What Is A Social Media Influencer?
Over the past decade, we have seen a rapid increase in the importance of social media. According to Global Digital Statshot from We Social and Hootsuite for August 2017, 3,028 billion people actively use social media- that’s 40% of the world’s population. Inevitably, these people turn to influencers on social media to help them make their decisions.
What is a social media influencer?
Influiencers on social media are people who have built their reputation through knowledge and experience in a particular topic. They regularly post on this topic on their social media pages and attract a large number of subscribers who closely and enthusiastically follow them.
Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy the products they promote.
Types of influencers
Most influencers fall into the following categories, and the last one is gradually becoming more and more important:
- Industry experts and opinion leaders
- Bloggers and content creators
The bulk of influential marketing today is based on social media, thanks to micro-influencers and bloggers. Industry experts and opinion leaders, such as journalists, can also be considered influencers and take an important position in promoting brands. There are more celebrities. They were the original influencers, which still play a role, but their importance as influencer is gradually diminishing. So answering on the question what is a social media influencer we need to understand that there are different types. Lets talk more about them.
Bloggers and influencers of social media (mostly micro-influencers) maintain the most authentic and active relationship with their subscribers. Brands now recognize this and encourage it in every way possible.
Influencer Marketing grew up supporting celebrities. Recently, it has been observed that the company’s sales are growing when a famous person promotes or supports their product. There are many examples where companies, especially high-end brands, have used celebrities as influencers.
The problem of most brands is that despite the large number of celebrities ready to participate in promotion campaigns, their services are not cheap. The only exception will be if the firm produces a product that the celebrity already loves and uses. In this case, this well-known personality may well be willing to use his influence to say how good he/she thinks the product is. I am sure that many producers of musical instruments benefit from the fact that musicians choose their products.
One of the problems of using celebrities as influencers is the lack of trust in them by the target audience of the product. For example, Justin Bieber can influence the decision to buy acne cream for teenagers, but not about buying a house in the village for retirees.
Celebrities can have many fans and followers on social media. Still, the question remains, exactly what real impact they have on those who follow them.
Industry experts and opinion leaders
Industry leaders and opinion leaders gain respect through their qualifications, position or experience in a particular topic. Often this respect is gained more because of the reputation of the place where they work. For example, a journalist of a major newspaper is probably not an expert in the topics he writes about in the news, but he is respected for being a good enough writer to work in such a prestigious publication.
These experts include:
- Industry experts
- Professional consultants
If you can attract the attention of a journalist of a national newspaper, who in turn will speak positively about your company in the article, then you use it as an influencer in much the same way as if you were a blogger or an influencer on social media. In this situation, there is an added bonus: the journalist is likely to write his report for free.
Bloggers and content creators often work with industry leaders and opinion leaders, and it is not uncommon to be quoted on blogs and social media. The line between traditional media and social media is gradually blurring.
Bloggers and content creators
For some time, blogging has been associated with Influencer Marketing. There are many very influential blogs on the internet. If a popular blogger positively mentions your product, it can lead to the blogger’s supporters wanting to try it out.
Many bloggers have created a significant audience in certain sectors. For example, there are very influential blogs about personal development, finance, health, parenting, music and many other topics, including blogging. The main thing that unites successful bloggers is the respect of their readers.
One option when a blogger writes something that recommends your product is guest posting. Using this option you get the opportunity to post on a large blog, you can control its contents, and you are usually allowed to provide a link to your own site.
If the blog is big and influential enough, you can buy an advertising publication on their website. This allows you to either write an article yourself or influence the blogger’s writing on your behalf. Unlike a random mention in a blogger’s post or in a guest post, you’ll have to pay for a sponsored post (and it’s likely to be tagged as such). However, this has not hurt the results for many firms that sponsor blog posts. Specifically, Generation Q seems to be invulnerable to the Sponsored Post tag, and as long as the product matches the main blog audience, it won’t be a problem.
Of course, blogging is not the only type of popular content on the internet. Another is the video. In this case, instead of each video maker having their own website, most create a YouTube channel. Brands often collaborate with popular video bloggers.
Of course, bloggers and YouTubers rarely rely solely on their existing audience, which switches to their channel in the hope that new material will appear. They tend to actively advertise new posts or videos on social media – making most of these bloggers and content creators micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are ordinary people who have become known for their knowledge in a specialized niche. Thus, they usually have a large number of social media followers among the adherents of this niche. Of course, not only does the number of subscribers indicate the level of influence, but also the relationships and interactions that the micro-influencer has with their followers.
It is possible that the micro-influencer has no idea of the existence of the company before it tries to contact him. If so, the company must first convince the influencer of its value. There are usually many knowledgeable professionals among subscribers, and it is unlikely that the owner of the page will want to spoil the relationship with his fans, promoting a bad product.
One of the requirements of the relationship between micro-influencer and brands is that it is consistent with the target audience, which means that influencers are often picky about who they work with. Some micro-influencers are happy to advertise the brand for free. Others will expect some form of payment. Regardless of the price, it is unlikely that any of them will want to use the “inappropriate” brand for their audience.
The nature of the influence is changing. Micro-influencers are becoming more common and more well-known. Some of them from virtual no-knowledge have become almost as recognizable as ordinary celebrities. This is especially true for the generation of the People who spend more time on the Internet than watching TV or playing sports.
Now we know what is a social media influncer and who they are. At the moment, micro-influence is the influence of the future. The Internet is divided into many small thematic niches. Even if you’re doing something relatively unknown, you’re likely to find a Facebook group or a Pinterest board on the subject. And it is in these niche groups and boards that micro-influencers have established themselves as real influencers.
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