So you want to be a social media influencer?

Before you get started, it’s important to understand just what a social media influencer really is. According to Chandler (2016), a social media influencer can be best described as someone with an extensive network of contacts, who plays an active role in shaping the opinion of others within some topic area, typically through their expertise, popularity, or reputation.

A common mistake that people make is thinking that the bigger the number of followers an influencer has, the better. In some ways that can be right, but the most important thing is the quality of those followers.

As an experiment, we set up an Instagram account for a puppy and tried to grow it as quickly as possible. It didn’t take us too long to grow that page to a few thousand followers (no, we didn’t ‘buy’any followers or do posts that asked for ‘follow for follow’).

Most of the followers we got however were other Instagram accounts for dogs that were hoping for a “follow for follow” (we will explore “follow for follow”in a separate post). In reality, of the few thousand followers we had, there would have been only a handful that we really had any influence over. They weren’t active followers, they were there making up the numbers.

Think about it in another way, you could have an account with as little as 100 true followers, followers that actively engage with your account regularly. Lets say that every one of those 100 followers were rich and had millions of dollars, premium brands like Mercedes, Rolex, or Armani might be prepared to pay you a pretty sum to promote one of their products to that audience.

It’s not all about the numbers but the type of influence you have. So before you start to buy followers, or start a follow for follow post, consider if you will ever have any real influence over those people because brands won’t be interested in the fakes!

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