With the rise in social media channels there has been a rise of a different set of entertainers, performers, tutors and content creators known as the Influencers. These people owe their name and fame to the social media platforms that they use for posting their content online. The fact that they were common people who raise to popularity by creating something entertaining, unique and useful have make them won over the popularity of existing celebrities. Social media influencers are can be quoted as the new-age celebrities who use the un-conventional ways to put their message forward. They use social media platforms rather than the conventional cinema or TV programs to interact with the target audience.
Social media consumption varies from generation to generation as not all use or follow social media channels in the same manner. Gen Z, for example use social media more rigorously than other generations as they have been exposed to the internet world at very young age and therefore they know the internet world closely and use them to their advantage wherever and whenever possible. While the older generations are catching up with changing times and in the ‘amusement stage’ as to what all the internet world can bring them to the table. For Gen Z, the influencers are more relatable and transparent as compared to the celebrities and thus they follow influencers more than regular celebrities like actors, politicians, fashion designers etc. Gen Z finds social media influencers are real-like celebs who are responsive, approachable and have a transparent approach towards their target audience.
Social media marketing relies on the popularity of the influencers. The influencers can be divided into different categories based on their followers. Mid-tier influencers who have around 50k-500k followers and Nano-tier influencers who have around 5k-50k followers compromise the highest Gen Z followers than the people of any other generation. The followers are people who keep a track of the influencer’s content. They subscribe to the influencers they like and consume all the content that the influencer post online. The popularity of influencers give way to influencer marketing which is aimed at reaching a larger consumer base through on-line marketing. The ‘word-of-mouth’ tactics triggers the success of any advertising campaign propelled by influencers. The influencers hold immense credibility for their followers and therefore any promotional content posted by them is instantly consumed by the followers as true information and even forwarded to likeminded audience.
Gen Z accounts for 32% of total world population and they are the highest internet users as them have been exposed to this medium right from the beginning. The Gen-Z generation speak their mind, their ‘self-expression’ behavior resonates with influencers and that what connects the two worlds instantly. While millennial generation follow 52% Instagram influencers while 47% follow celebrities. Top category of influencers followed by Gen Z include fashion, travel and cinema while millennial follow clothing, beauty and movie categories.
Social media influencers lead to the creation of other marketing tools that wouldn’t have exited if not for them. The ‘social-commerce’ marketing strategy where the brands can directly sell to the consumers rise from the extensive use of social media. E-commerce brands like Flipkart and Myntra have already forayed in the social-commerce tactics to pace up with changing shopping patterns and preferences of their target audience. Social media apps like Roposo, Trell, Meesho, Takatak, Moj and Josh are few major players when it comes to influencer marketing.
With this we can certainly conclude that the percentage of content consumption crafted by social media influencers is definitely higher among Gen Z generation owing to their high usage of internet aided devices. As influencers create a window for self-expression by unapologetically speaking their mind and being their self on social-media platforms, their personality behavior gets to the belief system of the Gen-Z generation and thus make influencers more interesting to them then the celebrities.