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Rural Lifestyle Dealer reports:

STIHL recently held a special event targeted to women with a do-it-yourself sensibility who might like the company's recently launched line of battery-powered chain saws, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers, according to a story in The Virginian-Pilot.

To do that, it recruited a team of 10 "social influencers" to get the word out to followers of their blogs, YouTube channels, Instagram feeds, Facebook profiles and Pinterest accounts. Call them the #WomenofStihl, their officially sanctioned hashtag.

In return, the influencers each got contracts worth several thousand dollars; an all-expenses-paid, three-day trip to the company's Virginia Beach headquarters; and a promised shipment of tools when they got home, not to mention some swag, including pink safety glasses and work gloves.

Campaigns to recruit "social influencers" are hardly new, but they've typically been reserved for fashion peddlers or goods pitched to millennials. Mediakix, a firm that links companies to social media movers and shakers, estimates advertisers spent $1 billion on Instagram "influencers" last year who were behind 14.5 million sponsored posts.