There’s no doubt that as of the early 2010s, and maybe even prior, the use of social media sites and apps have become more prevalent in today’s culture. From major platforms like Facebook and Twitter to the more recent and current applications like Instagram and Snapchat, social media has become heavily integrated into almost everything, including the operation of businesses.
Many companies have learned to take advantage of these sites, using them to promote themselves and their services. Meanwhile, others have used their knowledge of social media as a way of branding and selling themselves, successfully developing a new kind of career path: the influencer.
Influencers are people who have managed to gain a large following or audience and use their power to suggest certain ideas or purchase decisions based on their credibility alone. Usually having a significant amount of standing within a particular niche or industry, influencers can help boost awareness of other topics, such as what’s trending in fashion, music, and general pop culture.
Some influencers even use their platforms to speak up on subjects that they feel aren’t gathering enough attention, such as mental health, LGBT representation, and the black lives matter movement.
Another interesting thing that social media has helped is the rise of a new wave of celebrities and icons. Particular applications, for instance, the now outdated and disused Vine, have given aspiring creatives the chance to make their mark and gain public attention. Many upcoming and well-known public figures, such as Demetrius Harmon and Woody McClain, got their start through short video clips and have since then ascended to bigger projects.
Though some may reject this new way of achieving higher social status, others have chosen to embrace it. In a world where technology, business, and social media is constantly advancing and integrating, influencers can become very beneficial in shaping how society develops as a whole.
That being said, becoming an influencer requires a level of responsibility, as they not only have to stay relevant and active but must connect with and engage their audience. Similar to celebrities, influencers are under a public eye and must pay attention to what they say or post. Any alterations in style or voice can bring criticisms and greatly change how they’re viewed.
Could influencers become a new recognized line of work? With companies adding new positions in the field of social media, it’s safe to say that they’re here to stay.