Social Media Influencers: Unveiling the Hidden Potency of Their Power
With almost 600 million followers, Cristiano Ronaldo is the most popular person on Instagram. For each of his social media posts, the superstar footballer earns $2,000,000! Of course, this example is extreme, but it highlights the potential power of social media influencers.
And it’s not only about money. As the name suggests, influencers shape trends and opinions. With a larger follower base, they have a greater potential to reach a wider audience and shape public perception. Let’s unveil how much power influencers really have and which traits are crucial to succeed in that game.
The Rise of Social Media Influencers
We live in a world where social media greatly impact our lives. Platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have seen rapid growth over the years and now hold great power in shaping public opinion.
It’s difficult to point to one event that led to the rise of social media influencers. However, it’s certain that the rise of social media was a key factor. With global platforms providing users with an unprecedented level of reach, the ability to become an influencer became accessible to anyone with access to the internet.
And it’s not about huge numbers. Right now, we have different kinds of influencers. Even with less than 10,000 followers (so-called nano-influencers), you can shape trends in your niche.
Social Media Influencing as a Legitimate Career
Now, let’s face the essential question: is social media influencing a real profession? Or should we rather consider it a hobby or a marketing channel?
According to the study made by Passport Photo Online, a startup offering photos for documents online, 8 in 10 people perceive it as a legitimate career path. And there are many indications supporting that claim. Most of all, influencers are often paid by companies for sponsored posts or reviews. This implies that influencers need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for such jobs, which shows that it is indeed a profession.
Probably the most interesting part of the influencer phenomenon is how it affects younger generations in terms of career aspirations. According to the abovementioned research, 86% of millennials and Gen Z consider becoming an influencer as a viable career option.
The Allure of Becoming a Social Media Influencer
What’s so alluring about becoming an influencer? The study proves that the primary reason is, unsurprisingly, money. According to the State of Influencer Earnings report, in 2021, the average cost paid per Facebook post was $833, Instagram photo – $1,170, and YouTube video – even $4,491. Those numbers can be quite appealing.
But it’s not only about money. Being a social media influencer has many other benefits, such as the possibility to express yourself, the ability to follow your passion, getting free goods and products, as well as realizing the need for popularity and fame.
The desire to become a full-time influencer in society is stronger than you think. As much as 63% of people asked if they would quit their day jobs tomorrow if they were sure to make a living solely as an influencer said yes. Of course, words are just words, but it’s another sign indicating that becoming an influencer is perceived as an exciting option.
Essential Traits for Influencer Success
Which traits are key to becoming successful in the influencer game? The Influencer Report by Morning Consult discovered that number one is authenticity (according to 88% of surveyed people, it’s important or somewhat important). Here’s hard evidence that emphasizing authenticity with your followers (as many marketing lessons teach) is indeed crucial.
According to 87% of respondents, the second most important trait is to have a sense of humor or an engaging personality, which are intertwined. To captivate your audience, you must provide authentic entertainment. The third trait is being knowledgeable about a subject that people find important – in other words, being an expert in a specific field (85%).
At the opposite extreme, we have three things that somehow became popular among influencers’ critics – having a large following base (important or somewhat important for 29%), so people assume that influencers are just popular for being popular. The second one is the fact that other people follow this influencer (31%), and the third one is to be good-looking (32%).
To sum up
Social media influencers are more than just people with a large number of followers – they have the power to shape public opinion and trends. Although money is an important factor driving people towards this career path, there are also other benefits that come along with it.
To become successful in influencer marketing, you must possess certain traits such as authenticity, humor, knowledge about a specific subject, and the ability to connect with your followers. Furthermore, you must not focus solely on having a large following base or being good-looking – those traits are at the opposite extreme when it comes to influencer success.
Overall, we can conclude that becoming an influencer is indeed a real profession and has great potential for people who possess the necessary traits. It’s up to each individual to decide if it’s the right path for them, but one thing is certain – social media influencers have an immense amount of power that shouldn’t be underestimated.