Let’s Talk About Influencers
When you hear the word “influencer,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? A celebrity you know and admire? Or maybe it’s a fitness instructor whose programs you’ve tried and loved. In this article, we will dive deep into what an influencer is.
A Brief History of Influencers
Let’s start with a definition of what an influencer is. One definition is an individual or object that affects others, both living and inanimate. In the marketing world, an influencer is a person who, through social media, raises the interest of potential consumers of a product or service by promoting and endorsing said service with the end goal being a successful sale.
The power of influence has grown exponentially with the birth of social media and the Internet. Still, the truth is, it began long before the days of having information at your fingertips. Before we tapped an icon on our smartphones and tablets or typed some keywords into a search bar, information and inspiration travelled by word of mouth and newspapers. An example of an early influencer is the world-renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel. Later on, we will delve into the social media influencer world, but first, let’s jump into the different categories of influencers found on social media.
Four Different Categories of Influencers By Size
Now that we’ve covered the definition and history of an influencer, let’s take a look at the different categories of influencers by size, and by size, we mean the different stages of influencers defined by their social media following. There are four categories:
- Mega Influencer: Starting at the top, a mega influencer is an individual with a strong social media presence and a following of over 1 million.
- Macro Influencer: Following behind the mega influencer category is the macro influencer, who has 100,000 to one million followers. These two categories, mega and macro, are the two leaders of the driving force which is the promotion and marketing of oneself and their brand on social media.
- Micro Influencer: Micro-influencers are the second to last category of influencers. They have a following of 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
- Nano Influencer: The final category is the nano influencer category. Nano influencers have less than 1,000 followers and are at the beginning of their influencer journey, while micro-influencers are somewhere in the middle of the categories of nano and macro.
The latter two categories of influencers, micro and nano, are at the beginning of their influencer journey, but they both have the chance and the potential of becoming a macro or mega influencer. It’s like the old saying says, “You have to start somewhere.” All of these influencers have put in the time and effort to grow their brand and online presence.
Influencers vs. Creators vs. Celebrities: Are They All The Same Thing?
The short answer is no, but also yes. Creators craft content for the dual purposes of creation and then sharing their craft online. Where influencers are concerned, their objective is to grow their respective trademarks while also drawing attention to their lives. Influencers will pick a forte that they specialize in, and present the information that makes them stand out from competitors in the same niche. Distinguishing a unique online presence, the social influencers will then see an increase in their followers. If you prove yourself to be an expert in your chosen field, people will keep coming back because they have an interest in what you’re doing and want to learn more. Some examples of content are fashion, an aptitude for cooking, and workout regimens.
We’ve covered creators and influencers, now let’s flip our attention over to celebrities and how they are an influence online.
In terms of celebrities’ following on social media, they gain followers because these individuals enjoy their art forms of music, film, television shows, or a mix of the three. However, celebrities don’t just promote their current projects on their social media, they also use their online presence to call attention to social issues and current events happening in the world, often explicitly stating support and solidarity for those being affected.
Are these three groups the same thing? They’re alike in the way that they share their passions online, and creators and influencers are celebrities in their own right because they have come onto the social media scene with something to say about the passions that are so important to them. We all have a story and we all have something to say. By using social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Tumblr and YouTube, to name a few, we can reach a broader audience and connect with others who are like-minded in the way that they share the same interests, but we also have the chance to connect with those who are unfamiliar with our respective specialties but are open-minded to learning new things.
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