Fast and powerful; the growing impact of social media influencers

By Nicola Acquisto, Junior Art Director

In the age of social media, the microphone has been shifted and brands have realized that the impact of their marketing falls into the hands of bloggers, trend setters, and vloggers. Those whose worth is now measured in followers and not billboard top 100 hits and movie blockbusters. Brands now have to be instantaneous when keeping up with this channel’s demands if they would like to compete with rival brands. A web audience want more trend candy and they want it faster.

When releasing a product in a traditional media format such as a magazine, the process would be over a month or more. Social media has streamlined this process into days, or even hours in some instances. The key ingredient is the ‘tick of approval’ from an influencer.

For example, 19 year old Cathal Berragan began a parody account @MedievalReacts, a twitter phenomenon which grew from 0 to 200 000 followers in a week. The witty humour satisfied consumers’ hunger for funny content and before they knew it they were downloading apps that they didn’t need, just because they were being advertised on his account.

Marketing tools now include different social media platforms, a variety of influencers and the repetition of your product in order to successfully connect with the consumer. The feedback on that product is then instantaneous. People are able to interact with the brand and connect with it like never before, through everyday people who they can relate to.

Like Casey Neistat, a self taught American film director, whose claim to fame was a hilarious video he created for New York cyclists. Casey is now a sought after influencer on many branded video campaigns. Influencers like Neistat coat content in such a way that makes it appealing to consumers. Nike contracted Neistat to do a YouTube advert, which soon became the most watched Nike advert online. Ironically, the advert did not feature one Nike branded product.

Social media as a means of communication is rapidly growing and evolving. More people – everyday people – are getting involved in the creation of content that can be seen beyond the social media world. Brands’ identities and influencer personalities are colliding and creating a whole new sphere, one shaped by the public and these online trend setters.

Together, revolutionizing the way an audience consumes content. Followers, hits, likes have become the new currency, one that is easy to measure but hard to generate.

Check out this video on the rising power of social media influencers: