What is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is a person who uses social media platforms to promote or express his/her opinions on specific issues/brands or products. They have dedicated followership and these followers are influenced by these opinions. A social media influencer can be a regular blogger (who blogs/writes posts to convey his/her ideas), an Instagrammer (who uses pictures or short videos on Instagram), a video blogger/vlogger (who makes videos and posts on YouTube/Facebook) or shares short opinions/tweets (who uses Twitter to reach out to their audience).
Why Social Media?
The whole world is present on social media. There is no dearth of people seeking information and real testimonials. Older adults often have the expertise and the knowledge to provide this specific information to the relevant audience.
Using social media for spreading knowledge is also great because social media is a largely anonymous space. No one discriminates against you for your age or nationality. Social media also gives older adults a space to discuss their issues without fearing judgment. As long as you have a talent/area of interest and you put out your views simply and clearly, you can gain a lot of followers and grow your target audience. There is a separate branch of social media influencing called Affiliate Marketing. In this, you have to endorse the products or services of a particular brand and get paid for it.
Can Older Adults Become Social Media Influencers?
There are many older adults in foreign countries who are successful social media influencers. They run channels, blogs or Instagram accounts on various topics like investment advice, travel, construction, photography, family life, work ethics, Do-It-Yourself, and even make-up and fashion. These older adults, aged 55 and more have a lot going in their lives and they want to share it with the world. They have mastered the art of using social media properly not only to share their interests and views but also pass time and stay connected with the virtual community. Many of them earn from these accounts on a regular basis too.
There are examples of a Swedish blogger, 107-year-old Dagny Carlsson and the “Accidental Icon” Lyn Slater who became a fashion blogger and Instagrammer at the age of 64. These are perfect examples of older adults successfully starting social media accounts and taking the world by storm with their posts.
India is not left far behind. Many older adults now easily interact with each other using social media. In 2018 alone, more than 60 million users started using social media for the first time. The number of senior citizens using social media is growing exponentially. In fact, Facebook alone registered more users above 55 than those below 18 in 2018.
With older social media influencers like chef 107-year-old Mastanamma and 60-year-old Nisha Madhulika, 100-year-old blogger Randall Butisingh, older adults are taking the social media world by storm.
Other leading examples of older Indian social influencers are Shanthi Ramachandran (53, home cooking, @shaanthram), Senguttuvan Subburathina (70, wildlife, butterflies and food photography, @sengut2006), Chinna Dua (58, saree lover, singing and family, @chinnadua), Kanan Bala (55, homemade food, @mamaktreats). These influencers know what clicks with their audience and make posts accordingly. They are already very popular and have a huge number of followers and a growing audience.
Also Read: 10 Best ways to have fun post-retirement
Why are Older Social Media Influencers Gaining Importance on Social Media?
With the advent of cable TV, all households have seen an influx of advertisements. These company-sponsored advertisements make a number of false promises just to make their products sell. What a regular person wants these days is someone giving real reviews or sharing experiences about these products and services. Many older adults are experts in various fields and their opinions hold more weight.
Many older adults also choose to talk about relevant topics like cooking, hobbies and work ethics. Some older adults also talk about topics that no one discusses, like fashion and make up for seniors. Older adults are a treasure trove of information and people online value their views. The online community knows that older adults can be trusted. This is one of the main reasons why older adults are gaining more popularity as social media influencers.
Jio and other network service providers have slashed internet rates to make it affordable to everyone. Older adults can be found on social media like WhatsApp in growing numbers. Growing communities of older adults on social media are the best way to know what topics are trending and gain a trusted audience.
But Did You Know That You Can Use Social Media to Your Advantage?
Older adults, due to their age, have amassed a wide range of knowledge and experience that they can spread to the younger generations. Social media, with its growing popularity and reach, is the best way to gain as well as give out knowledge.
Nisha Madhulika started her cookery page as a simple small venture from her kitchen. Her earlier videos were recorded using a handheld phone camera. Her page found many followers and now she is one of the busiest chefs with a team of 5 posting a new recipe almost daily.
You too can use various forms of social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to reach out to your target audience.
Social Media for Good Health
Many older adults, especially post-retirement, find themselves at a loose end with lots of time on their hands and nothing to do. If you are living with your children and grandchildren, taking care of them helps you pass a while. But if you live alone, so much inactivity could even lead to depression.
Social media, in recent times, has been a saviour for many older adults. A study showed that spending time on Facebook and other social media networks could significantly reduce isolation and make them feel like they are a part of the community. Many older adults join groups where they can talk about their issues and where they do not feel judged. Social media also creates connections between long-lost friends and forges new friendships as well, all at the click of a button.
Social Media can Become an Income Source!
The fear of having no money in older age is a cause of anxiety for many older adults. In fact, during a survey by HUM Communities, they came to know that 60% of the older adults in India have economic insecurities. Fortunately, being a social media influencer can earn you money from the comfort of your home!
However, like any other job, being a social media a full-time job. But you can post your content in your leisure time. Once you set up your own account/blog, just make sure you post in it at regular intervals so that your audience remembers you. You can set the frequency of your posts according to your comfort level and post accordingly.
Depending on the platform you have chosen, your number of followers and the brands you promote, you can earn anything from Rs. 10,000 upwards per month. You need to be consistent, patient and persistent to achieve higher numbers.
How to Become a Social Media Influencer
Becoming a social media influencer is quite easy. Gaining and maintaining your followership and posting new content periodically is the difficult part. However, do not worry. We have some easy tips for you to follow to become a successful social media influencer.
- Determine your area of interest: There are already many social media influencers in many niches. You have to select a topic you are comfortable with. Check other influencers in that niche. If there are too many, try tweaking yours to make it unique. If there are too few, check to see if they have enough followers. You do not want to create a niche in which not many people are interested in. Find the balance.
- Select your platform(s): Select the platform(s) you will be promoting your content on. If it is a mixture of media, you can select Facebook. If it is mainly photos and short videos, you can go for Instagram. If you are planning long videos, YouTube is best for you. Remember that you can connect these platforms and promote your content from each one separately as well.
- Create a plan for the next 2-3 months: Before you start putting in your first content, you should have a clear plan for what you are going to do for the next two to three months. If it involves other people’s cooperation (interviews, comments, quotes), you can talk to them early and fix up appointments.
- Select a frequency: Some social media influencers post multiple times a day, some post daily, some once a week or biweekly or some once fortnightly. Decide how regularly you can post and keep posting at those intervals. This is a changeable aspect. In the beginning, you could be posting regularly and then decide to ease up, or vice versa. Just keep your audience informed so that they know when to expect to see posts from you.
- Interact with other influencers having similar interests: Contact other people with similar content and discuss your topics with them. Look to bring in brands and affiliate marketing. This way you will get new ideas to create more engaging content.
- Build your own network: Talk with your peer groups about your venture. Invite them to like and share your posts and pages. This way you increase your audience. You can follow pages and join groups that follow your niche so that you get to grow your audience.
- Promote your work: This means sharing your content wherever you might feel it is relevant. You can also share your content on Facebook groups having similar-minded people to increase your audience. You, however, have to keep in mind that mindless promotions and excessive name-dropping can make your followers lose interest in your work. This type of promotion is called spamming and should be strictly avoided.
- Give good content: This is the hardest part. In the initial stages, you might be ready and interested to write/talk about your area of expertise, but as time goes, it becomes more and more difficult to come up with content that will be relevant to your audience and interest them. You have to be creative. Sounding out your ideas to friends or online groups can also help. Sometimes, it is very tempting to create content about various topics because you cannot find enough topics in your own niche. While branching out is a good idea, keep in mind that the new content should be similar or connected to your original content. For example, if you are a fashion blogger, you can branch out on make-up brands or accessories.
- Interact with your audience: In the hurry of creating a huge set of content, many social media influencers forget this very simple aspect. The audience you are interacting with is human and there will be many times when they will ask you questions or request some particular content. Be sure you answer their queries and create content according to their requests as well. Being connected with your audience makes them realize that they are dealing with a real You can also make live videos where you can interact with your audience and encourage them to ask questions and leave comments on your posts. You can run giveaway campaigns or awareness programs once in a while to bring in more audience as well. All these things ensure that your basic audience remains with you and also brings in more followers.
The more people start following you, the more income you are likely to generate.
What are the Niches You Can Choose From?
The sky is the limit when selecting a niche. It could be:-
- A hobby – reading, knitting, cooking, gardening, photography, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) stuff, etc.
- An area of expertise – legal issues, medicine, interior designing/engineering, investment, etc.
- Something close to your heart – life stories, bereavement/loss of a partner, battling a disease, etc.
- Your journey in learning a new skill
- Online tuitions
Niches like online tuitions can also have options like paid tuition so that you can get paid directly for teaching.
Anybody can be a Social Influencer!
There are no boundaries or age limits to become a social media influencer. In fact, seenagers (senior teenagers) have ample knowledge at hand to become social media influencers. They also are tech-savvy, active on social media, and can easily understand the nuances of using social media to their advantage.
Becoming a social media influencer at an older age is one of the best things to keep yourself busy, follow your passions and earn some money too! All you need is a smartphone with a good internet connection, interest in a specific area and the passion to share your knowledge with others.
So, are you ready to become a social media influencer now?