Influencers – A Definition
According to Merriam- Webster a Influencer is, one who exerts influence : a person who inspires or guides the actions of others. Otherwise known as, a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media. So the questions I have to ask are where did all these people come from? Were they always there? Or were they created with the rise in social media?
If you are old enough to know the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses” then you will realize there have always been influencers out there. I clearly remember when my family got our first microwave (yes, I am that old). My grandfather bought the first one, likely because he knew someone else who had one. Before you knew it each of our houses had microwaves. Now the items we are influenced to buy are everything from books to international vacations. I have worked in the financial industry most of my life and I have learned one thing that stands out more then anything else. People spend more money on wants then they do on needs. We live in a world full of commercial advertising and many of the people we follow on social media websites are people who are paid to tell us how much they love a specific product. Maybe it started when we began taking pictures of our meals, maybe it was the invention of the selfie stick… either way this is our reality.
Honestly, I don’t have a issue with any of it. What I do struggle with is my inability to realize what they are advertising isn’t something I need, but simply something I want. As a new writer I am constantly trying to find the best products for my career. This means trusting the opinions of others and trying to wade through what is simply an ad. There are a lot of “Insta made me do it” or “TikTok made me buy it” posts out there. My thoughts, if you want it and you can afford it go for it! But, it’s important to remember your own budget while making these impulsive purchases (hello fancy typewriter style keyboard).
Two sides to every story…
Although as a consumer I typically kick myself for buying something I don’t need, as a business woman I can recognize the value of these people. Many authors will utilize Bookstagram influencers as part of their marketing campaign. In many ways that’s not much different from buying an advertisement through Amazon or Facebook. To deny the effectiveness of these posts, stories, and personal recommendations would be ridiculous. With the right research, partnership between influencers and creatives can be successful. Make sure you take the time to do your research. Followers do not equal sales. Information on engagement, impressions and clicks per post for social media outlets and websites are all important pieces when determining who is the best person for you to work with.
Will I use a influencer?
Maybe. I would never say never. I write contemporary romance which is a extremely competitive genre. Right now is my focus is getting my books out there for all of you. We will see what the future holds. I will say that I don’t discount anything when it comes to advertising and social media. With how quickly the market changes I need to be open to anything.
Creatives, what are you doing that seems to work? Is it something of the norm? or something completely different? Let’s share in the comments below!