The persuasive power of social media influencers

CJ Coombs

I used to think an influencer was just someone who posted an image or video online to Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube not fully realizing once these influencers reach a massive following, they can collaborate with brand-name companies to market products.

Many people (followers) engaged in social media look to the influencers to guide them in their decision-making because they become embroiled with everything posted by influencers. There’s some kind of trust that builds with influencers. Persuasion. All it takes is a click to follow.

If an influencer is working with a company, any follower might purchase a displayed product being talked about. Sounds like easy marketing to me.

For example, social media influencer, Addison Rae, started on TikTok in 2019 just by uploading some dance videos. Not too long after that, she already gained a million followers. Because her videos were so popular, she’s been on The Tonight Show, and even began a cosmetics company. She was also named a highest-earning influencer on TikTok by Forbes. The last time I checked, she had over 40 million followers on Instagram. Amazing. In August, she was cast in He’s All That which was distributed by Netflix.

When a person posts something on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Tiktok, either the number of followers will grow or not. When the number of followers dramatically increases, especially into the millions, that person is labeled an influencer.

When COVID-19 hit the masses, people were spending more time on social media because if you can’t go out, what are you going to do? Sit in front of your computer or have your cell phone in your hand for hours at a time. A lot of people turned to TikTok for entertainment.

Because a lot of people show their genuine natures across these platforms, their viewers come to like and trust them and importantly, share them.

Some YouTube top child influencer examples are Russian-American brothers Vlad and Niki and Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World. These YouTubers have subscribers running into the millions. They will influence children to want the toys they play with or books they read if not just being solely entertained by them.

And then there’s tot influencer, Blippi, on YouTube who one of my grandsons loves. Blippi has a website and can be followed on Facebook and Instagram. Blippi is portrayed by 33-year-old Stevin John. He puts himself on a child’s level to communicate educational messages. John, a United States Air Force veteran, created his first video in 2014. In 2019, John had some bad publicity when it was learned he hired an impersonator to appear as “Blippi” during a tour. Some mothers were so mad, they wanted ticket refunds even though it was indicated the real Blippi wouldn’t be on stage.

Even well-known Joanna Gaines from the home decorator and renovation series, Fixer Upper, creates posts of pleasing interior designs on Instagram. Gaines has over 13 million followers on Instagram. She and her husband, Chip, have become so successful that they collaborated with Target to showcase her collection of Hearth & Hand with Magnolia. In 2019, they opened a coffee shop called the Magnolia Press. They’re also involved with a new cable network called the Magnolia Network.

“Influence is the new power — if you have influence, you can create a brand.” — Michelle Phan

There are a lot of pros and cons to being an influencer. If you’re successful, you can generate a lot of income, but that resource is also dependent on popularity. There are no job guarantees as an influencer. What may seem like a side hustle, in the beginning, could turn out to be a lot of work. So, it depends on how hard you’re willing to work to create the potential for success because not all influencers are successful.

One thing is certain. There is a lot of power of persuasiveness by a successful social media influencer.

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub; Amra and Elma; Job Evaluator

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Hello! I have 30 years of experience in the legal field, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. I am an incessant thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into the service life of the Air Force in Louisiana, life has taken me to Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and ultimately to Missouri, I don't have that true concept of "home," but believe every living experience is tied to language. I love my family, art, true crime, non-fiction, reading, travel, and red pinot.

Kansas City, MO

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