How Influencers Motivate Audiences to Be Authentically Themselves

While the idea of an influencer is still relatively new, it is quite clear that these social media influencers possess a unique level of direct influence—for lack of a better term—amongst audiences in comparison to more traditionally-famous celebrities such as actors and talk-show hosts. In order to fully grasp the dynamic position held by modern influencers, a few key aspects of their celebrity should be taken into account:

  • How might these influencers specifically differ from other celebrities?
  • Do influencers utilize their platform differently in comparison to other celebrities?
  • How do influencers distinctly build trust with their audience?

How might these influencers differ from other celebrities?

While celebrities such as actors fit into the traditional definition of what it means to be a celebrity—usually classified as individuals who owe their success to the entertainment industry—social media influencers gain celebrity through reviews of certain products, notability gained from consistently reliable product reviews, etc. In reviewing various products, the influencer often speaks from their own experience not only with the company but from a place similar to their targeted audience as a fellow consumer of the product. Unlike other celebrities, influencers gain a certain level of credibility as they review these various products and formulate an online persona and following by doing so. Influencers also typically connect to their audiences by reviewing products that fall within a specific niche that not only distinguishes themself from other influencers but also attracts a distinct audience.

How might influencers use their platform differently from other celebrities?

Since influencers typically gain their prestige through social media platforms, their audience/follower base is crucial to their success as an influencer. Unlike the traditional celebrity, influencers typically cater to audiences within a certain niche in order to build a loyal follower base that will more likely than not continue to follow the influencer. Indeed, influencers are quick to acknowledge this fact and often thank their audience for their perpetual support. In addition, influencers typically market themselves as relatable and even share their obstacles with their audiences in order to not only inspire their follower base by reassuring them that they too can overcome adversity but also to remind their audience that they are human through discussing hard topics that celebrities generally avoid.

How do influencers build trust with their audience?

While the average celebrity often appears as an unattainable, flawless figure to their fanbase, influencers are known for their relatability and reliability. As a result, it becomes rather clear why influencers are able to maintain such an intimate relationship with their follower base in comparison to other types of celebrities. In addition to sharing personal experiences with their audience, influencers often encourage their follower base to share their own experiences as a way of not only coming across as relatable to their audience but also further exposing their humanity by conversing with followers who may have gone through similar personal experiences as the influencer. In fact, studies have shown that consumers are more likely to trust individuals similar to themselves. Reliability is also a crucial aspect of an influencer’s celebrity since previous product reviews and perpetual interaction with their follower base contributes to their online presence and often ensures future success as an influencer.

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