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What is a Social Media Influencer and What do they do?

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18th Sep, 2019
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What is a Social Media Influencer and What do they do?

Just two decades ago, the very concept of a social media influencer was pure fiction. Partly because the thing that we now call ‘social media’ itself only existed in its most basic form and partly because the idea of seemingly ordinary people becoming popular without getting into and making it big in the music, tv or film industry was laughable, to say the least.

The only ‘influencers’ back then were celebrities. Everyone wanted to be like them, look like them, live like them but these celebrities weren’t common people and hence weren’t exactly relatable.

Now, however, any dedicated person with enough passion, determination, a good camera, and wit can become famous and gain the power to influence thousands, if not millions, of people.

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The Era of Social Media Influencers

social media influencers

A lot of people have become desensitized to normal advertising. A celebrity telling people which clothes they should wear no longer has the same impact it used to at the start of the currently concluding decade. 

But while one avenue of advertising is losing its luster, another is shining brighter and brighter with each passing year. 

The past few years have witnessed a boom in the number of people who are showcasing their lifestyle on the internet over various social media platform and a lot of people can’t get enough of watching them.

It wasn’t long till some smart marketing executives realized that people just might buy something these rising internet stars will recommend to them. This was put to the test and the results were astonishing.

The Era of Social Media Influencer Marketing had begun and suddenly there was a brand new career option available for people wanted to become famous.

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The Social Media Influencer

Becoming a social media influencer isn’t easy. It takes time, effort and a lot of confidence, endurance, and perseverance. But once one does get a good following across all of their social media platforms, it is a job that can pay very handsomely.

Once they have built a good number of followers within their niche, big corporations usually start approaching them.

Once a deal is struck between an influencer and a company, that influencer effectively becomes a semi-brand ambassador for that company’s products and such companies can be very good employers.

This job is so lucrative that it has become one of the most sought after careers of the decade.

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The Power of Social Media Influencers

Research has found that over 70% of young consumers in developed countries use social media to inform their purchase decisions. These are the people that companies want to target through influencers to ensure that people buy their products.

For a person who is looking to buy a guitar because they suddenly discover that starting a solo band has been their true calling all along by watching the videos of their favorite social media content creator, will be extremely open to suggestions from that very creator about which guitar they should buy. 

Top-level social media influencers don’t even have to follow the current trends, they can set the trends that everyone else will have to follow.

All of this makes the job of social media influencers seem extremely attractive and worth struggling for.

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How to become a social media influencer?

If you believe that this is the right career path for you, there are many nifty guides available on the internet but two things that you must keep in mind are that you need to figure out your niche early and learn who your core followers are going to be. 

No one can influence people to do or buy everything, but if a popular enough influencer with a loyal fan base recommends a new show, their fans will probably watch it and the producer of that show would be happy to pay handsomely to get this recommendation. 

Learn more about influencer marketing strategies.

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Kamal Jacob

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Kamal is an experienced Online marketing consultant with a high degree of expertise in SEO, Web Analytics, Content/Technical planning and marketing.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is an influencer?

Any individual who has a follower base and comes with the ability and power to influence their audience’s purchase decision largely due to the position that they hold, the relationship that they build and the knowledge and authority that they possess can be referred to as an influencer.

They actively engage with a distinct niche, and the following size can be large or more concentrated depending on the size of their topic or niche. Earlier, it only used to be sports stars, film stars, and celebrities with this power, but with the advent of social media, there are all kinds of people reaping the benefits.

Influencers in social media have built up an eminence for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic.

2Who are bloggers?

Most of the social media marketing today occurs with micro-influencers and blogging with YouTubers becoming the most important of the lot. Bloggers have the most authentic and active relationship with their followers. This too can be connected with influencer marketing as there are a number of blogs that have a proven track record of influencing their follower base.

When bloggers positively mention a product, it can lead to their supporters wanting to purchase or at least try it out. But it sometimes opens the door to guest bloggers too - meaning there is an opportunity to write about your offering on their site to their audience.

3Who are YouTubers?

YouTubers are similar to bloggers, except it is all video-based content. Instead of being on a website, it is all on YouTube. In short, people who make and upload videos on YouTube are called YouTubers.

Brands work in collaboration with YouTubers which are known as Sponsored content. Generally, this means that the YouTuber gets a payment against the content that is created to promote the brand.

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