Social media works on word-of-mouth, which is known to all by now. If you observe the trend these days, you will find brands engaging social influencers by various means to promote themselves. It’s like getting endorsed by a celeb or famous personality. They are planning blogger outreach programs, engaging influencers on various different platforms to reach out to specific target audience. So, who are these people?
Influence is a concept which means the capacity of a person to have an effect on character, development and behavior of someone or something or the effect itself. In social media it can be measured in the following ways:
- Charisma, personality and authority
- Reputation and credibility
- Commercial and financial success
- Quality of affiliations and contacts
Due to each reasons, the notion of influence may vary from person to person. In the ever changing environment of social media, the definition keeps shifting. Today, thanks to social media, everyone can become a leader in their interest zone. This resulted in the reassessment in the approach of marketers and PR professionals define «influence» on social network.
So, influencers are the people whose ideas, quotes, photos, videos gets shared, re-shared, liked, quoted, re-tweeted etc.
Influencers are either passionate individuals who turns out to be specialists or professionals who use web 2. 0 tools as a part of their work. They take an advantage of their presence on social networks for personal gain or as representative of a brand or company or organization. They produce and share relevant content, appealing to the interests of a community. This results on regular discussions and interactions that might have influence on behaviors.
The Klout’s matrix lists no lesser than twelve different types of influencers that include: the specialist, the activists, the socializer, the observer, the broadcaster, curator and last but not the least, the thought leader.
Influencers can broadly be classified into five types:
The Networker or the Social Butterfly: One who has the biggest contact list and found on all platforms. She knows everybody and everybody knows her.
The Opinion or Thought Leader: is the one who can become the ambassador of a brand. She has built a strong authority in her field based on credibility. This messages are most often commented on or retweeted.
The Discoverer or Trendsetter: are the ones who are always first to try and use a new platform. Since they are constantly in the look out for new trends, they become the hub in the sector.
The Sharer or Reporter: These are the people who distributes the information through specialized webzines. They amplify a message.
The User or Everyday Customer: These are the ones who represents regular everyday customers. This group doesn’t have a large number of followers but are equally important in the network.
For any brand to succeed, they must first identify their vision and then determine what type of influencers they want to reach out to.
What kind of influencer are you?