Becoming a Social Media Influencer: Salaries & Career Outlook
Social media is one of the strongest mediums and sources of economy in that every field is involved. It is a channel through which you can advertise your brand and grow your business by reaching out to larger target audiences. A decade ago, social media was almost non-existent, wherein the central part was to connect people or use it as a mode of entertainment. However, the trend has changed now. Social media turns out to be one of the most coveted jobs millennials are seeking.
Being a social media influencer, you can help a brand to increase its presence amongst its customers or consumers — the influencers, with the help of social media platforms and valuable content, connect with the public. The content created by the social media influencer can be text, images, or videos. This guide explains the different aspects of being a social media influencer, including job outlook, salary, roles, responsibilities, etc.
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Influencer marketing has become a happening phenomenon. Many individuals look to social media as their channel of income or path to fame. To become a social media influencer, one can carry a variety of degrees or licenses. However, it is better to understand mainstream marketing and take further steps. If you are one of those looking at social media influencing as your career, here are some steps to help you become one:
Select your forte: Before becoming an influencer, you must select your niche – the vocation you are interested in and confident in to create likable content consistently. One advantage of choosing your niche is that you will have a certain amount of confidence and expertise, helping you research and search for content that engages the audience as an influencer; delivering information that attracts the customer is vital.
Choose your social media platforms: The second step after selecting your niche is choosing the right platform to generate your content. Opting for one or two social media platforms is ideal, as you must equally cater time to each. Being an influencer, you can opt for a business account instead of a regular one, as the reach for the business account is larger than a consumer account.
Know your audience: Knowing the pulse of your audience is a big step to building that network and keeping the following constant. The target audience requirement is simple; they look for authentic, engaging, and current content. Giving insight into the facts of the niche you have chosen, creating a vlog, or even drafting a post with the correct information will help you sustain yourself as an influencer.
Be regular and consistent: As your followers dedicate their time to gathering information or being entertained through your page, it is better to post regular and consistent posts/content. This keeps the followers engaged and looking forward to more. While posting your content, ensure you pick a pattern and stick to it, so the followers/readers understand and know what to expect.
Engagement your audience: As your engagement with the audience starts, you will most likely get your posts’ comments or likes. To have a better connection with your followers, you must react to their comments, thank them for their likes, or address their queries, ensuring that they are listened to and that their opinions/likes/comments do matter.
Collaborate with brands: In social media marketing, the final step toward becoming an influencer is to let others know that you are treading through this path. You must let brands, organizations, and businesses know you are available to speak about their brands and can be a medium to reach out to the target audience.
4 Types of Social Media Influencing
A social media influencer is a person who forms reliability in a specific industry or develops content accessible to a broad audience. As an influencer, one should have many followers, and the content should carry enough spark or intent to initiate a conversation or trigger an action at the reader’s end. Many organizations hire social media influencers to expand their social reach and spread awareness of a concept, product, brand, or service. The following are the different types of social media influencers you can become:
Celebrity Influencers Celebrity influencers are the ones who have already attained the status of well-known influencers. Based on their demographics, companies reach out to them to promote their services, products, brands, or ideas. The organization uses celebrity influencers’ services or help promote its offerings and reach a larger target audience.
Consumer Influencers Consumer influencers are ordinary people who can connect with other people and get their following because of the content that is relatable/reliable or because of their personality. Whatever the reason, these consumer influencers connect well with their followers through everyday blogging, posting images, or sharing information that attracts their audience. Businesses also recruit consumer influencers as part of their social media marketing because they make the content look real and vouch for the product garnering more customers/readers.
Micro-Influencers Micro-influencers are also ordinary people who have content built on current topics and gained a following based on their expertise in a specific area. When these micro-influencers vouch for a product or service, the audience trusts their opinion and follows it. For this reason, most businesses network with micro-influencers to talk about their products for better reach.
Content Creators Content creators are professional bloggers, vloggers (video blogging), and photographers. As part of their roles, they create engaging content that keeps readers interested and wanting to follow them regularly.
What Does a Social Media Influencer Do?
A social media influencer can be a celebrity or an ordinary person with a huge following or great networking. Through their content and presentation, the influencer can incite interest in the follower through a post, vlog, or photo to share their personal experience, a product review, a service recommendation, or a message about social stigmas.
The social media influencer picks a niche to create content on and engages their followers by providing current information, factoids, or anything that provokes people to stay connected with them. The influencer can also help organizations reach out to their target audience through this connectivity. As the title suggests, social media influencers use social media as their medium to connect with their followers or fan base. As part of their roles, an influencer ensures regular and consistent engagement for their followers.
How Much Does a Social Media Influencer Make?
Unlike other occupations, there is no set range on how much social media influencers make. The earnings of one influencer differ from the other based on varied parameters. According to an article by CNBC, an Instagram influencer with 1 million followers can earn more than $250,000 for a single sponsored post. On the other hand, influencers with fewer followers than 100,000 – 200,000 earn about $150,000 annually.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $133,380 in 2021. Although social media influencing is not considered a mainstream or conventional career (yet), this figure serves as an indicator of what the market is like.
What Is the Job Outlook for Social Media Influencers?
Knowing what the future holds is the primary concern one will carry regardless of what career one plans for. If you have considered being a social media influencer, then social media is one of the exponentially growing careers currently and will be trending for the foreseeable future as most organizations and businesses now depend on social media to expand their services and reach their targeted audience. Regardless of the company size, social media and social media influencers are helping to increase their (companies’) presence in the market. For the same reason, sustaining a job as a social media influencer is perhaps a compelling choice.
FAQs on Social Media Influencing
Q. Is there a fixed number of followers one should have to become an influencer?
A. At least 1,000 followers or subscribers are required to be an influencer. Along with 1,000 followers, it is said that an influencer needs to have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours over a year. Influencers on YouTube would also require an AdSense account to be termed YouTube influencers.
Q. Do we have to have a degree or certification to become social media influencers?
A. No specified certification or degree is available to be a social media influencer. The positive part of this is if you are an expert in your selected niche and can present the details or information regarding this vocation to the reader at regular and consistent intervals, that will be enough to garner more followers and subscribers. As the followers increase, your power to influence gets stronger. That said, having a degree in social media marketing or digital marketing would provide deeper insights into social media influencing and provide various skills to advance in the field more quickly.
Q. How much can I make as a social media influencer?
A. Payments for social media influencers are varied. It mainly depends on which social media platforms they use, the brands they endorse, and the number of followers they regularly garner. The general idea of the payment for an influencer depends on the influencing power you have. For example, celebrity influencers are paid more than micro-influencers.
Q. Which are the best social media platforms?
A. While there is no correct answer to this question, one can safely assume that some of the most powerful social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter. Each platform has its strengths and features, which you must assess for yourself if you are planning to become a social media influencer.
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