by Susan Paige
YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are just a few of the many social media platforms that have taken the world by storm in recent years. With billions of users worldwide, these platforms provide a powerful means of communication and connection. They also offer a way for people to share their passion for a wide variety of topics, from makeup and fashion to travel and cuisine. One of the most popular features of social media is the ability to follow influencers. These are people who have built up a large following by sharing their interests and experiences with the world. But what impact do influencers have on their followers?
Influencers can have a positive impact on their followers, inspiring them to try new things and be more open to new experiences. But studies have found that influencers can also have a negative impact, causing followers to compare themselves unfavourably to the perfection they see on screen. Ultimately, the impact that an influencer has on their followers depends on a variety of factors, including the type of content they share and the relationship they have with their audience.
However, one thing is clear: influencers have the potential to inspire change in their followers, for better or for worse. We look at some of the impacts in more details:
- Inspirational and motivational
Influencers who post about their lives, their interests, and their passions can inspire their followers to pursue their own dreams and goals. Additionally, these types of influencers can provide valuable information and advice that can help their followers to improve their lives. Influencers who share stories of overcoming adversity or facing certain challenges can be particularly inspirational.
Many influencers also have an impact on their followers by providing entertainment value. Influencers who post funny videos or pictures, or who share interesting stories from their lives can help to make social media a more enjoyable experience for their followers. Additionally, these types of influencers can help to break up the monotony of everyday life and provide a much-needed distraction from the stresses of day-to-day life.
While some influencers have a positive impact on their followers, others can have a negative impact. For example, influencers who constantly post about materialistic things such as designer clothes and luxury vacations (without any balance) can create a sense of envy in their followers. These types of influencers can promote unhealthy lifestyles, such as crash diets or excessive spending.
Promotional material on social media should be obvious, so that consumers know they’re being marketed to. When posts or stories are clearly labelled as an ad, consumers can make an informed decision about whether to engage with it or not.
Finally, another important impact that influencers can have on their followers is connecting them with others who share similar interests. For example, many food bloggers post recipes and cooking tips, which can help connect home cooks with others who share their passion for food. Additionally, fashion bloggers often post outfit photos and style tips, which can help connect fashionistas with others who share their love of fashion.
Different types of influencers have different effects on their followers. For example, celebrities are often seen as aspirational figures, and their fans may strive to emulate their lifestyle or achieve the same level of success. On the other hand, ‘smaller’ influencers are often viewed as more relatable, and their followers may be more likely to trust their recommendations.
But it’s worth noting that all influencers have the potential to inspire positive change in their followers. For instance, an influencer who promotes body positivity can help to boost self-esteem, while an influencer who encourages responsible consumption can help to reduce waste. Ultimately, the impact of an influencer depends on the type of content they share and the way in which they interact with their followers. If you follow anyone who makes you feel a bit rubbish, it’s time to ask yourself whether you need to see their content anymore. Focus on those influencers who make you feel inspired instead.