Social media influencers – joining the bandwagon

Social media’s ever increasing use has opened up a new form of self-employment previously not thought of, that is, self-proclaimed social media influencers.

Social media influencers – joining the bandwagonBy simply setting up an Instagram or YouTube account, employing tricks to garner hundreds and thousands of followers can end up setting up your life in the long run. It is the 21st century’s ticket into stardom.

Now, how does this work exactly? A number of people start various types of Instagram accounts and take up ‘blogging’ as a hobby on the side. There are usually different types of bloggers, ranging from specific topics of food, travel, fashion, to those who just tend to blog about their daily lives.

They are exceptionally popular with the youth, known popularly as the “millennials” and “Gen Z” as they are the ones who spend the most time engaging with their content. Their success is due to how relatable they can make themselves, as the influencers also belong to a similar age group.

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Now those bloggers with a specific niche tend to be the target of many new and upcoming businesses, looking for different ways to introduce and promote their products amongst the crowd. The effective following and reach some bloggers possess, can often surpass the reach of typical advertising methods.

With a direct line to a specific demographic, brands are clamoring for a PR deal. This high demand could possibly be creating an industry of its own, where a company is set to match specific brands with the blogger suited for them.

With the backing of thousands of followers as well as numerous businesses and brands paying such personalities for every post made, the influencer now has a strong support that will further open doors for them.

Nowadays, it’s increasingly common for such influencers to break out in the television, movie, or even fashion industry; often building careers out of it. Fame and fortune are now right around the corner.

Aside from this, it’s quite interesting how the young social media influencers are the ones showing full awareness and voicing their thoughts on a number of social issues, something which traditional media outlets don’t always do justice. The most notable topic recently has been the crusade towards climate change and its’ horrors.

These people are using their platform for the benefit of the planet, and are ensuring they do their part by informing the masses of recent news.

Side by side, they are also helping promote NGO’s who work for this cause, and giving them the much needed attention for their cause. Making social awareness a “challenge” of sorts has allowed more people to be engaged in it, as they eliminate plastic bags, utensils, reduce water wastage and promote recycling.

This can lead to success on a national level, which has been seen through Islamabad’s latest law, allowing beggars on the street to sell paper and cloth bags on the street for commission rather than begging. Two birds, one stone.

It is imperative to note that the youth look not only look to these people for entertainment, but also often for advice. These bloggers can make a connection with their audience, by talking about their own life and problems, selling themselves as “the boy/girl next door”.

People tend to then forward their queries to their favorite bloggers , personalities, or often use their examples as a guideline. This is a tricky path to be on, as you can easily misguide the youth as they are more susceptible to suggestion.

Cultural clashes are also made apparent, creating a host of issues in the case of cross-cultural practices and norms, blurring their own social moral line.

Sometimes it is seen that the social media influencers, are minors themselves. Now this raises a series of ethical questions. Often, the parents or siblings of such minors are striving for their fame, which can lead to detrimental mental health on the child’s part.

While these people are out in the spotlight, they tend to be the target of massive criticism and are likely to be a victim of cyber bullying.

The ‘keyboard warriors’ find comfort in making bold statements and bash from the comforts of their own home, hidden behind a screen. The likelihood is that the younger you are, the more this bullying will affect you.

Social media has grown to be an increasingly toxic environment, not allowing individuals to flourish as they receive hate for even the tiniest of their actions. However, the reality of life is that there will always be people who disagree with you, so one should be able to filter out the hate to remain on a positive note.

A sign of a successful bloggers is when your name itself becomes a brand, representing you and everything you stand for. Did you know, the term “influencer marketing” increased by 325% in Google searches over the years, thus making this the fastest-growing online acquisition method of the year.

These everyday people, are however at the end of the day, just like you and me, but with a passion that they aren’t afraid to display. Who knew a blog you started on your phone for fun could establish your whole life for you?

But then again, in this new version of the rat race, is the need for followers and likes, and all this external validation for a possible chance at fame really worth the mental energy? For now, this trend is only on the rise, so be ready to see a saturated market in the upcoming years.

By Abdullah Gadit

Digital Marketing Strategist & Trainer | Google Adwords Certified | Co-Founder & CEO at Mystic Advertising| Hootsuite Certified in Social Media Marketing