What is a Social Media Influencer

What is a Social Media Influencer?

What is a Social Media Influencer

In this day and age, where social media is a widespread tool used within our society- social media influencers continue to be on the rise. From YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Periscope- there’s always someone who’s promoting something irrelevant. But with all jokes aside, high-followed social media influencers do make a serious buck (-and are provided incredible opportunities compared to your average-joe.)

If you weren’t already aware, a social media influencer works on one or more platforms to earn a living. They can be paid through sponsored posts, AdSense, self-promotion, or working alongside reputable brands. A social media influencer tends to have a large following with an engaging audience. It’s through this audience where content (-in the form of videos, photos, or physical products) can be exchanged for revenue.

Many people believe that being a social media influencer isn’t a real job. However, one could easily debate such an argument. Content creation, an execution plan, organizing, follow-up conversations/emails, plus regular engagement with the audience are only some of the things a social media influencer (who works alone) needs to focus on. To learn more about what is a social media influencer, continue reading below.

Social Media Influencer Definition


In basic terms, a social media influencer is someone who earns a living from one or more social media platforms. As a social media influencer, their primary job is to subsist continuous engagement from their audience to build revenue. This can be done through numerous forms of content creation.

A well-known influencer also juggles numerous other tasks, such as: 

  • Promotion (self-promotion or external brand-reach);
  • Response: Comments, direct messaging, email leads;
  • Attend meetings, events, or brand-deals;
  • Content-planning: Scheduling, aesthetic, layouts;
  • Other tasks. 

Recommended Read: What Skills Does a Content Writer Need?

How to Become a Social Media Influencer?

Some people have risen to social media “fame” through organic methods. Where-as others choose to take the short-cut route to make a name for themselves. Whatever the case, these people are well aware of how to become a social media influencer and the benefits they can provide.

Becoming a social media influencer isn’t something that happens immediately. (Even for the people who take short-cuts.) It takes time to build your brand, and if you’re starting from scratch- it’ll take even longer.


Having a large following is the first thing. However, don’t be fooled. Purchasing thousands of fake-followers to appear “famous” on social media can backfire. People (aka potential followers) want to make sure you’re unique. If they notice you have fake-followers, they’ll think you’re desperate or “thirsty”.

Secondly, your followers need to be engaging. This means you need frequent comments, feedback, and engagement on each post you publicly display. Not only does this help with your personal stats, but it informs potential brands that you are viewed as an influence on your followers.

Posting frequently is a must. In fact, many middle-classed social media influencers turn to marketing and management agencies to do that dirty work for them. In other words, posting regularly at peak-hours will increase your chances of attention (as opposed to posting at 1 am.)

Reaching out to brands might be necessary. Informing brands that you’re worth the investment can increase your chances of becoming an influencer. It can also be the ladder needed to confirm with other brands that you’re someone who can be trusted.

Social Media Influencer Pay


The job rates of social media influencers vary significantly. Different factors, such as the platform, audience, or past brand exposure are just a few of the many things to take into consideration.

Well-known social media influencers; Juggling multiple channels, selling merchandise, and have an extremely large following make well over an estimate of $1,500,000 – $6,400,000 per year.

Depending on their global-significance scale, social media influencers can be paid various amounts with sometimes irregular pay periods.

Other factors that influence social media influencers pay:

  • Sponsored posts rates
  • Adsense rates
  • Private branded deals
  • Appearances
  • Meetings/Interviews
  • Individual brand lines (Makeup, Clothing, etc)

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