The rise of internet technology has made the idea of influencing a major part of the marketing strategy. This has created the need for social media influencers to promote various brands. Since the last decade, social media has grown rapidly in importance. According to a report done in 2019, 45% of the world’s population actively use social media. These people naturally look up to influencers on Social media to guide them while decision-making. Read the article below to learn about social media influencers in Kenya, their roles as influencers, and how to become one.
Who is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer builds a reputation from their knowledge and skills in a specific niche. They regularly post about particular interests on their social media channels. These posts generate a large audience of engaged people with similar interests. Brands love social media influencers because they can encourage their followers to buy products.
The different types of influencers are classified in the categories below:
- Number of followers
- Types of content
- Level of social influence
What exactly do social media influencers do?
Contrary to people’s belief, social media influencers do not just take pictures and post them on the internet. They make relevant posts about topics people can relate to on their platforms. This is how they have managed to build a reputation for their content online.
They also promote products from different brands. Their posts earn them a large following who have learned to trust them over time. This is why their review of a product is critical.
Their main functions include:
This is simply connecting the audience with various brands. Different brands contact relevant social media influencers to help them bring awareness to their audience. The influencers do this by promoting their brands in their posts.
You can also connect with your audience at a personal level by replying or their comments or questions. This will educate them more about the brand you are trying to market. For example, if your content is about food, your followers should be people in the kitchen industry. It will be easier to interact with and relate to them as well.
The main function of the internet is to spread information. Social media influencers play a huge role in passing information to their audience. They inform their followers of new products and services or even breaking news. The information being passed must be based on two important factors:
Unlike information from advertisements, people tend to trust what their influencer is saying. A recent study found out that influencers and bloggers are among the most trusted source of information. They highly influence decisions made by consumers. Most influencers have built a reputation by providing honest and relevant information through their content.
- Share opinions
Like connecting and informing, sharing opinions is also an important part of the process. Influencers have the advantage of being fully trusted by their audience, especially after trying the product themselves. They can share relevant opinions of goods and services they’ve received. The opinions given should, however, be honest to prevent complications.
How can I join the wave?
Social media influencers have become popular and are in high demand. According to recent studies, influencing is expected to reach $15 billion by 2022. The journey to becoming a successful influencer may not be easy, but anyone can do it. The steps below can guide you on your path to becoming an influencer:
- Select your niche
Before starting, choose a niche that you’re interested in and regularly create content about it. As an influencer, you will have to research and post relevant content on your topic. Ensure you choose a topic that you’re passionate about—for example, beauty or cooking. You can choose 2-3 relevant niches but don’t make it too wide.
- Improve your social media profiles
Once you’ve selected your niche, you should choose your preferred social media platforms and create a user profile. Most influencers are on 2 social media platforms. Choose 2 important ones and focus your efforts on those channels.
You can create business accounts so that you’re recognized by brands. Write an engaging bio, too; it acts as a first impression. Ensure it is luring & appealing. Your bio should contain your full name, contact details, and area of expertise. You also need to add a profile picture or cover photo to boost your profile. Ensure your face is visible in the picture. People tend to trust what they feel is close to human.
- Understand your audience
Before you start creating content, you need to understand your target audience. How will your channel benefit them? You can do this by analyzing your current followers and get insights into their interests. Most social media platforms have a built-in analytics tool that can help you get insights.
- Create and post relevant content
The more you engage with your audience, the more your opinions will influence them. Some influencers choose to mix their posts with their personal lives while others keep it professional. Either way, ensure your content is broad enough to accommodate future brands. Think from a long-term perspective and start preparing.
- Be regular and consistent
It would help if you created a social media plan (calendar). Most social media platforms’ algorithms, especially Instagram, give preference to accounts that post regularly. You can choose to post weekly or at a frequency you’re comfortable with. You should also consider the platform you’re using. Twitter requires a higher posting frequency to become an influencer.
- Engage with your audience
Once you start posting content, you will often get likes and comments on these posts. Most successful social media influencers engage their audience by answering questions about brands. You can reply to their comments or like them if they become too many. Connecting with them will show that you acknowledge them and their opinions.
You could ask them some questions or let them ask you questions about a topic of similar interests. These interactions will help build personal connections and solidify your position as an influencer. Engaging could help you attract more brands for future business.
- Let brands know you’re open to collaborations
You can’t be an influencer if no one knows you. You need to declare yourself as an influencer who is interested in brand collaborations. You can do this by writing it in your bio and providing contact details for them to connect with you.
You can also send pitches to relevant brands to get jobs. Design a template that you can use to reach out to different brands. There are several influencer platforms that connect both brands and influencers. Join these platforms to find solid collaborations. Promote yourself on these platforms to get recognition.
Top 5 influencers in Kenya
There are many social media influencers in Kenya today. Below is a list of the most influencial ones who have managed to penetrate the market:-
With over 2 million followers on Instagram and 326k subscribers on youtube, Felix Odiwour, alias Jalang’o is the most popular influencer in Kenya. He is known for his role as Jalang’o in Citizens Tv’s Papa Shirandula. He is now a radio presenter at Kiss 100 alongside Kamene Goro.
He also created a fast rowing Youtube channel where he hosts famous personalities and talks about their journey in whichever industry they pursue. On his Instagram channel, he promotes various brands, including Oppo Reno 5
Njugush The Comedian
Timothy Kimani Ndegwa alias Njugush is a comedian and an online content creator. He is known for his role in the Real House helps of Kawangware. With over 1 million followers on Instagram and 426k subscribers on Youtube, he has been deemed amongst the top 2 most popular influencers. He strictly shares comedy content on all his channels.
Eric Omondi is a stand-up comedian, a brand ambassador for OLX Kenya and Dola Flour. He began his comedy career on Churchill’s show, NTV. Then later ventured into developing his brand. Eric managed to secure the LATO MILK ambassador position in Kenya. He managed to gain over 3 million followers on Instagram and 489k subscribers on Youtube. He mainly posts comedy content and promotes various brands on his channels.
Linet Munyali, professionally known as Size 8, is a Kenyan singer, songwriter, and actress. She mostly promotes Christian content on her Instagram channel with over 2 million followers. Size 8 promotes her singing brand on Youtube. Together with her husband, Dj MO, they created a youtube channel called “The Murayas,” where they share vlogs about their journey as a couple.
Betty Kyalo is a Kenyan media personality, news anchor, and journalist. She started her career as an intern at KTN and currently works for K24 as a weekend news anchor. She promotes her brand, “Flair by Betty,” on her Instagram channel with over 2 million followers. Her Youtube channel has over 100k subscribers, and she vlogs general content.
Social media influencers don’t have it easy. The job is not about taking selfies every day. You have to build a good reputation and promote yourself. This requires passion, dedication, and hard work. Once you’ve overcome all the initial challenges, it’s a fun job to do. If you want to read more about bloggers and affiliate marketing in Kenya, you can scroll through the Hariox Media blog for more.