The advent of social media channels changed the field of marketing because it gave everyone to have their voice heard, amplified by social media like a giant megaphone.

Currently when brands/marketers look at influencers, they often look at the number of followers influencers have on their social media channels. This is where things get really wrong.

Influence is more than just numbers of followers you have
The above thought resonates well with a Malaysian veteran in working with social media influencer too.
Influence is also driven by affinity of the influencer to the subject (don’t think a beauty vlogger can convince you which instant noodle is better), and relationship they have with their audience.

Forbes (2014) tells there is a better way to look at influecners than just number of followers.
Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers

Two Ends of the Spectrum

Platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook have led to the rise of a new generation of influencers that have amassed huge followings on niche subject matters such as parenting and beauty. No surprise the prevalence of influencers are in the growing “millennials” and “mom” demographics.

One such example is Michelle Phan who started a series of YouTube videos featuring simple make-up demonstrations and tutorials. Overtime, she has amassed over 6 million followers. More important than her follower count is the personal brand she has been able to build. Michelle Phan has become a cosmetics authority that many consumers have come to trust…to the point that L’Oreal actually co-branded a cosmetic line with her.
Similarly we see such influencers in ASEAN eg Malaysia Food & Travel blog.

On the other end of the spectrum are everyday consumers of a brand and brand advocates. It’s critical not to discount the combined influence of these customers on their own groups of followers. While I may not have nearly as many followers as Michelle Phan, I have close friends who trust my opinion.
This type of influencer/follower relationship scales extraordinarily fast and creates massive trends in the marketplace. It’s this kind of influencer behavior that has skyrocketed small no name companies to instant fame and fortune. CatJira is where most of these influencers get discovered by brands and grow win-win relationships together.

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