Imagine having 50000 followers on Instagram. What would you do with such a huge following? Could you turn this kind of fan base into a profit? Well, thousands of people in Australia are already doing this. Think Nicole Warne who has 1.7 million followers on Instagram, and Lauren Curtis, who has over 1.4 million followers on the platform.
Definition of a Social Media Influencer?
Nichole Warne and Lauren Curtis are good examples of what are referred to as Social Media Influencers. From a marketing standpoint, Influencers are people who have the ability to affect purchasing decisions among their followers.
They make things happen
Influencers make things happen. They have so much sway in society that they have the potential to become agents of social action or social change. Social media influencers have turned such platforms as Instagram and Facebook into their playgrounds. They attract droves of fans, most of whom latch onto up their every word and action.
Social Media Influencers in Marketing
Being an influencer is, it is safe to say, all about marketing. The people that make it as social media influencers have successfully sold their images to thousands of adoring fans. In turn, they get to benefit from this fame, through marketing deals with various brands. Influencer Marketing benefits from the fact that over 3 billion people are active on social media.
Types of influencers
One thing to note is that influencers are not a homogenous group. Instead, the field is composed of people whose backgrounds are as diverse as their millions of adoring fans. The following are some of the types of influencers that can be found out there;
- Micro influencers
- Bloggers and content creators
The examples that we gave at the top are good examples of this type of influencer. Celebrities turned influencer are, perhaps not that surprising. Influencer marketing outdates the advent of social media. Even in years gone by, there were always people that had the ability to shape social behavior.
Wherever there are famous people, there are those who will latch onto their every deed and word. Celebrities, therefore, make the biggest chunk of influencers. And influencer marketing is not just for the fun of it. Those in marketing understand that getting an endorsement from someone that has over a million followers is a good way of boosting sales.
A major challenge, however, is that celebrities as influencers do not come cheap. The most effective of these people are probably those that are already making millions as movie stars, sportsmen and other well paying professions. Another issue may be that available celebrities may not be appropriate as influencers for your particular line of business. Imagine getting Justin Bieber to endorse your retirement home business, as an example. That would hardly be credible!
Micro influencers are the kind of people who rise to fame because their dog did something fancy, as an example, or for some other funny reason. In short, they are just ordinary people who, by hook and crook, have managed to grow their social media followings. If you go to YouTube, you will find a lot of examples of micro influencers. Some of them have developed huge followings by making videos in one niche or the other.
However, the relationship between a micro influencers and a brand is not always straightforward. From their point of view, it would not be helpful to endorse a barely known brand that turns out to be a lemon. Doing this would be a good way of losing their following. Let’s say, as an example, that a micro influencer endorses a hotel in which they have never stayed. If it later turns out that that the hotel is a dud, then the endorsement could turn into a liability for the micro influencer.
Bloggers and content creators
The people who produce content for this blog are a good example of this type of influencer. Usually, they reach out to millions of people by posting on popular blogs and websites. To be frank, bloggers and content creators are probably the least appreciated of the lot of influencers.
However, there are some who have cornered various niches, with the result that they have large followings. It is these that are usually approached by businesses that wish to have them promote their brands.
Can I become and influencer?
Influencers, particularly celebrities, lead seemingly glamorous lives. Just imagine being offered free stays at five star hotels, free holidays and other free goodies for a simple endorsement! That is the reason why you may find yourself wondering whether or not it is possible for you to become and influencer. So, could you become an influencer?
Managing Director of Boost Social, Elisha Fiorentino has created an online community of followers. It has taken a couple of years of being in the public eye but with more than 19k Instagram users who are interested in what she wears and where she shops and the products she uses, she knows what it takes to become an influencer, first hand. As a result she has collaborated with many brands which have seen her gifted with clothing, babywear, cosmetics, cooking utensils and even free accommodation.
The answer is, it’s definitely possible for anyone to become a social media influencer. The issue is pretty straightforward for celebrities. If you are one of these and you have a huge following on social media, then you can get something extra on the side through endorsements on social media. However, if you are an ordinary person, your fate largely depends on both luck and dedication. You may find fame by falling flat on your face in the middle of the road. However, in most cases, you are going to need to work hard to get the kind of following that will get brands knocking on your door.