The culture of ‘social media influencers’ has not really extended to Zimbabwe yet. Of course people go on social media and they have people who influence their taste or actions and what not but I don’t think there are many Zimbos (within Zimbabwe) who are leveraging social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube to make their fortunes.
What’s an influencer?
Seeing as I’m not an expect in “social media influence”, I had to look for a proper definition and according to Influencer Marketing Hub there are two definitions:
- 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.
- An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche.
An interesting disclaimer is also attached to these definitions:
It is important to note that these individuals are not simply marketing tools, but rather social relationship assets with which brands can collaborate to achieve their marketing objectives.
Now that we have a basic idea of how influencer marketing works, let’s look at just how much social media influencers stand to earn in their misunderstood jobs.
What’s on the table?
In the United States influencer marketing is growing and you’ll be surprised to know that some people can make close to half a million a year. Business Insider got an opportunity to speak to Brittany Hennessy – who works as a senior director of influencer strategy- and she had some interesting things to say about how much brands are willing to part with. One of the more interesting quotes from that discussion was:
You can easily clear half a million dollars [a year]— which I think a lot of the influencers that I work with are clearing that at a minimum. The top influencer has a large following, because you can’t even begin to ask for that kind of money unless you have at least half a million followers, probably more like a million
So how much can influencers actually get? Well according to the article on Business Insider the range goes from $250 to around $30 000 and you also have to factor in how many followers the influencer also has.
|Number of followers||Price (per Instagram post)|
|10,000 - 99,000||$250 - $2,000|
|100,000 - 499,000||$2,000 - $5,000|
|500,000 - 999,000||$5,000 - $10,000|
|1 million-plus||$7,500 and up|
Brittany also told Business Insider that the influencer marketing industry is projected to be worth $5-$10 billion by 2020 and believe me, that’s not even the most surprising information you’ll hear about social media influencers today…
Who let the dogs in?
In the social media age, even dogs can become marketers and here is one statement that knocked me off my chair:
I once paid a dog $32,000 for two Facebook posts, one Instagram post, and one tweet. Probably took his owner all of three minutes to take the photos and write the captions.
This quote is found in Hennessy’s book called Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media and that quote is a perfect summation of how powerful social media can be.
Though social media influencers are generally condescended and at times even discredited because people assume it’s not a “real job” I’ll ask you a simple question; if your dog could make you $32 000 through a single social media post would you not take it? I think the amounts that brands are willing to spend is also an indicator that they see positive returns from this type of marketing and I would encourage every single one of these ‘influencers’ to keep getting their cheques despite not having ‘a real job’.
Obviously the claims of making half a million a year apply to people in the US (and maybe other developed countries) and the situation in Zimbabwe is entirely different. Honestly speaking, I’m not even sure if there are any social media influencers locally as I’m not usually following that kind of thing. Do you know any local influencers (no, not Visa Bae) and if yes, are they actually getting a respectable cheque for their efforts?