Social Media Influencers

The New Advertising Moguls

Deana Chefchis

The majority of corporate marketing was historically advertised through the help of television and newspapers, but over the last decade, advertising has shifted to a more modern platform: social media. The rise of social media has created a subset of celebrities who use their massive audiences to influence users. These influencers use companies such as Instagram and Facebook to promote or recommend merchandise. Influencers promote sales of products and services by using their “personal” relationship with their followers. By using these social media platforms, they can establish a large presence in specific industries, accessing large audiences and giving the influencers the ability to advocate their message across platforms.

But, where did the idea of social media influencers originate from? Marketing companies utilize apps such as Instagram to capitalize on popular posts to reach large audiences. These companies search for relevant social media influencers, contracting with them in exchange for advertising the companies’ products. Social media influencers have created a sense of authority and trust with their followers in their individual marketing spaces. Companies are more vulnerable to losing business if they are not affiliated with any social media influencers, because consumers rely on celebrities and social media stars to share certain products or services.

Kylie Jenner, by Hayu [CC BY(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]


One of the most popular social media influencers is Kylie Jenner. Amassing 152 million followers on Instagram, she has become the youngest self-made billionaire ever. The mogul promotes her own makeup products, allowing her to grow substantially more than her rival influencers. Showing off her newest makeup kits, Jenner makes one million dollars per sponsored Instagram post. Another social media influencer who has made his mark from the digital world is Cameron Dallas, having accumulated an enormous fanbase on platforms such as Vine and YouTube. Dallas secured his own TV show on Netflix and has ventured into the music industry with the help of his internet fame and stardom.

Cameron Dallas, Courtesy of Walt Disney TV

The Academy community is unified on the topic of social media influencers. Ben Montoya ‘23 remarks, “I mostly follow athletes and movie/tv stars, often seeing them advertising products to their followers. These posts usually get people to buy the products because they see their favorite influencers using them.” Andrew Harrod ’22 believes that social media influencers “are very rich for how little effort it takes. I used to follow an influencer whose online alias was Filthy Frank. He had an extremely satirical and odd view on life. Along with edgy humor, his videos were unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He is better known as the singer Joji now, but he has impacted my sense of humor greatly.” An anonymous student added, “Social media influencers are people who have a following for the entertainment they produce on the internet. The influencers I follow create a culture of their aspects of life through their videos, music or posts. They impact the community through spreading their beliefs and their background through what they produce.”

Social media influencers are more than just advertising products on different platforms; using their internet presence to spread a message, these influencers inevitably create a loyal fanbase which will support them in the long run.