What Qualifies As an Influencer?
One of the biggest discussions in all of social media marketing has been about what qualifies as an influencer. Influencers are the ones behind the conversations that your target audience follows. They are the ones who determine whether or not a conversation takes off, and often form the link between you and your followers. This post will discuss the different aspects of what makes an influencer, as well as how you can use influencers to your benefit.
So what qualifies as an influencer? Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are communities of individuals who share the same interests. Because they are so focused on what they like, they tend to post activities or comments that appeal to them. If you are running a campaign that is solely focused around animal rights or a niche that doesn’t have many followers, then you can use these platforms to gain some initial notoriety for your campaign by becoming an “exclusively cruelty free” influencer.
So what qualifies as an influencer? An influencer is someone who drives conversation. If you can establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable about a particular topic but whose views are not necessarily extreme, then you have found your niche. The key is to become a part of conversations you are already leading, rather than trying to “go viral” by making everything about you. People will generally be interested in what you have to say if you present it in a light that’s not negative. For example, if you are an animal lover and you write about animal rights, but your tone of voice is that of a sympathetic advocate, then the topic of your posts will more than likely be one of conflict or cruelty, rather than that of romance and pet care.
What qualifies as an influencer is someone who can establish credibility in their own right, by providing knowledge that can add value to others. By being able to add useful information to a group of people, an influencer has built a sense of authority, which allows them to begin influencing conversations and discussions. However, to establish authority, an influencer must be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the topic they are commenting on. They must also demonstrate a history of successfully contributing knowledge to an audience. This ability to contribute makes them special, and gives them access to an audience that allows them to begin shaping the conversation, rather than just passively listening to it.
An ideal candidate for what qualifies as an influencer is someone who can drive traffic to their website, build trust with their audience, and provide quality content. If all you do is provide buckets of meaningless drivel, then you won’t make any money on the internet. In fact, if you do that, then you will get banned from most social media channels, and the only place you will be able to continue posting drivel is YouTube. A good influencer understands that they must connect with their audience in an engaging way, but they also understand that they must take an active role in the conversation, and not simply shill for a company. A good influencer will use their influence to provide quality information, while also being engaged in the conversation.
The most common question about what qualifies as an influencer is whether or not using hashtags is beneficial. Many people believe that by promoting a brand through hashtags, that the audience will automatically know what that brand represents. However, the truth is that when a user searches for a particular brand, the most relevant results are going to come from the top trending hashtags. Therefore, while you can promote your brand through hashtags, there is little chance of the audience truly understanding your brand at all. As an example, consider the following popular Twitter hash tag: #appleandcompany.
An apple enthusiast would likely search for this hash tag on a daily basis. This means that if you as an influencer decided to participate in the conversation by starting a thread relating to the aforementioned brand, there is a good chance that you will be found. However, the likelihood of your brand being found is heavily influenced by the amount of engagement your followers have with you. While a lot of users enjoy interacting with an influencer, it is important to remember that there is an inverse relationship between followers and engagement. Focusing on engaging with a niche audience is much more effective than trying to please everyone.
Finally, another question that often arises about what qualifies as an influencer relates to the issue of trust. Some people mistakenly believe that the only way to become an influencer is to create an incredibly unique YouTube video or twitter profile. While the idea of being able to manipulate YouTube views, Facebook fans and Twitter followers may be tempting, these tactics do not translate into successful marketing strategies. A lot of successful influencers are internet marketers who have built large businesses from the ground up using multiple channels. Influencers need to be serious about building long-term relationships with their audiences if they want to use the power of social media to leverage visibility and monetize their influence.