Social Media ‘Influencers’

Digital and Social Media Marketing

Social media influencers are a common sight in today’s marketing world. With thousands of followers, they can help gain the exposure you need & improve anyone’s marketing campaign. But how genuine are today’s influencers? Did they reach this status because of their excellent content or because they invested money into their followers?

Growing up in the world of social media, you quickly become obsessed with how many followers you have, the more the merrier. Social media is a popularity game, accounts with a larger following are seen as a valid source & an influencer to some. But how did they gain this large following?

Some do it organically, posting content that engages their audience and over time become a mini-celebrity in their industry. It can be seen with the likes of Zoella, who has created a career from vlogging and engaging with her customers. Which to me, is the most effective way you can become an influencer as you are growing with your audience and having honest connections with them.

But then there is the dark side of social media influencers. The ones who invest money into their following & claim to be social media specialists. Sadly, this is becoming a common occurrence and many of us will have witnessed it first-hand. More than likely, it’s someone with limited experience in social media, gained ridiculous amounts of following within a short space of time and then will preach how they’ve achieved this amazing success.

Sadly for them, tools like Social Blade can show the extremes in their followings & with that, they expose themselves for trying to gain this fake popularity. But at the end of the day, is it worth investing your own money into fake followers? My opinion, no.

If your goal is to become an influencer, then work to prove to everyone around you why you should become one. Do it properly, engage with your audience, create the right content for your buyer persona’s and learn the industry. This way you will get the recognition you deserve and over time your following with naturally grow. It won’t happen overnight and it may take a few years to get where you want to be, but hard work pays off.

I understand that for some this magical influx of followers can happen and over a course of a few months, you may have a large following & be titled an influencer. But for the majority of today’s influencers, this hasn’t happened. The extremes in their followings & the quality of their content speaks for itself.

This year I have launched my own blog, I have learnt quickly that engaging with my audience & ensuring that my content is specifically tailored to them is important. No ways or means have I in this short time became an influencer. I have a lot to learn & I’m excited for my journey as well as what I can achieve. This is why I can’t understand why someone would want to fake their following, as they haven’t spent the time understanding their audience and earning the respect they feel they should have, as well the whole process loses it’s spark, to me anyway.

These are just my views on influencers, growing up with social media all around me, I can understand why individuals feel the need to have thousands of followers. But to pay for them & claim you’re a specialist is another thing.

Is it right to call someone an influencer because of their following or should businesses start looking at their engagement rates. To me, this will show their true representation of their influencing abilities? It’d be interesting to see what everyone else’s views on influencers are, as I’m fully aware I am no expert in this field yet.