Influence of influencers on social media


Photo/ Rae Malik

Twitter is a popular social media app that allows individuals to communicate with one another

Rae Malik, Online Layout Editor

Rae Malik
Online Layout Editor

In today’s society, social media continues to grow in influencing individuals in their daily life. Over the years, influencers have emerged on popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Youtube and Facebook. Influencers on social media are people that have a following and produce content for their followers, and the key factors that contribute to the success of influencers are authenticity, charisma and similarity.

To understand the effect of social media, it is important to grasp the biology behind the rise of social media. There is a neurochemical called dopamine in the brain that gets released typically after physical activity but can be released by going on social media. Dopamine is a feel-good neurochemical which can be released by certain activities such as text messages and likes on a post according to researchers Soren Krach, Frieder Paulus, Maren Bodden and Tilo Kircher.

“When you’re talking about adolescence, it’s a time when individuals are trying to find their identity and a big part of that is wanting to fit in and wanting to be accepted and when you see an influencer and they have either ideas about something or they maybe are kind of pushing a product, it can give that sense of fitting in and belonging because there’s a good chance that there are others that are kind of doing that same thing,” psychology teacher Sara Ibs said.

Social media also plays a significant role in how individuals interact with one another and their environment. For example, when exchange students, mostly teenagers, in Germany were told to hike by their supervisor. Most of them disapproved because they were not told beforehand. However, once they started hiking the students began to post pictures on social media of the hike. They posted pictures to show their achievement of finishing the hike in a study conducted by researchers Roswita Dressler and Anja Dressler

“Social media allows influencers to have sway in what they post out there and their messages can truly impact someone, and how they view how they behave or how they see society,” junior Hannah Johnson said.

Influencer marketing has risen in the last decade as companies are starting to ask them to endorse their products. Influencer marketing takes place when brands or companies invest money to make influencers promote their product. These promotions used to be largely done by celebrities but now includes social media influencers since they have a following as well. For example, Instagram is projected to spend around a billion dollars on marketing before the end of the year according to Giordano Contestabile.

“The ads on social media are geared towards the consumer, therefore, the influencers you see or watch can influence what you want to purchase or buy by looking at the brands they promote,” senior Grace Miner said.

In addition, influencer marketing tends to generate a greater profit than traditional advertising for companies. Companies and brands invest in influencers that share the same target audience and trustworthiness. It is also cheaper for companies to invest in influencers than celebrities since they can yield the same profit from influencers. Most companies and brands believed social media marketing to be efficient about 90 percent of the time, according to a study by Irfan Ahmad.

The influencer marketing industry continues to grow since they are able to engage their audience and promote products for companies effectively. In addition, companies chose certain influencers for their product if they fit their criteria. This means that it does not matter if an influencer has a large following instead largely focused on if they have high audience engagement percent or seem authentic. Influencers are effective in marketing products by companies since a survey on twitter displayed that about 40 percent of people bought a product because an influencer promoted it conducted by researcher Katie Karp.

“I have to say my favorite influencer I look up to the most is Jeffrey Star. He has taught me to be my best self and to be confident,” sophomore Libby Engebretson said.

Brands and companies engage their audience, especially Generation Z and millennials, by promoting products on social media. Social media is continuing to become a popular medium for younger generations. This has allowed platforms such as Youtube to thrive since most young audiences are able to relate to many of the YouTubers. Youtubers are able to create content that engages their audience because their audience is able to find similarities that allow them to relate to the content. By the end of this year, about half of the customers in the United States will be Generation Z according to Fast Company.

Social media is a driving force in many people’s everyday life and it is important to realize its impacts. As more and more people become reliant on social media it causes companies to invest in influencers to market their products.