People are spending more time online, especially on Social Media. There are certain people that are followed on popular Social Media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
These people are called influencers as they actually influence decisions made by people.
According to the Advertising Code of Practice on Social Media, an influencer is an individual or group whose brands pay to engage with social media in a certain way, on a certain topic or in the promotion of a brand or publisher.
Social media influencers are people with a large following on social media platforms and they can be celebrities, politicians and religious leaders.
Snikiwe Mhlongo is one of the influencers that are thriving on social media. SABC News spoke to her on being an influencer.
“For me, an influencer is someone who has influence it’s not so much about the numbers and how many followers you have. To be an influencer you have to be influential. If you can get even five people to go buy a top just because you are wearing it, that’s influence if you have influenced people’s decisions.”
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However, it seems that brands do not always approach influencers themselves and rely on some influencers to be the go-between the brand and micro-influencers.
Nkanyezi Kubheka, who refers to himself as a social media entrepreneur is one of the macro-influencers that brands trust and work with.
“Social media entrepreneurship is making money from social media. It could be anything from being an influencer or sharing products on social media and get paid to do that. And you take it as a business you don’t just post for free,” says Kubheka.
Kubheka is regularly approached by brands and they task him with finding influencers to work with the brand and market the brand.
“A brand cannot go and outsource all the influencers so they need to find a person or another brand that works with all the influencers and that’s where I come in,” adds Kubheka.
Even though an influencer can be approached by many companies to promote their brands for them, there is an Advertising Code of Practice that that has to be adhered to.
“The declaration of advertising is there to ensure that the consumer is protected through responsible advertising. We need to be as transparent as we possibly can about whether content is paid for and it’s part of a paid advertising campaign or if it’s just organic social media,” says Social media copywriter Hamilton Zwane.
Read the Advertising Code of Practice below: