Using social media influencers as a marketing tactic is a very popular and effective method to reach a large audience and increase brand awareness. Credibility, attractiveness, and relatability are among the key indicators of an influencer’s ability to influence. The rise in social media has changed media consumption massively as the years have went on. On average people use social media each day for at least 1-4 hours a day and let’s be honest, I even notice myself spending way too long scrolling through Instagram making my average daily screen time keep longer and longer!!

Social media influencers engage their audiences in and in their own unique way entice them to keep reading and come back for more content which they would enjoy. I guess we could say an influencer is simply someone who can influence you with the content they produce and their opinions. If you like a person and enjoy what they post you are much more likely to try and be like them, follow in their steps and we could also say ‘copy’ what they do. For instance, let’s say your favourite influencer is wearing an outfit that you really like, you are much more likely to buy this outfit after having seen in on someone you look up too. This is then when all different types of brands will start to sponsor influencers and their content and pay them to makes posts including their products or wearing a piece of clothing so that people will go and buy it.

Influencers need to gain your TRUST. And so they have by expressing their honest opinions about certain products mostly good which makes you want to buy it but also many will express a bad opinion about a product if they did not like it which then will gain a lot more trust from their followers as they will believe that this influencer will only promote what is good and is not just promoting products for the sake of it. They have an audience who listens to them. Social media Influencers have built their following progressively, one by one, this following may have taken years to build up. They are also extremely aware of the wants and needs of their following, so being cautious about what they promote is very important as it’s their reputation that they need to protect, so they should be trusted with what and how it’s promoted. They know their audience and following the best due to building it with their content produced. So, listening to input given by their audience is very important.

With just the touch of a button, people can share, retweet, repost, like content any of their favourite influencers content which in turn raising more recognition of this influencer. If someone is to look past an advertisement of a product an influencer has the capability of making them notice again as if an influencer someone likes and trust says this products is good then they will believe it and possibly purchase for themselves.

Let’s talk about Kylie Jenner – at the young age of 23 Kylie has an outstanding 201 million followers on Instagram, Kylie Jenner is an extremely looked up to on this social media platform. From modelling her and sister Kendalls clothing brand to sponsoring brands such as PUMA to also having her own makeup brand, Kylie Jenner is certainly making a fortune. By demonstrating and testing out her products on her on face this drags people in to the loop of buying what she uses as let’s be real who wouldn’t want to look like Kylie Jenner?

This is one of Kylie Jenner’s lip kits

Isn’t it crazy how influencers use the internet and social media to earn a living but could you imagine if one day everyone got fed up with the likes of Instagram and other social media platforms? What would happen then? I know it is very unlikely as social media as become a huge part in everyone’s lives but we could always think ‘What if?’. It has happened before… Who remembers BEBO?

Alisha O’Hagan is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter.