How do influencers influence us?
How do influencers influence us?
Influencers are the stars of the online world for many people of the younger generation. They are masters of self-promotion and have great influence on the formation of opinion.
The stated goal behind every Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube post an influencer publishes is to actively influence the community of fans known as followers.
Influencers: missionaries on behalf of others
To understand the mechanisms behind influencers’ influence, one must first look at the activities of this much-hyped group. Influencers are people who use their personality and charisma to promote products or a certain lifestyle or to get messages across to people.
What many fans of influencers like to suppress or don't even know: Their favorites are missionaries on behalf of others. They promote the very products that the industry provides to them free of charge or for which they are paid.
What's so fascinating about influencers?
Influencers use their personality and social media presence to influence their fans and followers. They share their lives and experiences and give their followers advice on various topics. In particular, topics such as fashion, beauty, sports, lifestyle and travel play a big role.
For many followers, their online stars are role models, and it's not uncommon for die-hard fans to feel something like friendship. Since influencers share a part of their lives with followers, they create a sense of closeness and familiarity. It may be enough for a fan comment on a new picture to be "rewarded" with a heart or thumbs-up emoji from the influencer to send followers into raptures. Most influencer fans ignore the fact that this type of interaction has nothing to do with communication.
Mature audience is unwanted
As the name suggests, influencers want to influence their fans. A mature, self-determined audience is undesirable in this scenario. Ideally, the fan community follows the recommendations of the role models and books the recommended hotel, buys the featured lipstick and reels off the advertised fitness program - including the consumption of all muscle-building supplements.
The fact that the method is successful is proven by a survey conducted by the "Statista" platform in Germany in 2022. Just under a quarter of all respondents said they had bought a product in the past year that was advertised by an influencer on YouTube. 19 percent did the same if the product was presented by an Instagram influencer.
Influence of influencers is growing
The influence of influencers is growing continuously. Meanwhile, a completely new branch of online marketing has emerged with the so-called influencer marketing. In other words, companies take advantage of the popularity and reach of influencers by paying social media stars to advertise certain products. Followers willingly follow their role models, because influencers enjoy great trust among their followers.
Disappointment is inevitable
Flawless skin, exclusive hotel rooms, a top figure, or perfect makeup right after waking up: When the filtered reality of social media stars meets the reality of life for most followers, disappointment is inevitable. In the thoroughly styled world of TikTok, YouTube and Instagram influencers, there's no room for mundane things like math tests, cellulite, 40-hour work weeks or marital crises.
Influencers only ever share snippets of their lives with their fans. They determine what their followers get to see and what remains hidden from the public. Although many of them strive for transparency, make-believe and reality collide at the latest when an alleged snapshot shows the ideal disheveled night hairstyle, flattering make-up and a perfectly fitting size 34 nightgown right after waking up.