever since the line between celebrity and social media celebrity was erased, bloggers have become legitimate influencers across almost all industries, affecting consumer decisions beyond purchasing by acting as both tastemaker and trusted friend. And a large fan base is no longer a requirement for influencers.
In her book-lined office overlooking lower Broadway in New York, Arianna Huffington keeps a large sofa in the corner.
Formerly known as Yellow Pages, YP wants to remind people it's a good source for local advice online as well as in hulking-book form. To do so, it's been rolling out a word-of-mouth campaign with the help of online influencers.
Every winter, the fashion crowd—bloggers, editors, well- heeled customers—descends on a certain American city for a week of seemingly nonstop parties, many hosted by top-tier luxury magazines and sponsored by big-name designers. No, we’re not talking about New York Fashion Week.
Blogger Kat Bouska usually loves being surprised by what's inside her monthly Stitch Fix fashion box deliveries, but the most recent one included something she truly didn't expect: an original price tag that showed just how much she was being overcharged. The popular subscription company charges Kat (and many others) $20 for its personal shopping service, then sends her a box with five pieces of clothing and accessories. The charm is that she can try it all on in the comfort of her own home, and send back what she doesn't like. She can buy what she does like, and the $20 styling fee will go toward that purchase (items are $55 each, on average, per the site). If she doesn't like any of the pieces, she can send it all back (within three days), but lose out on the $20 styling fee. Except this time around, her $68 shorts came with another tag on it—a Nordstrom Rack tag with a discounted price of $24.95. That's a rather shocking markup of 173 percent. She's not the only Stitch Fix fan who has noticed she might be paying too much for discount apparel. In a comment to Bouska's Facebook post about her recent delivery, another subscriber named Kathleen Enge remarked: "My Stitch Fix pieces arrived. I loved them. Two days later one of the dresses was featured on Nordstrom Rack Haute App for 50% less." So are these experiences indicative of Stitch Fix customers being misled about the price and source of their purchases? In other words, is Stitch Fix routinely buying discounted clothes at retail and then selling them at a markup? Absolutely not, says a Stitch Fix spokeswoman, who declined to be named. "We're a retailer just like any other store. We purchase clothing at wholesale and sell them at retail," she said.
Coming up with promotional freebies that will stand out in the sea of swag at BlogHer is always a challenge. But one brand may have taken its creativity a bit too far this year.
In the coming weeks, Instagram will start rolling out its first ads in the form of promoted posts within members’ feeds.
Just a few months after Facebook finally eased off its restrictive contest guidelines, Pinterest seems to be taking the opposite approach. In a recent round of policy revisions and clarifications, the network has greatly limited the scope of promotions that can be hosted by brands and bloggers. In a blog post published Thursday, Pinterest marketing rep Kevin Knight laid out the many types of promotions that Pinterest isn't cool with. Specifically prohibited are promotions that: • Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses them or the promotion • Require people to Pin from a selection (like a website or list of Pins) • Make people Pin the contest rules • Run a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like or follow represents an entry • Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment • Ask to vote with Pins, boards or likes • Require a minimum number of Pins Worth noting: Per these rules, a Pinterest contest can never have more than one entry per person, even if someone pins 100 items or engages with the contest every day for two weeks. Also, brands can't require contest participants to pin from a specific site or set of boards—a frequent tactic for helping spread branded content. These updates come (probably not coincidentally) as Pinterest staffers have been in a lengthy email exchange with influential mom blogger Amy Lupold Bair, who had registered the trademark for the term "pinning party." When she attempted to enforce the trademark on other virtual party hosts, Pinterest's legal team told her to stop—and that her pinning parties for brand clients were in violation of their promotion guidelines anyway. But when Lupold Bair asked for specifics on how a Pinterest promotion could or should be run, it soon became clear that the guidelines are complicated, poorly communicated (by Pinterest's own admission) and currently being observed by almost no one. When asked by Lupold Bair for a specific promotion that actually had followed the rules correctly, Pinterest policy chief Jud Hoffman acknowledged, "It's true that there aren't many examples of contests that follow our rules and encourage people to pin things that represent their authentic interests."
Twitter is starting to make some noise about getting more retailers to use its platform for social commerce.