We live in an age where almost anyone has the ability to turn themselves into an online celebrity or personality with just enough determination and social media knowledge. People are using the internet in different ways to gain fame and fortune by creating powerful online personas that attract followers. The possibilities that allow creation of these personas are endless. From the YouTube product reviewer to the Twitch video game streamer, people are learning how to build communities based around their online personality and then influencing these communities with their own opinions and actions.

Whether most of these people know it or not they have all become social influencers. In fact, each of us is somewhat of a social influencer with every Facebook post we like and every Twitter account we follow. We are telling the others around us this is what I like and maybe you would like it too. Although we all have this ability, we want to focus on the people who wake up each day and work at crafting relationships with the community they have created in whatever genre they feel proficient in. The people who are dedicating themselves to this work are becoming what we call true social influencers.

As marketing companies are continuously trying to get more creative with their messages, today’s crowded ad space sometimes makes this difficult. In fact, with the rise of ad blocking technologies eMarkerter reports that many companies are seeking to combat this technology by using social influencers.  Advertisers are learning that consumers are finding their favorite influencer for trusted information. Whether the reason is to avoid ad-blocking or to gain traction in a new channel, social influencers can be utilized in certain campaigns. The first thing marketers need to identify is the correct influencer for their product or brand. These social influencers should be vetted as any other media product would be before deciding to use the vehicle for advertising. Does the influencer have a background that matches the brand, do they have a respectable number of followers across social media, and does the influencer have a voice in your product industry? By choosing the right influencer a product or brand can reach a whole new audience of consumers who may have been completely untapped.

As with all things in our industry, social influencing has gone through its own changes. Had you been reading this article a year ago, it may have been common to find social influencers working based off of product samples or positive word of mouth. Although it is still possible to find that rising gem of a YouTube star who may take free products, most of the influencers who understand this business now know they can make money, and expect it. Of course, if the influencer does their job correctly and brings your brand or product new hungry consumers, then all parties are happy. The key just as in any advertising campaign is to make sure the results are clearly define before a campaign starts and both parties are tracking the results, if possible.

Social influencers are on the rise and can be a positive addition to an advertising campaign looking for a new way to get their message out. As marketers, we need to understand the best ways social influencing marketing can be utilized and being sure to weigh the strengths and weaknesses like other mediums we use.