A social media influencer is a person with the power to influence or cause others to make purchase decisions because of his or her position in authority, knowledge or relationship with the audience.

Most social influencers have a following in particular niches where they are active. The number of followers depends on the size of the niche as well as his or her influence. Social media influencers have such a high reputation that their posts on particular topics generate large followings of enthusiastic social media users. Social influencers are able to start trends and influence the choice of products that their followers pick.

Why are social media influencers important in marketing?

Customers prefer fewer ads each day. Most internet users have installed ad blockers to filter off ads. The rise of streaming services such as Netflix means most people are watching less traditional TV and seeing fewer ads. On the other hand, influencers are seen by many people as trustworthy sources of information in matters where they have influence or expertise.

Most of the people who follow the influencers are ready to follow the recommendations made by influencers. The influencer views are seen to be authentic. This makes using them more persuasive in getting their followers to act than traditional advertising.

What types of social influencers are there on the internet?

Different types of social media influencers work well in particular niches and for specific brands. It is crucial that your business determines the kind of influencers that are best placed to promote its brand. Here are the common types of social influencers.


Celebrities in the world of music, acting, fashion and writing among others have a significant following on social media. Their fans follow each part of their lives with many emulating what the celebrities are doing. Most of the time, the products that they endorse become successful because many people try the products.

Thought leaders and industry experts

Thought leaders and industry experts gain respect among their followers due to their position, qualifications, and experience in a particular area. The reputation of the companies in which they work also plays a part in enhancing their reputation. The experts include professional advisors, academicians, and journalists.

It is common to see brands going to professional societies for endorsements. For example, toothpaste or food supplement may be endorsed by dentists or nutritionists respectively. The presence of the professionals shows that the product is authentic and effective.

Content creators and bloggers

Bloggers have become a significant part of the internet for some time. Most people visit blogs to get information or insight into particular areas. Popular blogs can have hundreds of thousands of active followers who read and engage with the bloggers. If such popular blogs mention your product positively, it can influence the followers to try the product.

There are several ways you can utilize the power of blogs. First, you can have your brand mentioned in a blog post. You could also have a sponsored post exclusively on the brand. Sponsored posts are likely to be labeled as such on the post. However, as long as they align with the core audience of the blog, they still hold lots of influence.

Some bloggers allow guest posts on their blogs. You could write a guest post on any topic that displays the brand is a positive way. Smart brands create infomercials where they intertwine advertising with information.

In addition to blogs, your brand can also work with other content creators on YouTube channels. Video content is highly engaging. You may give the video creators products to try and comment on them. You could also sponsor particular videos and have the content creators talk about your products for a few seconds.

Micro influencers

Micro-influencers are common people that have created a following from their knowledge in a particular niche. The niche is usually specialist in nature. In addition to having a sizable audience, they have a higher level of interaction with their followers. Micro-influencers work best on specialist niche markets such as weight loss diets, particular models of cars and other specific sectors of the economy.

How do you identify influencers?

An influencer can be anyone with a significant number of followers. You can scan across different social media platforms for people with a large following. However, the individual needs to fulfill certain qualifications to pass as an influencer. Here are some things that you should check:


A prospect influencer should have a following for posts that appeal to your target audience. For example, if you run a restaurant, you may have little to do with florists. Before approaching the social influencer research on the kind of audience that follow him. Are they the same people that you are targeting? Create a persona of his or her following and see if it matches your target buyer persona.


Engagement is the interaction between followers and the influencer. You can tell the engagement rate by the percentage of followers who comment, like or share posts created by the influencer. Check an average of the last 20 to 30 posts created by the influencer.


How many followers does the influencer have? You need to catch the attention of these followers and entice them to try your product. Therefore, you should engage with an influencer with a pretty high number of followers. Bigger numbers help you boost traffic to your site and create greater brand awareness. However, strike a balance between engagement and reach. Ideally, the influencer should have many followers that react to the posts they make.

Quality of content

The quality of work should match the kind of content you offer your audience. It should represent the image you project to your target audience. When examining the quality of the content ask the following questions.

a) Does it align with the goals of your niche?
b) Does the tone of the content match that of your brand? Examples of content tones include professional, hippy, relaxed, and humorous.
c) Do the posts entertain, inform or critique particular areas in the niche?

Social media influencers can be a great asset in reaching out to the target audience, boosting visitor traffic and increasing sales volumes. Pick a social media influencer who represents the ideals of the brand, has a significant following and has high engagement rate with his or her audience.