With a great follower count comes great responsibility.
Social media influencers aren’t around as the flag bearers of aspiration anymore – with the rapid transformation of social media, influencers have had to prove themselves to their audiences. Content is significant now more than ever, and influencers have had to constantly pivot and improve in order to stay relevant.
But why must social media influencers work this hard at staying relevant? Well, according to a study by GroupM, the influencer marketing industry is set to reach Rs. 2200 crore by 2025. In a nutshell, it pays to be relevant on social media.
Gone are the days where being tone-deaf was considered ok; influencers today have a wide range of responsibilities to uphold.
The power of having a strong following implies that one must spread valuable information along with entertainment, and being out of touch just doesn’t cut it anymore.
What does it take to be a social media influencer who adds value to the user? What defines their success in today’s times? We’re here to break it down for you.
If you wish to hop on to the influencer bandwagon in 2022, here are some ways you can do it successfully.
How to be a better social media influencer in 2022
1. Address a pressing need and provide value
Possibly one of the most significant things to happen on social media is the rise of advocacy around mental health during the devastating first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Where people were scuttling around for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, and medication, our collective mental health took a hit, giving rise to the need for therapists all around.
This was when mental health accounts gained popularity on Instagram, with professional psychotherapists and psychiatrists creating informative and feel-good content to provide some respite.
As a social media influencer, your responsibility should be to address your audience’s needs and find a way to solve it through your content.
2. Partake in activism and causes
The pandemic is an example to elucidate this as well. The devastating second wave had several hundred people looking for beds and oxygen cylinders for their loved ones. Many home quarantined patients had no access to healthy food. All of this and more was addressed by popular influencers – the likes of Kusha Kapila, Dolly Singh and others consistently shared contact information for beds and medication. Several small-time influencers (micro-influencers as they are called) started fundraising to provide monetary support, meals, and more for those in need.
Relief work often takes over many influencers’ accounts during natural calamities, which is a testament to the power of social media during times of crisis.
This is a step you must take as an influencer.
3. Create a safe space
As fun as social media can be, it can also be toxic – just spend a day on Twitter and you’ll know what we’re talking about.
In 2022, an influencer is as relevant as the space they create for their audience to enjoy and accept themselves the way they are.
Popular social media influencer Satshya comes to mind in an instant – her content and engagement strategy is such that it makes for fun consumption, whether or not you are actively responding to her content.
Social media is rife with aspirational, almost unattainable standards of beauty and living. To be a successful influencer in 2022, you must know how to create a space that is comfortable, safe, and relatable.
4. Make conscious choices for collaboration
Just like social media is more than just entertainment, brands are more than just companies selling products.
A brand needs to get with the times and promote beliefs and values that align with human interest causes, such as addressing social inequalities. As an influencer, brand collaborations are an integral part of money making, but you cannot blindly choose a brand that pays you handsomely.
At the end of the day, the brands you promote are a reflection of your values and beliefs, and if the brand is infamous for something that affects a socially conscious audience, your audience will cease to associate with you.
Supporting socially conscious brands is a big part of being an influencer in 2022.
5. Be open to learning and growing
One of the perils of social media is that it forces us to have an absolute opinion on everything, which makes us wary of making mistakes and owning up to them. Influencers are scrutinised even more, owing to their following and power to sway their audience. But in 2022, the trends are a changin’ – the ability to own up to one’s mistakes and saying I don’t know is a practice that is here to stay.
Sure, an influencer can build authority over a subject or domain over time, but holding them accountable for things that they aren’t sure of is a trend that will gradually fade.
Not everyone has the answers to everything (unless you’re a subject matter expert), so influencers will have the space to own up to their mistakes and misgivings in 2022.
The era of influencers is ongoing. Now is as good a time as any to kickstart your journey as an influencer – keep learning as you go.
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