What is an influencer? (Like on social media)

ndcaster

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Apologies if this has already been covered ad nauseam in the past but I keep seeing articles (good and bad) lately about social media influencers.

What exactly is a social media influencer?

Are there any in the guitar/music biz?

I've been questioning my use of social media lately and wondering if I put my friends off by posting bits of me playing guitar every so often. Does doing that make me an influencer? I don't believe that I'm influencing anyone other than to scroll past if they don't like the song/style I play...
n., a would-be celebrity in the way Kardashians are famous; a consumer avatar
 

Harry Styron

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Sean Daniel seems to be a good example of a guy who started with useful guitar tips aimed at beginners, whose subscriber count jumped as he did more videos with a rotating cast of four or five attractive young women who sing and banter with him. Then he started getting a lot of free gear, which he generally praises. Recently, he toured the Martin factory with his regular co-host Andrea.

He seems to have a formula that works.

Here he is with Katie and a new free guitar.
 

beninma

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Generally I agree with you, but the problem I see is, that some (most) are not actually honest about what they do. There is actually a law about it, which says that if a youtube video is a paid ad, this video should be clearly labelled as an advertisement. That also applies if it is not a paid video but for example a company will give a guitar or amp or pedal to a presenter for free if he does a video about this product.
I watch some of this youtube videos and the presenters are really smart to trick you, so it doesnt look as an ad. For example, the title is, "What is the humbucker sound?" and in the end the video is an ad for a new guitar with HB pickups. Or "How to use an EQ pedal effectively", and of course the whole video is an ad for this pedal.

Regarding @Peegoo post... some of us live in places where there are not a lot of stores, where you can just walk in and try bunch of different equipement. If I would want to actually try a Gibson guitar for example, I would have to drive a couple of hundred km, to actually try it and even then, it would probably be a small shop with limited options. So if you want to see a product, hear how it sounds and what the presenter thinks about it, it is still very nice to have this possibility.

In the end, the most important thing is to find a presenter who you can trust and who is honest in what they do. There are a couple of them.

They exist on a spectrum.. that pedal show and some 18 year old girl putting pictures up on instagram and mentioning her favorite makeup brand are not quite the same thing.

But some of these pedal guys who act hurt when we talk about them making advertisements are just as bad. They put up the "paid product placement" thing and say "but it's my honest opinion" but then they rarely say anything but great things about every product.
 

Mjark

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I was thinking about this yesterday. I think they're people who who love the camera and hearing themselves talk. So, nothing new.
 

chris m.

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At least with guitar gear they are demonstrating it and you can make your own judgments as to whether it will work for you. Whether they are paid or unpaid their opinion about gear should ideally not significantly alter your own assessment of the gear. If they love it because they are paid to love it, or they love it because they really do love it, that doesn’t mean I’m going to love it.

That’s why my favorite YouTube demonstrators mostly just show you how it works and how it sounds, as objectively as possible, and don’t spend much time giving their personal rating or opinion, which is subjective.
 

Harry Styron

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I was thinking about this yesterday. I think they're people who who love the camera and hearing themselves talk. So, nothing new.

You're correct, but are not taking into account that it is a money-making activity for those who have the personality to garner a substantial following.

People who love an audience and hearing themselves is a category that includes a lot of musicians, singers, actors, lawyers, preachers, politicians, salespeople and many others.

Hucksterism and other forms of entertainment are a way of making a living in the age of consumerism.
 

Skyhook

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Does doing that make me an influencer?

Not yet, but you still might be if you play your cards right.

1. Build a following doing something. Like playing guitar in your instance. People tune in to watch/hear you play. That's your following.
2. When you have a large enough following, start putting out feelers to various companies to get sponsored by shilling their stuff to your group.
3. Company X's sales increase. They might pay you more. You can also spread out and get sponsored by other companies as well.
4. BAM! Now you're an influencer!

Here... look at this. In case you're not familiar with this guy.
Watch a few videos and you'll see how he's hawking stuff at his following even though his thing is guitar.



You don't have to do it exactly as he does, of course. The whole early-career-Jim-Carrey bit gets grating really fast.
But then again... what do I know... this guy makes more a month than I make in a year.
 
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Rustbucket

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There are good and bad influencers on the internet, just like in real life.

I get a lot of educational content online from these “content creators” or whatever you prefer to call them. You can choose who you want to watch or listen to on pretty much any subject you fancy, which I find liberating compared to previous media forms. Weeding out the b.s. has always been an issue, now you just have more choices.
 

Killing Floor

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It’s funny how this has devolved into generation gap.

There are thousands of threads in TDPRI relating so and so spotted with a Tele on stage or so and so used a Tele on some song. Or better yet, someone who literally never used a Tele for any practical application but held one at a shop once. Does anyone who plays a Fender or is in a band really think you’re beyond the reach of marketing? If you have a guitar, eat at a restaurant, buy shoes, drive a motor vehicle, send your kids to college or see a concert or a sports event you are 100% in lock step with influential marketers.

OK, pops, before you clap back, what are you reading this post on? Unless you’re incapacitated and someone is reading it to you there was a decision made to buy a phone or computer based almost exclusively on brand placement.
 
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chris m.

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One very savvy Marketing 101 trick that is used in this scenario is that influencers are often able to offer a gear discount code. That discount code is specific to that influencer. So the seller of the gear can immediately gauge how much of an impact the influencer is making by seeing how many purchases cite that discount code.
 

telemnemonics

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Never heard the term before, but I've certainly noticed that certain individuals and entities get big love while not actually being awesome.

Entities like Amazon is certainly an influencer of consumer behavior.
Who else gets fans to pay for surveillance equipment?

Josh at JHS is an oddity to me, where so many report sitting and watching his long chatty videos then buying his pedals.

On social media?
I'm sorry to report it has no hold on me so I only know one or two major ones who get reported on the nightly news.
 




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