For the first time, Victoria's Secret honored three social media mavens in three categories as part of its "What Is Sexy List."
The 11th annual ranking of "all things sexy" typically awards celebrities, such this year's winners: Kerry Washington (Sexiest Actress) and Jennifer Lopez (Forever Sexy). Some quirky categories included Sexiest U.S City (Nashville) and Sexiest Furry Friend (Model Chrissy Teigen's dog Pippa).
But the lingerie chain this year asked customers to vote for their favorite YouTube stars or bloggers in three categories: Fitness, Beauty and Fashion. Four finalists were announced in each category last week and fans were given 24 hours to vote for the winner.
The three winners were:
Sexiest Fitness Star: Hannah Bronfman, HBFIT.com. The 28-year-old runs the wellness website, HBFit. With 309,000 followers on Instagram, she is regularly seen in the front row at fashion week.
Sexiest Beauty Star: Zoe Sugg, YouTube. Known as Zoella, the 25-year-old has more than 10 million subscribers for her YouTube channel, 4.4 million Twitter followers and 1.4 million followers on Instagram.
Sexiest Fashion Star: Sonya Esman, ClassIsInternal.com. The 20-year-old has 1.5 million YouTube subscribers and 1.1 million followers on Instagram.
In 2015, there was only one Sexiest Social Star, beauty vlogger, Tess Christine.
Bloomingdale's, Target, Amazon and Macy's have all tapped social influencers to promote fashion offerings. Aeropostale and PBteen have collections linked to social stars.
In a poll conducted last year of 125 online marketers from Tomoson, influencer marketing and e-mail tied for the most cost-effective online customer acquisition channel (22 percent each), followed by organic search (17 percent),
An AdWeek article from last fall on tips for using social influencers suggested seeking out influencers for their engagement rather than number of followers, establishing longer-term partnerships with them, and making sure they like the brand. Kimberly Yarnell, VP of digital media for Macy's, told Adweek, "[We] find the influencers, frankly, that like our brand, like the story we're trying to tell."