Anyone in marketing today will know how important being or at least knowing an influencer is. For those of you who aren’t sure what an influencer is, an influencer can be understood as someone who has the ability to convince those around them (or in the digital word, those who follow them or are “friends” with them) that something is cool and worthy of your attention (this of course is why marketers promoting products love influencers). An influencer gets people on board. They are honest, insightful and informative. They posses qualities that others admire. They know what’s cool before it is cool. People want to be influencers because they are given an audience and more importantly, respect.
Some people want to be influencers so badly they appear to fake it. Obviously this isn’t something they’ll admit to or publicize. It’s something you’ll have to read between the lines to confirm. For example, someone online will come across a great article, product, initiative, or something else that they think is cool that had been shared by someone they follow. Instead of simply sharing that content which would include a reference to where they found it, they copy it, paste it, and take it upon themselves to share it from their own account. What’s the difference? What does it matter? Either way, people will be given access to something cool. This is correct and great for that matter but for someone who wants to be an influencer, it matters very much where that content came from. The person that copies and pastes that content and shares it from their own account wants to be recognized as the person who originally found it and made the decision that it was worth sharing with people. In other words, they want to be known as an influencer. But they didn’t originally find it and they didn’t originally make the decision that it was worth sharing. I stress the word “originally” because that’s what it’s all about. Sure, it’s great if you pass on something that’s already being touted as cool but it’s not the same as defining something as cool. This is why being the first matters and this is what defines an influencer.
Here’s an example of CP24 clearly lifting a tweet from The Associated Press in an effort to be recognized as an influencer:
Screenshot courtesy of @jeremybell