WHY, OH WHY 101: ||Social Media Influencers|| Am I an influencer? Are you an influencer? WHO ACTUALLY ARE THESE INFLUENCERS?

On this first topic, I will share my thoughts with you about how ideas can be spread by using influencers.

Are you currently following someone who occasionally gives out a discount code to purchase a product? Have you been recommended by them to try out a new service or experience? Have you ever said to yourself “This is actually great, I want to do the same thing!”, just by looking at their posts of many of the activities that they are a part of? 

 

 

 

 

 

If so, that person that you follow is doing pretty well with their role as an influencer..

To begin with: Who actually are these influencers, and why are they so popular? Easy. They are just ordinary people (like us!) who are passionate about something, and do not hesitate to share it with the world. They build up their profiles and gain a large number of followers by showing what they love to do in their daily life (singing, cooking, traveling, fashion, filming, gaming, (yes, even STUDYING, literally anything). We all are following at least one or two people, who we either are interested in their posts/blogs/videos,  or find relatable. And as these people have their own audience, they actually are able to influence and shape their audience’s opinions and behaviour.

So..the BIG question: What is their role in spreading the ideas? How do they help in promoting brands and companies’ products?

  • First of all, they can share information and stories of their own experience with a brand/a product, together with their thoughts of the brand and the company; their personal reviews or recommendations. Using influencers is a great way to create a sense of conformity and witnessing: we sometimes check out what products our influencers use, what places they go to. Have you ever been to any cafes/restaurants in town that were recommended by your influencers? Or do you continue to use the hair shampoo that happens to be the same one that your influencer is using, and even buy more hair products from the same brand? If you follow someone popular for a certain amount of time, you somehow feel like you actually “know” them in some way, and their personal stories and experiences seem to be more authentic and trustworthy to you. Think about it this way, if you are into fitness, you are more likely to trust the products recommended by a person you follow on Instagram – someone who actually was unhappy with their body and how they look at first, and then becomes a positive and active person. Another additional point is when an influencer is actually using a product, their audience is very likely to be interested in the information they share about that product: how it works, how useful it is and the pros and cons of using it.   

  • Secondly, it is related to the social identity theory – some influencers are now actually giving their audience group a “team name” and promote or encourage the “spirit” and the culture of the group. This actually creates a social currency and bragging rights. Admit it, we all love that sense of belonging, of being an “insider”. And while everyone in the group is currently trying this specific product (recommended by the influencer) and loving it, why wouldn’t you?  

 

The power of word of mouth is strong, isn’t it? Especially when it is reviewed and recommended by someone ordinary, who shares the same thoughts and interests, and belongs to the same age group as you.

However, there are some things that companies should keep in mind when using influencers:

  • Be authentic. The influencer that a brand uses should match with the values that they create. They should actually believe in your product and feel genuine about it.
  • Be transparent. When it is an ad, do not hide it. Use hashtags or note that it is a sponsorship between the company and the influencer.
  • Come up with a proper and useful plan. If many likes and followers do not help you to sell your product, then you might reconsider it. 
  • IMG_4179

 

This is such an interesting topic that I feel like I could talk about it forever (: But I guess we will discuss more later in class, OR you can just comment on here!! (Sounds better for me :P) WHAT DO YOU THINK??

Who are influencers in the digital age?

References:

Instagram accounts @kristinjohns @jess @gabrielconte @camperandhoney @krissycela

Social Identity Theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_identity_theory

Campo et al., (2003). Are Social Norms Campaigns Really Magic Bullets? Assessing the Effects of Students’ Misperceptions on Drinking Behavior. Health Communication, Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 481-497

Social Currency https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_currency

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “WHY, OH WHY 101: ||Social Media Influencers|| Am I an influencer? Are you an influencer? WHO ACTUALLY ARE THESE INFLUENCERS?

    1. Thank you! It is very interesting, isn’t it? – You might not like someone on instagram at first, but when you realized that they have a lot of things in common with you, you then start following them! Personally, I think it is all about identity, the sense of belonging and the possibility to relate these influencers to yourself. Think about it this way: if you are into technologies, then you are more likely to follow those who reviews new technology (phones, laptops, cars, etc)

      Like

  1. It is really interesting to consider that we may not always know when the celebrities we see on Social Media are advertising a product or if they are genuinely using it! Your point about companies making sure they are being authentic and transparent is really important to ensuring that they maintain the trust that their consumers have in them. No one likes to feel like they are being fooled, so ensuring that consumers know than an Influencer and a company are working together is essential to continue that mutual relationship between consumer and brand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! If an influencer genuinely likes the product, he/she is even more willing to promote it, and it is exactly what companies should look for. Influencers will actually put their mind and thoughts into the ad and make it interesting, rather than copy and paste product information sent by company on their social media posts. I have watched several youtube videos which the influencers are actually excited about partnering with the brand, and to be honest, they were so good in convincing people to buy the products!

      Like

  2. Linh great blog.”Using influencers is a great way to create a sense of conformity and witnessing” read this makes me think about my holiday and i used Instagram to check out hotels and things to do. I like the take away points of marketers needing to be more authentic and transparent and 100% agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Danny,

      Thank you for your comment. For followers like us, we might find that is a great idea that we can actually follow what our influencers are doing, and share the same experience with them. And it is also a success to companies who actually listen, understand and apply it correctly.

      Like

  3. Linh great blog.”Using influencers is a great way to create a sense of conformity and witnessing” read this makes me think about my holiday and i used Instagram to check out hotels and things to do. I like the take away points of marketers needing to be more authentic and transparent and 100% agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! Yes being authentic and transparent, in my opinion, is a must – it helps in promoting the brand and the product as being genuine and it is more likely to persuade consumers to buy, and protect the company from bad reputations (ex: using influencers to market their products without paying attention to how the influencers actually feel about the products, “fake” promotion (influencers say they like and use the product while they actually don’t).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great reading, it was full of valuable insights. I’d like to add one more question to yours 🙂
    If there’s a recipe for becoming an influencer, do you think companies should create their own micro influencers (which they’ll be able to use more sustainably) rather than paying a lot of money to numerous different influencers?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s