“Social influencer” may not yet be a household term yet, but its usage is growing exponentially. This is especially true in the world of digital, social media, and influencer marketing, where many top brands are teaming up with social influencers in order to effectively market to consumer audiences online. Social influencers are also referred to as digital influencers (digital superstar Bethany Mota recently referred to herself as such during her speech at BeautyCon 2015), creators (as termed by YouTube), or social media influencers.
According to a Nielsen report, “92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007.” With the rise of social media sharing and video publishing platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, online consumers follow select social influencers for the latest news, trends, and lifestyle recommendations. Interest from today’s biggest brands is growing, too—60% of marketers are upping their spending on social influencer marketing, according to a recently published AdWeek article.
Here are five types of social influencers worth paying attention to right now:
image via Vsauce “Top YouTube Channels For Learning”
YouTube is considered by many as the go-to website for video content on the internet. As such, its top social influencers, “YouTubers,” are not only omnipresent across the network but well known by today’s millennial consumer (see Variety’s survey finds for YouTubers outranking celebrities in consumer popularity). These top YouTube influencers review products, present the latest DIYs, provide walkthroughs for popular video games, give life advice, and more.
Instagram has been all over the news recently thanks to the huge amount of growth the network is experiencing. According to Business Insider, up to 20% of the 80 million tweets published each day end up on Instagram, which is one reason why many social media influencers have taken to using the network as their primary platform. Instagrammers tend to amass followers by posting funny, sarcastic content or eye-catching photos or videos of practically any nature (see our Influencer Spotlight Feature on Instagrammer Josh Ostrovsky, The Fat Jewish). Given the company’s decision to allow sponsored ad content to enter into users’ feeds, it’s likely that top Instagram accounts will play a large part in the future marketing on Instagram with social influencers.
For all our Instagram influencer resources, go here.
image via Michael Platco from “10 Top Snapchatters To Follow”
Snapchat is one of the more interesting social networks on this list, simply because it’s not nearly as easy for users to follow influencers in comparison. The company’s new “Discover” section is a help, but you still need to have the person’s username in order to add them (for a list of top Snapchat influencers, see our post here). The content is different, too—essentially “stories” that are told in real time throughout the day. For these reasons, the network has developed somewhat of a cult following. With Snapchat’s “Stories” channel attracting over $1 billion dollars at its peak times (according to AdWeek) it’s understandable why brands are taking notice of this social network.
See how ShopStyle partnered with top fashion bloggers for their latest Snapchat influencer campaign here.
Vine (now owned by Twitter) may not enjoy the same name recognition as YouTube and Instagram, but its popularity is both measurable and undeniable—top “Viner” Lele Pons garnered 327 million views in August of 2015, according to ReelSEO.com. Like Instagram, Vine as a network is perfectly set up for social influencers who attract audiences with short, entertaining videos. Smart marketers love Vine for the homespun nature embodied by much of its user content and know that there’s an opportunity here that should not go overlooked.
As the original social influencers of the internet, many of the world’s top bloggers also have some of the largest YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat channels. Top blogs in the lifestyle and fashion space drive enormous amounts of measurable traffic, which is a major factor in why small, medium and large brands have been working with bloggers to promote their products for years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Social influencers are changing the way today’s brands develop marketing plans (see our recent post “Why Social Media Stars Are Changing How Brands Market“). As new categories of social media stars begin to emerge, this incredibly useful vehicle for promotion will surely become even more versatile and popular. If there’s ever been a time to partner with the right influencer to secure a successful future, it’s now.