This is awesome, I like to read stuff like this and I love to see all the discussions going on because of this. You have probably not missed it, (it would be almost impossible by now), but in case you have, I'll give you a heads up and share some of the previous posts/articles I've read.
@fullcoverbetting wrote this: What makes one an influencer on steemit? and @acidyo followed with this: What makes one an influencer on Steem. The latest one I saw was: The movement of influence on Steem from @tarazkp. There are probably a bunch of others out there as well. If you, like me, enjoy these types of posts. Make sure to take a look!
Note that I have not replied to any of these articles as I quickly decided to share my take on it, and was aiming to provide all my answers within my own post. I might, or might not reply to any of these articles, but don't take it the wrong way in case I don't reply to your article. It's because of your articles I write my own.
What Is An Influencer?
Before talking about STEEM or if influencers have a place on STEEM, I want to quickly shed some light upon what an influencer actually are. Judging by some of the comments I've read on others articles, there seems to be some people who are slightly confused.
In a nutshell, a social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. Think of pewdiepie as one. With 100+ million subscribers on YouTube, he could and probably does make some serious money advertising products or sharing links of various types with his audience.
This is often due to various collaborations with small to large companies who simply pays the "influencer" to advertise their products. The larger audience you have, the bigger "influencer" you are. Even though most influencers are being paid directly by companies to advertise specific things, influencers can also earn money through affiliate marketing. This basically means that they will earn commission for X-amount of sales or percentage on X-amount of sales etc. Exactly how it's set up can differ.
If you've ever watched Mr.Beast videos on YouTube you've probably seen him mention "Honey" or different mobile games in his videos. This is because he has been paid to do so. He also states that in his videos: "This video is sponsored by Honey" for instance.
Linus Tech Tips has done the same thing.
That being said, The Influencer Influence Those Who Can Be Influenced On Social Media, and they are trying to influence as many people as possible, at all times. The more influence they have, the more powerful they are. More power equals more money. For themselves and for those who are paying them to advertise something.
Simply put or in other words, influencers are trying to steer the actions of their audience and they are getting paid for doing it.
I had a similar discussion a few months back and no, good influencers are not being manipulative. I think it's important to establish that they are not manipulating, they are persuading. It might be a subtle difference, but it puts the power back into the hands of the audience who follows them.
At the end of the day, no one can make you buy something or follow someone if you don’t want to. Influencers are just really good at incentivizing and convincing you because they are able to present the right facts paired with the right content.
They did a nordic survey about 1 year ago. The survey was about the dreams of young adults and teenagers.
When young adults in Sweden get the chance to dream about the future, it's more about everyday things. The largest proportion of young people have hopes of meeting a partner (25 percent) closely followed by getting a permanent job (22 percent) and taking a driver's license (21 percent).
In fourth place (20 percent) among Swedish young people's dreams, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, is the hopes of becoming an influencer. That is also something that sets young adults in Sweden apart from our Nordic neighbors.
The average for other countries in the survey is 11 percent. That means that 1 out of 5 young adults in Sweden dreams about becoming an influencer.
Do We Have Them On STEEM?
The simple answer is yes, and no. We have influencers on STEEM, just like we have a bunch of different leaders as well. Some self-proclaimed, others bad. Some of them are good and others are exceptional.
Even though some users on STEEM actually are influencers based on the required number of followers, which is about 10,000 to 50,000 followers to be called a "micro-influencer", I haven't met anyone who calls themselves more than "content creator", "blogger" or "vlogger", and obviously just "user".
STEEM is not like other social media out there, and we all know it. Someone with 1 million SP and 3 followers could get tons of followers and build his audience in very little time depending how they used their Steem Power.
One example is @misterdelegation. 1000+ followers but 0 replies, 0 comments and 0 posts. This account has most likely a thousand followers due to the amount of Steem Power. That is a pretty lousy example, but it still serves it's purpose.
Even if 100% of all followers we have on STEEM would still be active, which they are not, you couldn't call misterdelegation an influencer. Imagine misterdelegation being a normal user on STEEM though. With 20 million Steem Power. Imagine how powerful he or she would be... Imagine how many followers he or she would get depending on what he or she wrote.
Pretty cool actually, but it also proves my other statement. STEEM is not like other social media. The major reason for people to follow large accounts blindly are because they have hopes of receiving upvotes.
Upvotes is the #1 reason for most people to use STEEM. They want money, and who are more suited than a juicy whale to hand you a upvote or two? - The whale chasing starts on day 1 for many users on STEEM.
If you want to build a loyal audience and grow your presence and build reputation on STEEM, you need to put in time and effort or jumpstart your STEEM-career by powering up a shit ton of STEEM. The more the better, as it gets easier with each STEEM you power up.
- Money talks on STEEM.
We have awesome "spokespeople" or leaders on STEEM, but most of them have as much "voice" as they have because of their wealth. Look at long gone @fulltimegeek for instance. (Not entirely gone, but not active, at least not on that account.)
He brought compassion and the idea of giving to others to the table. He was a large account and that gave him the necessary "tools" to put his ideas into practice.
I know that some might never have heard of him and some doesn't agree or like some of the things he did or how he did them, but I bet that no one can deny how powerful the SOG programme was. The Stewards of Gondor project that FTG brought to STEEM had tremendous impact and it inspired hundreds of people. Perhaps even thousands.
He was not an influencer by the standards or according to the "requirements" to be one, but he was definitely one of the greatest leaders we've had on STEEM, according to me. He didn't do the things he did during the SOG-days in a selfish manner or because he was looking for a fat paycheck at the end of the day. His investment long term in STEEM was to empower others, mainly smaller accounts.
@acidyo and @theycallmedan are two other leaders. Good leaders. Perhaps even two of the greatest leaders we have today. Perhaps even to this date. They have 27948 followers and 3414 followers respectively.
A "micro-influencer" is someone with between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, so @acidyo could potentially be called an influencer, but I still prefer to call him a good leader. As several thousand of those followers are inactive, he might even fall short.
Imagine all of those followers being active though.. That would be almost 30,000 people. He could easily persuade some of those people into doing various things with ease. - Would that make him an influencer? Perhaps.
However, look at how large accounts are doing things. They offer upvotes to people for doing things. @theycallmedan for instance is using his stake to upvote people who promotes Steem on Twitter amongst other things.
That is basically the opposite of being an influencer. Influencers gets paid to promote things or to get others to do certain things. Dan basically puts money in your hand instead of his own while doing the things he does.
STEEM on the other hand gives him the opportunity to give (in terms of upvotes) while he asks people to do things in return. The long term goal is to increase the price of STEEM, and that is when he will see the real profits.
I personally think that both acid and dan are great leaders and they deserve more credits for many of the things they do, but I wouldn't call any of them influencers. Sure, they inspire others and they could probably persuade their audience in similar ways like a "real" influencer does, but I don't see them as influencers.
Lesser accounts on STEEM struggles more. STEEM is identical to YouTube in that way. Lesser accounts need to put in crazy amounts of effort, have luck and be consistent. Just like they would need to be on YouTube.
People still complain about the rewards on STEEM though, but they don't say much when they're sitting there with 9 subscribers on YouTube for a year, even though they're uploading content on a more or less daily basis...
- Odd, huh?
Lesser accounts on STEEM, regardless of their reputation score or follower amount struggles more than larger accounts. It's a fact. Wealthier accounts have an easier time to be rewarded for their content, but that is based upon how STEEM works. It's easy to reward yourself, and others who wants a big piece of the "curation"-pie upvotes larger accounts, or at least users who regularly scores decent rewards. That's how STEEM works, and it's basically the easiest thing to do. That is what you do when you maximize your earnings.
Good leaders, cool projects and curation groups are trying to change this, and they've had great results so far, but everything can't change overnight. It takes time. In the meanwhile, everyone, small or large, will have to continue to put in time and effort. Just like influencers does, or anyone with "influencer dreams".
I personally don't really think that we have true "influencers" on STEEM today though, but we have a handful of amazing leaders. STEEM itself doesn't really allow us to have real influencers at this point. When we get the masses on board, things will be different.