The Phenomenon of Influencers in Social Networks

January 8, 2020
The phenomenon of influencers in marketing is a viral sensation for consumers and businesses. The former prefer to place their trust in a person who inspires confidence and gives them arguments to buy a product even if they don't know them personally.

Globalization led to the phenomenon of influencers in social networks and it’s even impacting the way people understand marketing. Advertising saturation, added to the heyday that social networks experienced, changed the paradigm and companies had to rethink new actions in order to reach consumers. In this sense, this is where the figure of the influencers makes an appearance.

An influencer is a person with a social media account and a community of followers they can influence. People consider them new actors in the marketing strategy of a company that seeks to get a more credible message.

Influencers may be traditional celebrities, but there are also bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers that can provide greater segmentation to the brand’s message. They also help companies reach their niche market directly. Thus, they’re now significantly relevant.

The arrival of social networks created a panorama in which the opinion of any user can generate an ideological current and give rise to a new language. The objective of this article is to examine this phenomenon that moves more than 1000 million euros. One in which more than 20 million people work worldwide.

“Do the world a favor and believe in your greatness.”

-Kino MacGregor (@kinoyoga)-

What are influencers in social networks?

Even though we all have the capacity to influence to a greater or lesser extent, an influencer is able to transfer certain information to more circles of influence. These people reach multiple online communities, media, other influencers and, most importantly, the final consumer.

The ability to communicate and maintain contact with their followers is among their main skills. The influencer must know their audience and the language they use. This is because they must know how to adapt their message. Keep in mind that the influencer’s communication model is bidirectional and generates a space for dialogue.

Thus, they also have the capacity to build trust and reciprocity. That’s the ability to transmit closeness and establish lasting relationships. This is because showing empathy and similarity with followers is the key to influencing them.

Of course, it’s also about displaying important knowledge about a specific topic while keeping their messages consistent. Thus, a very positive point in their work is that they know how to anticipate the questions that potential buyers might ask about the products they promote.

The ability to create a trend is the main characteristic of an influencer. This person must be able to convince a possible customer to buy, consume, and recommend a product. And for all this, the influencer must have a good ability to tell stories and create content (videos, images, articles, and opinions). All while maintaining a certain level of quality and generating interest from the public they want to reach.

The phenomenon of influencers – between fraud and figures

Let’s also highlight the dangers of this phenomenon, in which it’s rather easy to take advantage of people’s ignorance. Here are two cases that show the dangers of it all:

A paradigmatic story is that of the Instagrammer Arii. She’s a girl with more than 2.6 million followers who decided to launch a clothing line but couldn’t sell more than 36 shirts.

  1. This is a real demonstration that the number of followers a person has doesn’t always translate into a loyal audience or potential clients. There are, for example, tools that allow you to buy followers to become a fake influencer.
  2. Another very notable case was that of the Fyre Festival, an event disseminated by multiple influencers. It comprised a beach, supermodels, and an island that belonged to Pablo Escobar in the Bahamas. The tickets sold at 4,000 euros. Thus, all the tickets sold in 48 hours. But it was all a farce.

However, and despite these dangers, 49% of consumers seek buying advice from influencers on social networks, according to a study conducted in 2016 by Twitter. In addition, 20% said they bought after seeing the tweets of some influencer.

This study also shows that the areas most affected by this type of marketing are politics, society, and fashion. The most commonly used social networks are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A person typing on a phone.

Conclusion

Thus, you could say that the phenomenon of influencers for marketing is a viral event for consumers and businesses. Consumers prefer to place their trust in a person who makes a good argument to buy a product, even if they don’t know them personally. Thus, companies made the decision to invest time and money in a new marketing strategy that includes influencers within the promotion and communication strategy.

However, it’s important to choose the most appropriate influencer for a brand. Otherwise, the resources would be uselessly invested. Also, companies would lose confidence in the brand.

  • Biblioteca Unirioja, https://biblioteca.unirioja.es/tfe_e/TFE004079.pdf
  • El País, https://smoda.elpais.com/moda/influencers-engano-marcas-pierden-millones-euros/
  • ABC, https://www.abc.es/tecnologia/redes/abci-instagram-adios-farsa-influencer-falso-fenomeno-entra-fase-madurez-201907250210_noticia.html