JOHANNESBURG – In the last decade or so, sponsored content (popularly known as “sponcon”), or the business of getting paid to promote a certain company or brand amongst a person’s social media followers, has spread like a pandemic and resulted in the new profession of “influencer” .
The concept of “social media influencer” is a relatively new one and refers to a person who has established credibility in a specific industry as an expert or celebrity, has access to a large social media audience and can persuade others to act on their recommendations.
Social media influencers make regular posts about a specific topic, product or brand on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
They have the power to affect a following (often in a distinct niche), and in particular the purchasing decisions of people because of their authority, knowledge, expertise, position, status, or relationship with their audience.
In the world of influence marketing the types of influencers are usually divided into six categories, namely mega, macro, micro, advocates, referrers and loyalists.