When embarking on the journey of this article we were pleasantly surprised to find that there was more than one type of influencer when it came to social media influencers. This makes sense of course because even on the face of it, different people ‘influence’ in different ways.
The most obvious influencers are celebrity influencers. They were after all the original influencers with all their money and fame. People have been looking to celebrities for ever to see what is hot and happening and what is trending and then been trying by all means to copy their style.
It’s gone a bit overboard recently where even their poses are being copied but that is an entirely different article.
So Authority influencers are a thing. When it comes to 72-hour weddings Kim K is most definitely an authority and she has the market cornered on that front. These influencers are clearly people who have gained the trust of followers because of their experience with a topic. Their dealing with the matter goes beyond a hobby and they are considered – tongue in cheek – an authority on the matter. Tito Mboweni might would be considered an influencer on financial matters for example.
Social media sensations are people who are popular on social media for no other reason than people like what they are up to. This is including platform-specific sensations who would be known for something specific, like loading videos of their children or who is comedic.
A micro influencer is one who specialises in a specific niche and uses their timeline to share that interest. Micro influencers generally have a smaller amount of followers but their followers are much more engaging than the followers of the other influencers.
Bloggers (when successful) are influencers but influencers are not always bloggers. Bloggers own their blog and they are in control over what the people who follow them are exposed to. On the other hand an influencer only ‘owns’ a small piece of the platform they use where people engage with them on an entirely lighter note, and if they come across them.
There are sub-levels of followers from the one ones listed above. There are those who turned influencer based on their personal character dynamics, those who sell us products and those who are influencers built on trust that they garnered from their followers. Not as cut and dry as one would think and not so easy to get into that scope of ‘career’ if you that is something one is thinking of pursuing.
Planet Michaels (@planet_michaels) on Instagram are a Namibian family who post to the world their adventures. On their website they describe themselves as a multi-cultural Namibian-Filipino family who are travel and lifestyle vloggers and who love going on adventures whenever they can. Their channel is a mix of fun experiences they embark on as a family.
We had a brief chance to ask questions of planet_michaels and they shared their fascinating life with us as answered by Grace Michaels.
What is your day job?
We do Social Media as well as Marketing where my husband and I work together as a team. I do all the Digital Marketing and Operations and Mario does all the Production and Marketing. Before that, I worked as an IT Consultant for almost 14 years creating customised software for our clients.
Do you get recognised on the streets a lot?
Yes, quite a number of times, since our videos are also now featured on One Africa TV. They see us on the streets and scream “hello Planet Michaels”. Most of them stares at us like they know us and have a big smile on their faces. The kids also gets a lot of questions about the channel from their schoolmates. We do encourage it, because we want everyone to know that we are approachable and we are a normal family that can represent and relate to them.
What sparked your interest in becoming influencers?
Social Media is becoming one of the biggest avenues for marketing all over the world, and Namibia needs to set the trend as well… Since I am already in the Social Media and Mario in the Marketing Industry, we combined our knowledge to influence the youth and help companies with their social media brand.
The Michaels are living their best lives and making a living out of it at the same time. The Lounge also had the opportunity to put some questions to Maria Nepembe, popular Namibian celebrity influencer.
Maria who is currently in New York tells us that during the day she is a business person focussing on how to grow her business while simultaneously juggling school and gym. She is passionate about being a creative, about directing and about story telling. “I stand for people who cannot stand for themselves, those who got so much potential to offer but are overlooked.” Maria says social media is a very important and valuable platform when it comes to being influential to her followers as well as to the promoters who wish to get into contact with her via her very competent manager.
When asked if she gets paid for every promotion she does she says “Absolutely! LOL. My manager would never allow me to do that without being paid.” She believes that influencers should of course be compensated for the promotions that they do since the companies that approach them gain sales from their promotion. Asked how she became an influencer the beautiful lady tells us that it was a decision taken by herself and her team, planned and executed and capitalised upon.