Influencer. It’s almost become a buzzword similar to “guru” or “ninja.” But let’s not forget that the true meaning of “influencer,” isn’t a title, but rather someone that makes an impact on the digital space.
So what makes up an influencer? Users have a lot to do with it.
- There’s no mathematical equation for influence, but if you take a look at the number of followers and those who they are following, they can tell you something. Those people with a high number of followers, but a low number for people they are following generally shows they have something important and engaging to say – and people take them seriously.
- Regular updates about the topic they are an influencer of shows that they are legit. However, make sure you’re taking a look at the dates of content they are posting. Are they from previous months, years, etc? Many people time their posts to automatically populate on social media sites. When they run out of content, they start circulating old posts. This doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about, but it could mean they aren’t as embedded in the topic as you think.
- What they update is also very important. If the person claiming to be an influencer rarely posts any updates with unique content, take a look at their work and see if they are really just made up of follow-bots. Also note, that little term “unique content.” If it’s pointless cat articles found on Buzzfeed, and they aren’t specializing on what makes us nostalgic for the ‘90s, maybe question if they are really what they claim to be.
- Credibility can be found in a number of ways: user generated praise, support and retweets from other thought leaders or influencers, or publication on news sites and books commenting on their specialty.
- Twitter verification. That little blue check mark gives you an idea of whether the person is legitimate or not. Twitter does the influencer check for you, so if they have it, no need to check out steps 1-4.
If someone claims to be an influencer, they probably are a little behind the times. Good questions to ask yourself are: Do I care about what they are sharing? Is their content relevant and interesting?
If yes to both, stick around and feel free to be influenced.