Few people involved in animal agriculture probably ever give much thought to what reality television star Kylie Jenner thinks about their industry.
But Steve Lerch, president of Story Arc Consulting, believes her opinions on livestock and poultry production are much more important than one might think. Lerch conveyed that message on May 12 while speaking at the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Kansas City, Missouri.
During his talk, Lerch asked how many people cared about Jenner’s opinion about animal agriculture. Only a handful of people raised their hands. Lerch noted that more hands should be up, and the reason people should care is because Jenner is an influencer, and agriculture advocates need to influence influencers. She may not be an influencer like a legislator or business leader would be, but her strong following on social media cannot be denied.
In fact, her social media following is so big, I’ve already blogged about it once before, when there was a Twitter feud between Jenner and an egg.
And Lerch said that if she “decides that animal agriculture is the root of all evil” and makes that opinion known on social media, the number of people who follow her lead may be surprising.
“Most people probably don’t care what she has to say about animal agriculture, but let’s say 1% of the people who follow her say, ‘yeah, I kind of care, Kylie,’” Lerch said.
Even if only a half a percent of her followers decide they will stop eating meat because of those views, that’s still 17 million people will go vegan, he pointed out. And at least a half a percent of her followers likely do think of her as an influence and will follow her lead, Lerch said.
“You better care what Kylie Jenner cares about animal agriculture, because these other people do,” Lerch said. “You don’t have to like Kylie Jenner, you don’t have to be into Kylie Jenner, you don’t have to follow every word she says, but you should know what she’s saying. You should know what all these people are saying. You have to understand and care about the things our consumers care about. We have to know where they get influenced.”
Influencers use search engines too
Whether you realize it or not, those in the animal agriculture industry can have an influence on influencers like Jenner. Especially those who have an online presence.
And Lerch pointed out that celebrities are people, too, and they use search engines like Google just like anyone else.
If your farm, company or organization has a positive presence online, that positivity can leave a good impression.