By Vicki Bendure This article is a part of the November/December 2019, Volume 31, Number 6, Audiology Today issue. Just as your friends and neighbors have input into some of the goods and services you buy, influencers can be just as meaningful—especially if they have authentic experiences to share. This is also the reason that review sites are so popular, as the public flocks to them to get opinions on what to buy, where to travel, where to eat, what physicians and audiologists to see, which home service companies to hire, and which companies to avoid. Social media reviews can make or break a business and, once they turn negative, it takes significant time to effectively turn them around. Influencers are not just young millennials promoting lifestyle and fashion. They are a variety of ages and demographics, covering a variety of interests. There are growing numbers of “mommy bloggers”—mothers with children looking for recommendations on places to visit, events for children, restaurants, movies, etc. They also write on medical conditions and provide tips for families. There are “daddy bloggers,” who write on their experiences and recommendations. They provide tips for readers, as well. Some of these can have 500,000 or more followers—meaning your message could be seen by more readers than any other media platform. The American Academy of Audiology has had numerous columns on children’s hearing health in Fatherly, a guide for fathers raising children. The best marketing opportunities are with anyone who can provide a third-party endorsement of products or services. Even paid influencers have more credibility than a self-promotion. Some influencers ask to be paid or will trade goods or services in lieu of payment. Other influencers will post information if it is for the public good. For instance, if you invite a local influencer to come to your office and experience (and write about) a hearing test, they may write up the story without pay since it is a story for the public good. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!