Vogue is leveraging the power of its brand with a new “Influencers” group on Facebook. The network, which is invitation-only, serves to satisfy the needs of Vogue advertisers. Members, who Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann describes as “ambassadors,” are given the opportunity to test out new products with the expectation that they will then spread the word about said products via their blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The freebies up for grabs range from leather handbags to face creams.
It’s unclear what the criteria are for becoming an Influencer; would-be applicants must complete a survey before they’re accepted. Plagemann told Adweek that the chosen few were “the highest caliber of people in this sphere of influence.” One of those is Sarah of Sarah’s Style Sense—a blog that, as of today, has received less than 900 page views according to its embedded traffic widget. It’s clear what Vogue and its advertisers are gaining from this: not only practically free online marketing (the women are not paid for their services) but also a focus group at the ready. But aside from the odd free sample and the privilege of having their name nominally attached to Vogue, are the women participating getting duly rewarded for their word-of-mouth efforts?