The advent of social media has brought on something new to our world, something that only Hollywood stars were able to do in the past. The ability to influence hundreds, if not thousands, of people with a single post. You might be aware of people capable of doing this, today we know them and refer to them as “Influencers”. These influencers are popping up all over the social media – Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, and even Snapchat. They start off, usually, with becoming really popular within a single industry, such as CFDs or cryptocurrency and then getting more popular and garnering an audience of thousands. So what are these guys and what kind of power do they actually carry with them?
In the age of social media advent, it is not surprising that seemingly every other person is becoming an influencer. Though not many manage to achieve the kind of fame they want to, some manage to gather a following in the tens of thousands. When they do, they become a sort of a “household name” for the person they are influencing. The direct psychological effects is that some people consider them to be friends and family. They look for their advice in fashion, life choices, travel and so on. But the thing is, not all social media influencers are able to produce a positive effect on the brand they are promoting. On the other hand, all social media influencers seem to have the power to negatively affect a brand of their choice.
There have been instances where influencers who did not get their way gave the brand a negative review. A tearful review that became a call to action to the overly attached influencers to leave negative reviews and stop using a certain brand.
This dichotomy of power, where positive endorsement does not produce bigger numbers, but negative reviews produce significant damage to the brand, result in a very strange relationship being established between influencers and companies. Some people just don’t want to have influencer marketing, but an influencer may take a no as a sign to leave a negative review. Does this give them unfair power over the future of the company? Possibly, yes.
This has a lot to do with psychology and the nature of human relationships. The relationship between an influencer and a follower is not reciprocal. A follower is much more invested in the life of the influencer than a follower would be. They spend a lot more time considering the thoughts and emotions of the influencer, while the center of attention barely gets to play much attention to an individual. So while a follower will act on the negative emotion of an influencer, an influencer might pay zero attention to a follower. This kind of relationship might remind some of an abusive or toxic relationship, where one side takes but never gives.
Still, it seems like the influencer culture is here to stay. But the future development, where it goes and how it is going to look in the near future, is interesting to all of us. Let us observe where it is going to be heading. Hopefully, the nonproportional level of power is not going to persist and may transform into something more interesting.