Few years ago, children, boys and girls were growing up wanting to be doctors, engineers and lawyers. Today, things have changed and the younger generations aspire to become social media influencers. For the older audiences, the term might not sound familiar – who is a social media influencer? What is his/her background? And what does he/she do exactly?
To put it simple, anyone and everyone can be an influencer. Social networking platforms are open to anyone and easily and freely accessible. Anyone can wake up in the morning and open an account on one of the many channels available and start posting content (photos, videos, comments, etc.). Yet, although it may look easy and rather straightforward, being a social media influencer (a popular one) can be quite complicated and requires months – sometimes years – of hard work and dedication.
Becoming a social media influencer is a long process. Indeed, those who set trends and have millions of followers and supporters can rely on talent, connections and good intuitions – but the first steps into the world of virtual fame are (almost) the same for everyone.
To become a social media influencer, there are certain steps that need to be taken:
- Find your topic: finding something we are passionate about and/or deeply care about will allow us to share our interests with the broader audience – possibly presenting the topic in a new and fresh way. Today, the most popular topics are fitness, fashion, beauty, and food – but the list goes on with niche topics such as video games, arts and crafts, tattoos and so on;
- Be persistent: starting from zero is not easy. The key to be a successful social media influencer is gaining the support, the trust and the sympathy of social media users. Therefore, we need to find a way to stand out from the masses of people that are trying to achieve our same goal and we have to offer something new and appealing to the online community (i.e. freebies, webinars, Q&A sessions, etc.);
- Be smart: being a social media influencer is not all about posting pictures online and promoting brands or restaurants. A good social influencer has a deep understanding of marketing strategies, knows when it is the best time to post a picture, understands the preferences of his/her followers and knows how to promote his/her image and product; and
- Value your followers: social media influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers may not have the time to reply to all comments or to engage in conversations with their fans. However, if we are trying to grow our page or our channel and to promote our image, we need to nurture and value our relationships with fans, followers and supporters.
Being a social media influencer is the dream of many young people. However, although it may appear that social influencers live a life of luxury, travels and success, the path to the top can be quite complicated. A successful influencer must have a deep understanding of market dynamics and needs to be able to promote his/her image and/or brand in a way that stands out from the crowd.