What is a Social Media Influencer?

what is a social media influencer?

It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that nearly everyone is using social media in some way these days.

Between blogs, Facebook, YouTube (learn how to create your channel here), Instagram, and Twitter, billions of people stay connected with each other 24/7, allowing opinions and outlooks to be shared at lightning speed across the globe in mere moments.

As a business owner, wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could spread information about your products or services that quickly and completely?

Sure, you’ve set up all of your business’ social media accounts, but how do you get people to share with people who will share again?  How do you get word to spread like wildfire?

Perhaps what you need is a social media influencer on your side!

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

Generally speaking, a social media influencer is any individual who has the ability to have an effect on the behavior of others through social media channels.

Celebrity spokespeople have been used for marketing purposes for years, so this is hardly a new concept.

Additionally, the opinions of thought leaders, such as journalists and experts in particular industries, have been highly regarded in mass media and communication.

In this day and age, however, a more accessible level of celebrity has been created via the internet.  These “Micro Influencers” or “Social Media Celebrities” are known specifically for their web content.

Whether that’s a blog (do you have one?), a YouTube channel, or a carefully constructed web of social media content, these trendsetters are defined by a few particular characteristics. 

How Social Media Influencers Operate?

First, their content will address a particular niche.  Whether that’s health/beauty, movies and entertainment, social issues, fashion, or business (and beyond!), social media influencers are known far and wide for their opinions, thoughts, and reviews surrounding a very specific market.

They are elevated to celebrity status in their niche, though many do not live celebrity-style lives.  As such, these individuals are considered more like regular people than the standard rock star or movie star.

Followers feel comfortable sending their favorite social media influencers an email or subscribing to newsletters and blogs and YouTube channels as quickly as they would follow the channel of a trusted friend.  Followers are instantly alerted when their favorites update any of their social media channels.

Posts from these trendsetters are liked hundreds and thousands of times, and shared and linked quickly and easily through multiple social media channels.

Read also: Building an Email List: 5 Simple Tips

What Role Do Social Media Influencers Have in Marketing?

Social media influencers not only have tons of followers, they have tons of devoted followers.

What separates these online celebrities from movie stars and stadium-filling musicians is their accessibility.

Through post comments, direct messages, and emails, social media celebrities are known for holding conversations with their followers and encouraging discourse amongst followers in the comment sections of their posts.

They build a community in their niche, and they develop a reputation as a trusted expert in their niche.

As a result, social media influencers can be instrumental in spreading the word regarding your product or services throughout their community, and their community will predictably share their content even further.

As a business owner plugged into your specific niche, you need to be aware of who the social media influencers in your market are.  Make sure you follow a variety of scene experts on various social media platforms to gain perspective on which of these individuals may be able to best represent your product or service.

Some individuals are less receptive than others to providing reviews of your product or service, so you’ll want to choose individuals who make frequent reviews, and who have an overall positive reception by their audience.

How to Reach them

Before reaching out to a specific influencer, make sure your business website and social media accounts are in tip-top shape.  Make sure your pages are ready to handle an influx of visitors.  Make sure your order fulfillment process is ready to go.

Make sure your own blog posts and social media posts are engaging. If you haven’t one yet, have a look at our article about how to start a blog

You may wish to offer a discount code through this particular interaction to track how much traffic comes in through this influencer. For example, if a customer uses coupon code SMI2019 for free shipping, you’ll know that came from a specific Instagram influencer. This will help you determine what kind of ROI you’re getting from that interaction.

But don’t stop to discount codes, there’s much more. We have written two articles explaining some of the best techniques to entice your audience and increase your sales at zero cost. Read this article, and also this one to learn more.

Most social media influencers will request some type of payment for their post, as this is time, talent and web space they’ll be using to promote your product.

They’ll also need to experience your product or services before posting about it.  Evaluate beforehand how to make this offer profitable for you from every angle.

Once you’ve done the legwork behind the scenes, it’s time to talk to the influencers you’ve hand-picked across social media about your product.

Learn also: What is influencer marketing?

What Advantages Do Social Media Influencers Have?

Social media influencers are experts on their community.  They know how to address their followers, as they have carefully developed their voice to gain the trust and respect of their community.

While you might hire copywriters and designers to help you create strong content (learn here how to outsource this part of your business), social media influencers are able to gain attention and respect simply by “talking” to their followers.

These individuals are known for having an organic trust and respect from their followers; therefore, when they discuss your business with their followers, their followers will trust and respect the influencer’s opinions. 

Social media influencers are also experts on their own audience.  They know when to send out e-blasts.  They know what time of what day to post a blog or vlog to catch the most followers instantly.  They know which images to use, what text to write, and which hashtags to add to get the most attention.

While you, as a business owner, are attempting to capture anyone who might be interested in your product, these trendsetters already know their audience’s sweet spot.

By working with a successful blogger or vlogger, you’re not just gaining their audience- you’re gaining their industry expertise. 

Final Considerations

Working with a social media influencer is an excellent way to gain momentum in a particular niche.

It may require some legwork, conversation, and investment, but as a result, you’ll have your foot in the door of your niche, with the influencer you choose helpfully opening that door for you.

Using their voice and expertise in their community, you’ll be able to get an even firmer hold on potential customers in your niche, as well as a trusted spokesperson sharing a positive experience with your product or service. 

As the social media posts gain traction and are shared, so too will be information regarding your business.  Relationship builidng is essential in any business, but working with the modern celebrities of your niche will help put your business name in more inboxes and more computer screens across the globe.

How to become a Social Media Influencer?

If you want to learn more about Social Media Influencers and how to be one of them, you may consider to watch the video below.



Teachingbiz provides internet marketing services and education to digital entrepreneurs and marketers who want to learn how to build and scale their businesses.

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