What Are Social Media Influencers And What Do They Actually Do??

influencer

Life as an Influencer is becoming an increasingly stacked game. In a world of paid likes/followers, fickle algorithms and those ‘lurky bots’, it’s become even harder to market yourself in 2019. With more Instagram Models on the scene than ever before; this creates a higher level of competition overall.

Gaining traction on social media often means hitting that elusive fan quota. However, it’s often a vague figure that allows you to qualify. This begs the question: how many people have to follow you or like your page in order to make you a legitimate Influencer? What will warrant enough credibility amidst a miasma of hashtagging and 24/7 responsiveness? You should start by applying a thick-skinned approach to negative comments (ironically, with much skin on the show) and all ‘round people-pleasing.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. What does an Influence Marketer and/or Instagram Model actually do? Well, they create ‘sponsored content’. That means someone sends them something and they promote it to their audience, eg. “OMG this skin cream is the bomb, I now have no pimples”, or “this teeth whitening product is so great I can now allow myself to smile” – all the whilst being paid to give, let’s face it, an entirely biased review.

Influence Marketing is most usually carried out on the platform of choice: Instagram. According to Forbes Magazine, an Insta account with over one million followers can attract upwards of $50k for a single sponsored post: that’s certainly big bickies! What you may not know is that the social media landscape is continuing to change, and it’s not always in the interest of an Influence Marketer.

For example, have you heard of the term ‘Micro Influencer’? These are commonly described as ‘ordinary people’ (whatever that means) with a decent following of around 3000 followers. Usually, they aren’t ‘big-fish’ enough to score entirely free products, and they don’t always garner a genuine ‘hard-dried-ink’ modeling contract with, you know, an actual brand.

While the demand for Micro-Influencers grows (and will continue to do so during 2019); so does earning potential decline. This demographic is more often than not, underpriced. With so many people putting their hands up to assist e-commerce operators, for example, accepting the offer to post about a beach towel whilst wearing a bikini, this means that the value of a Micro-Influencers’ engagement is vastly cheapened. It’s just supply and demand – economics 101.

The fact is, being a Micro-Influencer is generally not something to be taken too seriously. That’s because you can only ever earn a mere fraction of what your more socially mobile counterparts (you know those Insta peeps with the covetable green badge) can attract per post. What does this ‘Verified Badge’ on Instagram actually mean? Well, according to the platform itself, “a verified badge is a check that appears next to an Instagram account’s name in search and on the profile. It means Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”

How do you get your very own Insta Badge? You can apply to get one by going into your platform’s settings tab, providing your ID and waiting for that all-important response. However, there are no guarantees! But, that’s always the way, isn’t it? After all, there are no 100 percent shatter-proof formulas for achieving success in online marketing. Keep in mind that those ‘masterclasses’ will surely tell you differently, though.

Being an Instagram Model and marketing yourself is but a means to an end. It is not necessarily something to hinge your ‘bread-and-butter’ upon. If you are reaping the rewards as an Influence Marketer then more power to you. If you are still struggling and wondering why it’s not actually working for you, then remember things are never what they seem – especially when it comes to the world of social media/influencer marketing!

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