A "Social Media Influencer" is defined as a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. This type of influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. Essentially, influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
For the record, I don't consider myself an "influencer" for what I post in this blog. Only about 1,500 people access my blog each month from around the world. During an average week, I'll have readers from 15 to 20 different countries -- based on my blog statistics.
It's said that bloggers and influencers in social media have the most authentic and active relationships with their fans. Blogging has been connected to influencer marketing for quite some time. There are many highly influential blogs on the Internet. If a popular blogger positively mentions a product in a post, it can lead to the blogger's supporters wanting to try out the product. Occasionally, I'll mention a product in this blog, and I've actually received thank-you notes from companies who have taken notice. However, I don't earn one penny on this blog (or for anything I post online). I never include advertising and every single blog post I've made has been written on my free time. For me, this blog is a hobby.
Today's social media influencers include YouTubers, podcasters, and those who leverage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. When I was running across states and countries promoting youth health and fitness, social media platforms weren't at my disposal. I simply aimed to be an "influencer" by being an example in my everyday life. Sure, there were times when I would be featured in newspaper, magazine, radio and television news reports for my running adventures; however, aside from that I simply had my paulstaso.com website and a blog. I would speak at school assemblies, churches, and other venues to share a message about goal setting and fitness, and I always considered my greatest ability to 'influence' by being in front of people and talking with them.
It's important to understand that influencer marketing has been around for over 100 years. Santa Claus, Tony the Tiger, Ronald McDonald and Mickie Mouse are all symbols of influencer marketing. Today's social media influencers are the latest trend in a century-old history of influencers in media. According to a recent FOX Business News report, the average social media influencer can make anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year by promoting products like clothing, food and hotels. Influencers with more than 1 million followers can make over $100,000, or even up to $250,000, per sponsored post.
I'll just stick with my job at a law firm and leave the social media influencer dollars to others. I guess you can say that I'm not influenced by online influencers' money, popularity and follower numbers.