The Filipino ‘influencer’ question: Some takes on the loosely defined term

May 24, 2018 - 5:14 PM
Facebook and Twitter logos (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Amid the rise of social media personalities in the country, a Twitter post seemed to criticize those ascribing themselves as “influencers,” a loosely defined term used online.

On a May 21 thread, Twitter user, currie, tells people that not all content creators of videos and websites may be called influencers.

“Please don’t you ever dare call yourselves influencers if all you do is wander around twitter and brag [about] all the things and compliments you get by being so called ‘influencers.’ Call yourselves something else, like ‘self ego feeders’ or what, your call,” the user added.

Some took offense on these posts, particularly those whose source of income depends on social media advertisements.

Characteristics of an ‘influencer’

After receiving flak for the earlier posts, the user explained:

“To be able to tackle social issues, raise social awareness and be sensitive enough to what’s happening around you instead of throwing away all your bourgeois stuff, man that’s something else and by that maybe you’re one hell of an influencer,”  the Twitter author explained in the thread.

Meanwhile, one of those who disagreed thinks some popular social media users may have opted to keep quiet on their political views to avoid attracting critics.

Another user added that “content is relative” and that the influence these people have on others through social media varies.

“The substance of their contents is relative to everyone thus it may not have substance to you but it has to some because not everyone can relate/is interested to every blogger/vlogger etc. Moreover, the substance does not correlate to being an influencer because substance is relative,” the post read.

Working definitions that make sense

An author from Medium explained that the number of followers or likes on social media is not the standard for being “influential.”

“The people who become influential— whether it’s on a small scale or all across the globe — share one thing in common and it’s their ability to look at their audience and understand the value they bring each and every one of those people,” Justin Rezvani wrote.

A Forbes article further explained the criteria to be an effective influencer.

“Influencers must have a combination of three key factors: reach, contextual credibility and salesmanship. The higher these three factors, the higher the influence potential of an individual,” marketer Gerardo Dada wrote.