May 2nd, 2017, 09:27 AM

Influenced by the Influencer

By Chelsea Sanford
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Brands are under the influence of 'social media celebrities.'

When we think about social media influencers, we typically think of people with massive followings on one platform, be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Snapchat. But the biggest social media influencers are often those who manage to engage large audiences across all of the major top platforms, networks, and apps — YouTubers who have millions of Twitter followers, Instagrammers who have millions of page ‘likes’ on Facebook, Snapchat stars who find their way to big audiences on Instagram.

There are millions of influencers all over the world appealing to different groups but celebrities outshine all others due to their exposure on television and through the music industry. Selena Gomez is the top followed person on Instgram with 119 million followers, followed by Ariana Grande (101 million) and Taylor Swift (93 million).


Most Followed People On Instagram

In 2017, Influencers are the new brand. In order to be present on social media one has to have many outlets. We all have iterations of our online personas that differ from platform to platform. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are all tailored to slightly different content consuming and sharing experiences, thus attracting different audiences. By today’s standards, the biggest social media influencers aren’t just the ones who have found success in one place, but those who have found success on one platform and have managed to replicate that success on other platforms as well. This opens up new opportunities for content creation, audience engagement, and partnerships with brands and advertisers.

There’s something of a mysterious alchemy that goes into adapting one’s personal brand and message to a handful of individual platforms. Yet those who manage to crack it often find themselves transcending single platform notability and tapping into a world of potential once reserved for celebrities. These are the top four ‘overall influencers’ who have reached millions of people on various different platforms.

1| Mark Edward Fischbach

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Markiplier is known for gaming videos and sketches. Though most notable on YouTube, he has over 30 million followers across platforms.

• YouTube — Markiplier 16,691,000 Subscribers
• Twitter — @markiplier 5,250,000 Followers
• Facebook — markiplier 3,170,000 Page Likes
• Instagram — @markipliergram 5,200,000 Followers
• Snapchat — @Markiplier

2| Logan Paul

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Originally a Vine star, Logan Paul now has primary followings on Facebook (14M) and Instagram (9M), and has over 27 million total followers.
• YouTube — Logan Paul Vlogs 2,603,000 Subscribers
• Twitter — @LoganPaul 1,350,000 Followers
• Facebook — Logan Paul 14, 577,000 Page Likes
• Instagram — @loganpaul 9,000,000 Followers
• Snapchat — @loganpaul

3| Jenna Marbles

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First gaining notability on YouTube, Jenna Marbles creates comedic vlogs and content and shares it with over 27 million followers across platforms.
• YouTube — JennaMarbles 16,875,000 Subscribers
• Twitter — @Jenna_Marbles 4,170,000 Followers
• Facebook — jennamarbles 2,168,000 Page Likes
• Instagram — @jennamarbles 4,300,000 Followers
• Snapchat — @JennaKermarbles

4| Tyler Oakley

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Tyler Oakley started on YouTube, but as he’s branched out into podcasts, books, and television, his total follower count has grown to over 23 million.
• YouTube — Tyler Oakley 8,027,000 Subscribers
• Twitter — @tyleroakley 5,650,000 Followers
• Facebook — thetyleroakley 2,941,000 Page Likes
• Instagram — @tyleroakley 6,900,000 Followers
• Snapchat — @snaptyleroakley

We need to recognize the major influence of YouTube stars who are making waves in terms of influencing different audiences. From comedians to gamers to beauty vloggers, YouTubers have generally built their followings outside of the control of media giants. Even if they are signing big deals with large companies there is power and independence in having that huge fan base.

Most Popular YouTubers In The World

Zoe and Joe Sugg are siblings in the United Kingdom who have most of their presence on YouTube and Instagram. Zoe Sugg (Zoella) reaches 26 million followers with just her Instagram and YouTube platforms where she posts videos of her monthly favorites of beauty products as well as her shopping trios at fast fashion retail stores. Joe (ThatcherJoe) reaches around 16 million followers and uploads video of himself pranking his roommate, phone call pranks as well as dare Sugg series. Joe too has paired with various brands such as Hewlett Packard where he featured their newest printer in one of his videos this is an example of how brands utilize these individuals influence in order to create audience centered advertising. Both Zoe and Joe put up weekly videos and daily vlogs, separately or together and are surrounded by other bloggers who participate in this network of social media influencing.

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Brands That Nailed Social Influencer Marketing

Joe Sugg, who used to be a roof thatcher – hence the name 'ThatcherJoe,' is also part of a group of YouTube influencers called 'The Buttercream Squad' made up of 7 YouTube stars situated in London all reaching a total of 21,808,302 Subscribers on only their main channels. This includes Josh Pieters (742,028 Subscribers) Caspar Lee (7,162,211 Subscribers) Joe Sugg (7,919,234 Subscribers) Jack Maynard (1,042,143 Subscribers) Conor Maynard (4,593,013 Subscribers) Oli White (2,757,041 Subscribers) and Mikey Pearce (349,673 Subscribers). Each member of the group has a different interest and style to their videos. Caspar has interviewed model and celebrity, Cara Delevine, Oli and Joe have written books and have also delved into the gaming world, Conor is a singer who produces his own songs as well as covers other artists and Jack is a DJ who has recently reached one million subscribers and in celebration is hosting a party in July. 'The Buttercream Squad' play ridiculous games and prank one another each using Instagram stories to prompt fans to watch their new individual videos.

By interacting with influencers we are able to relate to brands and create ‘virtual personal’ relationships with individuals who are associated with the brands that is why influencers have become the new and most effective way of utilizing advertising. Ian Cleary founder of RazorSocial says “Social Media Marketing is going to continue to change how a brand interacts with their audience because the reality is that people want to communicate with people not brands.  I think that brands will struggle to build audiences and keep up with this fast moving industry.  They will focus more of their attention on identifying relevant influencers that have access to the audience that they want to target.  So watch out for further growth in the importance of influencers.”