What is an Influencer?
An “Influencer” in social media terms is someone who has a legitimate following of people who they are able to influence. The ability to influence your followers comes with certain responsibilities as your followers will hopefully trust your opinion and you are basically verifying the product you are promoting.
How does this work?
Usually, an influencer will be sent a product to use or try out by a certain brand, and in return it is hoped that the influencer will put a blog post or even just a picture of the product recommending it to their following thereby influencing them. Sometimes there is money involved for the influencer if they have a very large following, but this is not always the case. There are other ways of being paid to be an influencer, such as product trade, social media reach, tickets to events, etc.
More recently it is not essential that you have a huge following to be an influencer. There is a new trend in the social media industry where micro-bloggers or influencers who focus on a particular niche, may in fact not have a huge following but they are still respected enough within their particular niche that brands who want to target that niche will want to work with them.
If you want to be an influencer, my Top Tip would be to NOT buy followers.
Here are two simple reasons why:
Firstly, it’s lazy. If you want to be legitimate and respected by your followers, you need to do the work and prove yourself to them. Growing followers doesn’t happen overnight. Your audience need to trust you and respect you and know that you have their best interests at heart, not simply your own pocket.
Secondly, PR companies know. They know! They know how you have grown your following so massively, and they know that you don’t really have a legitimate influence over your followers..
How do they know?
Well here is an example: If you are trying to grow your following as an influencer of baby clothes, and you decide to pay some faceless person you found on a dodgy website $100 for 10k followers, thinking that it will put you ahead of the ‘pack’ and increase your influence, but you’ve only posted five pictures on your Instagram page and all your followers are middle-aged men from Asia, that’s dodgy! That’s not influence.
The fallout from that is that not only will they not want to work with you then or in the future, but they actually have a list! It’s not a list you want to be on.
Respect yourself, respect the brands and put the work in.
Do not buy followers if you want to be a respected Influencer on social media.
If you need help coming up with a strategy to grow your influence, or help with identifying keywords and hashtags that relate directly to your brand, please get in touch with me. Let’s grow your influence together.