What Is a Social Media Influencer

The profession of being a social media influencer has not been in existence for so long. This profession as we know it is only a little over a decade old. During the late 2000s, only a few people had the slightest clue that being an influencer would even become a thing.

Of course, the rise of social media platforms created the opportunity for influencers to even be. As all people all over the world opened social media accounts of their own, the more relevant social media influencers have become.

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A Short History of Influencing

A Short History of Influencing

Contrary to what one might assume, the social media platform is not the natural birth mother of the social media influencer. Early 2000s blogs and bloggers have harnessed the power of the internet to influence internet users even before the advent of popular social media platforms today. 

Bloggers who were prevalent during that time were what we could call the prototype social media influencers. Activities bloggers invented would fashion the social media influencer occupation as we know it today.

Social media influencers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok have perfected the mold invented by blogs.

The social media influencer job is a very young profession. Even so, it is a career path that is defined by example by a lot of popular social media influencers on the internet.

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

What Is a Social Media Influencer

As the name implies, a social media influencer rouses and inspires viewers’ opinions about the influencer’s chosen subject. Anyone, even entities like brands, governments, and organizations can be

Being an influencer is a career that anyone can take up. There is no prerequisite to being popular on the internet. Anyone can do it. Even so, not everyone who tries to be one finds success in it. There are a lot of intangible things one should have and become to find the right blend for being a famous social media influencer.

Types of Social Media Influencers

Types of Social Media Influencers

What are the prevailing social media influencer types today? To answer this, we will have to look at each popular social media platform and see the best they have to offer. Every platform enables different ways people can influence the masses.

Instagram and TikTok are visual-centric platforms that sway people with short videos and images. Facebook gives influencers the flexibility to reach their target audience via several media. YouTube requires creators to make video content.

Let us now see how each social media platform goes hand-in-hand with each type of social media influencer:

TikToker – The newest and one of the most popular kinds of influencers is the TikToker. The TikToker can rely on TikTok’s firm hold on the tweens to twenties demographic. The most popular TikTokers have legions of loyal fans in the hundreds of millions.

YouTubers – This influencer is also known as the vlogger and creates content in long-form videos. They dabble in subjects like entertainment, lifestyle, how-to guides, tech, and ASMR, to name a few.

Their followers are called subscribers, and the most popular of them have subscribers that number in the hundreds of millions.

Instagrammers – The “cool kids” of the bunch, these influencers are all about beauty, lifestyle, travel, fitness, and sports. Their followers number in the hundreds of millions.

Content in this category of influencers comes in the form of pics and short videos and Instagram stories.

Bloggers – The eldest of the influencer types, bloggers create long-form written content on various websites. They usually cater to interests ranging from the niche to the popular.

Facebook Influencers – These influencers’ content varies from videos to blogs, memes, and others. Topics they dabble in any interest that you can think of from gaming, self-improvement, entertainment, lifestyle, etc.

Twitter Influencers Micro-blogging content on Twitter is the Twitter influencer’s content of choice. Short and interesting “tweets” are what make people follow you on this platform.

Twitch Streamers – Gamers, musicians, and chat rooms dominate the Twitch content horizon. Live-streaming games, performances, and live chatting are the main ways influencers make use of the Twitch platform.

To be an influencer is to have some significant sway in the opinion of the public. By this metric, we can also typify social media influencers by how many followers they have.

There are 3 types of influencers by their popularity in numbers. These are Celebrities, Macro Influencers, and Micro-Influencers. Let us have a more in-depth discussion on these three in the following enumeration:


These are influencers who are either just starting out or just have a small share of followers due to the nature of their chosen specialty. Micro-influencers have at least 500 avid followers with whom they share a personal and genuine connection.

Of their following of 500, every post gets around a hundred to a few hundred engagements.

Macro Influencers 

This social media influencer has around less than a million to a million followers on their chosen social media platform. Their popularity is usually due to being an expert or being an authority in popular interests that a considerable amount of people practice and follow themselves.

These influencers include popular game streamers, lifestyle gurus, travel guide creators, business bloggers/vloggers, and many others, They typically have a 5% engagement with followers and get tens of thousands of likes, comments, and shares to every post.


This social media influencer type is people who are already immensely popular without the context of the internet. Movie actors, TV stars, politicians, sports personalities, and other public figures and brands make up the list of celebrity influencers.

They typically have a social media following of 5 million people and have an average engagement of 5-10 percent per post. That’s at least 250,000 people liking, commenting, or sharing their posts.

How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money?

How Do Social Media Influencers Make Money

Social media influencers make money in a variety of ways. The social media influencer resume of making money includes the following:

Being Monetized – Platforms reward monetization of influencer accounts when influencers hit follower milestones. The more followers and engagements their content has, the more influencers are rewarded with more monetization avenues.

Through Paid Advertising – Monetized accounts on social media platforms are given the chance to insert advertisements with their content. Influencers place ads before, after, and in the middle of their video content, much like how TV ads work.

Sponsorships – Influencers procure or attract brand sponsors that pay them in cash or kind in exchange for exposure and promotion on influencers’ social media platforms.

Affiliate Marketing – Influencers can pin affiliate links in their accounts that lead to purchases of goods and services they are affiliated with. Affiliates reward influencers with a percentage of every purchase made through their affiliate links.

Merchandise – Popular influencers can take advantage of their popularity and produce merchandise that their fans and followers can buy.

Steps to Become a Social Media Influencer

Steps to Become a Social Media Influencer

Choose a platform – Choose a social media platform you want to be popular in.

Choose a subject to dabble in – Be consistent and concentrate on creating content that will cater to only one subject/interest.

Have your style – develop a unique style that only you will have. Stand out from the millions of influencers out there.

Learn the technical side of things – invest time and money in the standard techniques of content and media creation. Procure equipment and production personnel that will help you rise to popularity.

Commit – Sticking to the plan as a budding influencer is crucial if you want to break through to being a career influencer. Do not be easily discouraged and just soldier on especially during those times when you still have a few followers.

Top 7 Famous Social Media Influencers

The richest social media influencer is often the most famous. Here is a list of the 7 most popular ones today:

Cristiano Ronaldo – The Portugues striker has 491 million followers on Instagram.

Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes – Has 146 million subscribers on its YouTube Channel.

Khabane Lame – This funny TikToker currently has 148 million followers.

Barrack Obama – Now has 133 million Twitter followers.

Mr. Bean – Rowan Atkinson’s character has 132 million Facebook followers.

Ninja – This E-sports athlete has 18.4 million followers on the Twitch platform.

ProBlogger – This site/blog is the go-to for people who want to start a lucrative career in blogging.

Now That You Know What an Influencer Is, Why Not Be One?

If the financial reward is what a career is to you, then there is a lot of money to be made in being an influencer. Now that you have an idea of what an influencer is and how to be one, save up for the struggle ahead.

Educate yourself thoroughly about everything that has to do with your career, and good fortune will surely be on your side.

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