As social media grows powerful, so have social media influencers. These are not just celebrities; they include common people who share content in the form of recommendations or information on social media and build a significant number of followers. Therefore, increasingly, consumers have started following their advice in their purchasing decisions, and, as a result, influencers have created a hold on brands and consumers alike. That is the context for this blog on social media influencers’ impact on society today.
Role of Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers have a powerful role to play in society. From a business perspective, their primary job is to inform their networks about new products or brands, the latest developments in the industry, and trends in the market they specialize in. However, their role is more complex than this. They have to be accountable for the brands they promote on social media as a majority of consumers—especially Gen Z—rely on their inputs to make a purchase. This calls for social media influencers’ impact on society to be constantly monitored by the government and other regulatory bodies.
Why are Social Media Influencers Successful?
The key factors that make social media influencers successful are experience, skills, knowledge, and the ability to communicate effectively. Influencers who create quality and relatable content offer value to their niche audience. Moreover, they communicate and engage with their followers, are often found to be successful on social media, and attract massive followers. In addition to this, influencers often post a glimpse of their lives and share personal achievements and failures on social media, helping them to better connect with their target audience. Once social media influencers have a significant number of followers and their content goes viral, they are often sought out by brands for promotions and advertisement deals. This contributes to their success and adds to social media influencers’ impact on society.
How are Social Media Influencers Impacting Gen Z?
Social media influencers’ impact on society is increasing at a surprising rate, especially among Gen Z. Let us understand the positive and negative impact that influencers are having on the next generation.
Positive Impact of Social Media Influencers on Society
1. Imparting Skills
Several influencers are teaching practical skills such as digital marketing, content writing, copywriting, SEO, photography, coding, and other job market essentials.
2. Help in Achieving Financial Independence
Influencers also post content related to how young people can learn skills, start a business, and achieve financial independence. Additionally, some also demonstrate how to manage finances and invest for a secure future.
3. Facilitating Awareness
Some influencers discuss issues plaguing our society like gender bias, racism, ageism etc. Thereby, they create platform for positive discussions and increase awareness about such issues.
Negative Impact of Social Media Influencers on Society
1. Establish Unrealistic Beauty Standards
On the negative side, social media influencers establish false beauty standards on Instagram by posting edited or filtered photos, making the next generation conscious and uncomfortable about their bodies. Some influencers also endorse products to get perfect skin, perpetuating insecurities as a result. As a result, teenagers end up conducting experiments on their skin to achieve those beauty standards.
2. Promoting Fad Diets
Health and wellness influencers tend to promote fad diets on social media without verifying the facts while leaving out disclaimers that these may not work for everyone.
Do Social Media Influencers Have a Positive Impact on Society?
Social media influencers are renowned for their quality and engaging content. Their positive impact is felt in areas such as mental health awareness, where they highlight its importance and offer people a platform to talk and vent their emotions. They also bring attention to the importance of sustainability, feminism, and animal welfare.
In other words, social media influencers have become incredibly popular in the last couple of years, and people have started looking up to them. Across categories such as fashion, tech, travel, food, or even parenting, they help people learn about the latest trends. They are also in a position to help people buy useful and effective products by posting authentic reviews and making smart choices. Moreover, influencers also support brands’ and small businesses’ grow by reaching out to a large audience.
Do Social Media Influencers have a Negative Impact on Society?
Even though social media has helped people stay connected, it has its downsides, too. People worship social media influencers, treat them as mega-celebrities, create fan pages for them, and even send them expensive gifts. This has risen to blind faith, which has its own challenges.
The other issue is that it has created disparity among businesses. Brands with a big marketing budget are able to get their products promoted by collaborating with larger social media influencers. This makes it difficult for small businesses with low marketing budgets to beat the competition.
Some social media influencers are also often seen posting inauthentic reviews to get more brand deals and generate revenue. Their audience, in turn, purchases products on their recommendation, leading to unnecessary hoarding of products and immense competition among teenagers.
Lastly, a certain section of social media influencers promote a life of luxury and independence, dismissing the idea of working 9-5. Then, on the other extreme, some influencers promote constant hustle, how one needs to be productive all the time. This can negatively impact the minds of young people who have just started their careers, setting wrong precedents for them.
Are Social Media Influencers Here to Stay?
The creator economy, which comprises social media influencers, content curators, bloggers, and bloggers, is almost a decade old. The pandemic expedited the rise of social media influencers. In 2022, there were over 50 million social media influencers. Over 500k professional individual creators on Instagram have over 100k followers each. These people are considered active influencers. The number is only going to increase in the coming years, which means social media influencers’ impact on society will also grow.
This also means that social media marketing or influencer marketing jobs are increasing. To stay competitive in this field, master influencer marketing skills like creativity, digital marketing, copywriting, and campaign management through Emeritus’ online digital marketing courses and accelerate your career in social media marketing or influencer marketing.
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