The new profession that social media has introduced to this generation is the “influencer.” The Oxford dictionary term influencer is defined to be “a person or thing that influences another” and according to Pixlee.com, “a social media influencer is someone with established credibility and a wide audience to persuade people virtually.”
These influencers can be found on social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and even YouTube. According to Grin.co, there are 10 types of Influencers: Bloggers and Vloggers, Social Media Sensations, Reality TV Stars, Micro-Influencers, Nano-Influencers, Activists, Journalists, Photographers, Thought Leaders, and Mainstream Celebrities.
An influencer is never the shy, boring or uninteresting person. They are always the pretty, handsome, funny or outgoing person who can draw in an audience or in this case followers. In order to be a successful influencer, you have to be able to attract people whether it is through wealth, personality, or beauty.
What about those who don’t relate to the wealthy possessions an influencer has or his/her jaw-dropping looks?
Influencers have the ability to lower a person’s self-esteem because that individual cannot obtain designer clothes or connect with people as easily.
Tandfonline.com reported in a post titled “Explaining Females’ Envy Toward Social Media Influencers” that social media influencers are online celebrities who exhibit their personal lives to many followers via social media. Media studies have analyzed influencers’ display of the luxurious life to which ordinary women can only aspire.
Trying to emulate the status of an influencer can toil with a females’ self-esteem and this action is more prevalently seen in females rather than males. Females that are lost in the world of social media find themselves trying to obtain complete and utter perfection of an influencer who is only perceived as perfect due to several edits on one photo.
Rather than influencing self-esteem influencers are influencing their audience to have a lack of self-confidence.
Influencers also use their platform to brand and market businesses. Lyfemarketing.com reported the top 10 social media sites for business are (1) Facebook, (2) Facebook Messenger, (3)Instagram, (4) Pinterest, (5) Snapchat, (6) YouTube, (7) Twitter, (8) LinkedIn, (9) TikTok, and (10) Yelp.
Not all influencers flaunt their luxurious cars, clothes and beauty, some influencers promote positivity and uplifting posts, like Kay Ska, who posts to help people find their own inner strength, and 16-year old Greta Thunberg, who posts about climate and environmental change.
Not all influencers use their platform to flaunt their luxurious lifestyle, some use it to promote good and exploit change to better people, society, and the world.