Over the recent years, marketers and consumers alike have often obsessed over personalities or better known as influencers whose social media activity opened up room for discussion, inspiration, and affinity. The public’s regard for these influencers has definitely shifted over time–but perhaps no shift has been greater and more relevant than that which happened during 2020, when the pandemic struck out of nowhere, rendering many of the frills and fluff of social media as nearly obsolete.
Filipinos have been spending more time online and seeing different people’s pandemic experiences through the window of social media. It has thus far been a time of distance and uncertainty, and people are looking for inspiration and guidance when it comes to what to buy into and what to believe.
Appreciation has risen for influencers that exhibit qualities of being socially aware and socially responsible. The paradigm shift in online content creation is not anymore about #goals, but rather about genuine expression.
However, in light of different consumer mindsets, where do influencers stand?
EON Group’s Research & Analytics Team’s thought leadership piece under EON Spark in partnership with Tangere conducted a study called Influencers: Eye Candy or Eye-Openers? that revealed the different types of influencers in the age of COVID-19 and how social media users perceive their content. The team has identified three types of influencers:
The Insensitive Influencer. These are the ones who exhibit apolitical stances, ignorant of what’s happening in the country and in the world and showing little awareness or desire to take action on societal issues. In the age of cancel culture, this type of influencer tends to be the type brands need to steer clear of.
The Total Package. Funny, creative, likeable yet still credible; these influencers mix comedy with social commentary to engage people in pressing issues. The Total Package influencer tends to resonate deeply among millennial and centennial audiences, reflecting the meme-able humor and wit in which they find much relief during these trying times. With most influencers limited to the confines of their home, followers would still look into how they strike a balance between entertaining and informing them.
The Online Change-Makers. Opinionated, charitable, and genuine–they take a stand for the betterment of society, and are persuasive in promoting causes and advocacies. Though deemed controversial by some, social media users turn to these influencers to amplify the needs and voices of the many. With their courageous stances on pressing issues, the Online Change-Makers seem to have gained not just likes and followers, but genuine respect.
These are the “new-breed” of influencers who are authoritative figures coming from all walks of life, disrupting and molding consumer mindsets. They are a valuable engagement-generating presence as they enable companies to personify themselves and form intimate relationships with their target market online.
More than a brand name, people trust real people. Influencers are real. The aim now is to be an inspiration through actions taken with a sense of purpose in mind. The criteria for choosing influencers has now changed and the drive for influencers to reevaluate their content shows how this pandemic has helped us see more of what truly counts in this world: a two-way relationship, not a one-way sales channel.
To get a copy of the study, please email [email protected].