What exactly is an ‘influencer’? The technical term & meaning
An influencer refers to a person that uses online social media platforms to engage with an audience, using their skills or personal opinions (endorsements) to provide a marketing agenda. Often the agenda is that of another business that has hired the influencer for the audience to view a message.
However, there is no denying that the derivative of the title ‘influencer’ gives a broader understanding of the word.
To be of an influence means a lot more than the relationship an expert has made with a business in marketing terms. For example, you & I are most likely influencing someone in our lives today without the involvement of a third party giving us an agenda.
To be of influence to others is to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour on someone or something. If you are a mother, father, sibling or friend then you are influenced and influencing within your environment. Not global enough yet?
You have the power to influence online
Believe it or not, you have more influence in society and culture today than ever before. Originally before social medias’ existence, there was a public sphere. The term public sphere is used to explain a gathering to communicate ideas or opinions of concern.
If you have not brushed up on your history in a while let me refresh your memory. In the 17th century to be a part of the important conversations you had to be of working-class and pay a 6 pence entry fee. In the 18th century cultural exceptions of women were ‘uneducated homemakers’, and slavery was a prominent trade. The voices that spoke with dominant influence were a selected few even though it could be a ‘public’ affair aka public sphere.
Now the public sphere, where ideas are shared, has widened. In fact, it has become global with social media platforms. We can communicate ideas more publicly across a wider net.
Gil Pizano explains “As the term ‘social media’ implies: ‘Media’ is a place where publications occur. ‘Social’ implies that there is sharing occurring. A sharing of ideas, opinions, images”.
This is basically the idea of the Public Sphere with technology.
You influence the media, arts, advertising, culture and more…
What is often neglected to be understood is that ‘advertising absorbs ideas from art, literature, history and mythology, directly from our own cultures’.
Advertising is required to reflect trends and mimic within our society while mirroring it back. Advertising today is a true reflection of the society or culture it is displayed in.
This means that in years to come history books will be filled with what we post in our blogs, on social media and what we advertise. Our actions hold the weight of success or lack of success to the future of society and how one another portrays values. Regretting that puppy dog Instagram filter yet?
Where to go from here
The most important take away from this post is to know that you have a voice, you make a mark in history. Know what you stand for and know that we (the online world) are listening. Who & what are you influencing? What do you have to say?
Create a personal brand and know your values by learning more about branding in this downloadable template.