Today, we live in a world of the Internet Age, where basically everything is only a click away. We read our news online, watch videos online, shop online… The list could go forever. We are surrounded by incredible high tech tools that allows us to do anything and everything remotely. One of the biggest impact of the Internet on our lives is definitely social media, which consists of different platforms such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In our present day, Instagram has especially risen to a spot where mankind are quite literally addicted to it.
It is with great confidence that I claim most of us Fordham students have Instagram accounts, or at least are familiar with its concepts. Instagram first started out as a unique social platform that allowed people to follow each other and share moments of their everyday lives through posting pictures. By the time it was first released publicly, I am sure that nobody thought Instagram to come to the point its at now. As word spread around the globe, Instagram rapidly grew in terms of its users.
This is when the term “influencers” came into play. An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience. Many people started taking advantage of how popular Instagram became, and came up with this concept of “influencer”. In essence, these people gain public recognition through their knowledge and prowess on a particular topic, and because of this they gain massive amounts of online followers. These people create different posts that focus on their topic of expertise on social media channels (the biggest one being Instagram) and gain incredible public enthusiasm, especially on the topic that they specialize in.
So who are these influencers? These people range from well known celebrities to certain industry experts and thought leaders to bloggers and content creators. Such kinds of people are either already very popular on Instagram, or if they are not, they have the potential to be so. Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote, which is why we constantly get exposed to influencers working with different brands to market their products to a bigger population. Rachel Strugatz, an author for WWD argues that influencers are the new sales associates of certain companies, and that they’re causing more traffic and influence more transactions at retailers than ever before. This further clarifies the effect of influencers both on certain brand and their own followers.
It’s crazy how Instagram became much more than just a social media platform where people share their pictures… It even has a specialized website made for people who have intentions to use Instagram as a means to create business, since the marketing opportunities that the app brings is major. The biggest reason for that is the easiness of marketing. If you want to create a food blog, you’re not really going to have any struggle in doing so, because anyone who sees a polished photo of good food is going to want to eat it.