We're All Influencers; We're All Content Creators
There’s been a lot of hoopla in the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle community regarding the delineation between “content creators” and “influencers”, and “makeup artists” and “makeup enthusiasts.” It’s pretty much spurred into one group of people, particularly those with a larger subscriber, follower, or fanbase count, complaining about being grouped as an “influencer” along with those with smaller followings. The other camp hates being grouped with “influencers'“ because “content creators” boast a bigger connection with their artistic sides and their posts having substance rather than than trying to sell a product or lifestyle.
Let’s start off with the fact that anyone who posts an Instagram picture, tweet, blog post, Snapchat story, or any other tidbit of data to a social media platform, is a content creator. One of the definitions of “content,” according to Merriam-Webster, is “the principal substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a website.” There’s no specifications of what “content” is. It doesn’t have to be an artistic makeup look, or an inspirational fitness post, or even a post made for the consumption of anyone - it can simply be whatever a person wants it to be. For example, the personal Instagram page of a kid I went to high school with is all pictures of toilets. He takes pictures of his own, gas station toilets, porta-potties, and more; they have pee dripping down the side, poop on the walls, and occasionally there’s a clean one. That’s his content. Content can be anything someone wants to share with the world - no matter how mundane or extraordinary.
No matter whether we’re adding a new video to YouTube or sending nudes to a significant other through Snapchat, we’re creating bits of data for someone (or no one) to consume. In and of the nature of social media, we’re all content creators.
Next up is the big kahuna - what it means to be an influencer. According to an article about social media marketing and influencer marketing, an influencer is “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.” Many of the larger social media sensations say they are influencers because they have a wide audience, and the term '“micro-influencer” was even created to differentiate (and quite possibly abase) those with a smaller audience. The thing about it is: the definition doesn’t say you have to have hundreds of thousands of followers to be considered an influencer. You just have to have 1) authority or knowledge on a certain subject and/or 2) a relationship with an audience. All of us have authority and knowledge on a certain subject, whether it’s beauty and fashion or sex. And we all have an audience. Our audience is anyone we talk to or interact with in the course of our day, both tangibly and virtually. Your boss, your best friend, and the annoying girl in three of your classes are all an audience.
I noticed this fact the most in the last few months. I’d been down about the slow growth of my blog and Instagram (though admittedly, the lapse in growth and support is due more to my absence than anything else at this point). I felt as though no one cared about my YouTube posts, as I was getting no more than fifteen views per video. I would hit four-hundred followers on Instagram just to lose a ton and be back to the same three-hundred-eighty. In the midst of my feelings of failure, I decided to post a recipe for quinoa bread. The day after next, a friend of mine came into my job and said she’d tried the quinoa bread and loved it. That was the moment it all clicked for me: it doesn’t matter that I only have fifteen views on a video or three reads on a blog post. The people who watched that video or read that blog post most likely drew something from it. No matter how slight the impression might be, it still influenced someone’s thoughts, habits, or feelings.
That’s what influencing is about - impacting someone’s thoughts, habits, and feelings, hopefully for the better. Whether you’re hitting fifty-thousand likes on your Instagram posts or two, know you’re influencing someone, and make that influence meaningful.
Write you little lovelies later,
XO Ky M.