During her stay in the house, the controversial Big Brother Naija 2018 housemate, Cynthia Nwadiora, also known as Cee-Cee once made an expository statement. She opened up that before coming to the Big Brother house, she had only 700 followers on Instagram. Perhaps that’s about the number of followers you have too, lol … but chill.
A few days after she made that statement, I stumbled upon her Instagram page and guess what I saw on her profile … over 200k human beings already following her and of course, it was still counting! Every other housemate too, by virtue of their being in our faces on TV for many weeks, have raked nothing less than 100k followers (as at the time I wrote this piece).
In this age of social networking when contents go viral at the snap of a finger, one could go to bed a “nobody” and wake up the next morning to fame; one could easily trend on twitter right from the confines of one’s room; one could post controversial pictures on Instagram and in the next minute it has become the account everyone wants to follow. And of course, sometimes, the flip side of social media buzz pops up and people are embarrassed or in big trouble.
However, there are some people who seem to be making the most out of social media networks and its attendant buzz. They have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers. When these ones cough, their comment sessions is ablaze with comments. Everyone is praying to get a mention from them. And when they recommend anything to their followers, it becomes constitutional. The good life, you’ll say.
Trust the marketing gurus, they already have a name for people who wield such great influence on social media. They call them social media influencers. I am sure you have social media influencers that you love. In fact, you probably follow them on all your social media accounts, have their videos and photos on your phone and even dream of becoming as influential as they are someday.
What you should find interesting is that social media influencers are on the rise and with the look of things, they are becoming a very essential component of influential marketing. The good news I have for ‘would-be influencers’ is that the social media influence space is green and lush and there is an opportunity for everyone.
Having heard all of my blabbing, you may be wondering, who are social media influencers and what really do they do differently from other social media users. Well, that’s the question I expect you to ask at this point, and I am sorry that I have been blabbing. Now let’s get to business.
Well, I’ ill try as much as I can to explain. So chillax!
Why don’t we, first of all, define who social media influencers are and using some Nigerian social media influencers as case studies, tackle the second question: what do social media influencers do differently? Ok, so let’s go.
Who is an influencer?
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.
An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche.
Going by the second definition, a social media influencer is a user on social media who have established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
The Nigerian social media influencers: Case studies.
Before we continue with the Nigerian social media influencer case studies, I have to let you know that there are about four types of influencers you should know. They are:
- Industry experts and thought leaders
- Bloggers and content creators
- Micro Influencers.
These different types of influencers are further discussed here.
The case of Luara Ikeji – Instagram
(Image from GlamAfrica.com)
laura ikeji is a micro influencer. She is an everyday girl who rose to become an influencer. Although she has a millionaire blogger sister, Linda Ikeji, Laura Ikeji worked hard to earn her status as an influencer.
According to a recent interview, Laura Ikeji rose to fame by putting herself at people’s faces on Instagram. She would buy clothes from boutiques, model them, and then post the pictures. She would tag those boutiques and tell her followers – then less than 20k then – to visit the boutique and patronize them. Whenever she tagged a boutique on her post, the women would say to her “oh we made a whole lot of great sales this week courtesy your posts, thank you very much”.
Today, Laura would only model other people’s clothes if she has been paid well enough. She has her own boutique that is doing very well now in Lagos and extending to other parts of Nigeria.
Why has Laura Ikeji made it as a social media influencer?
If you are there thinking it was simply by posting pictures of herself with new dresses from other people’s boutiques that have earned her the portfolio of an influencer, then you are mistaken. Hundreds of thousands of people do that who will never become influencers.
Laura provides great entertainment value. She dances, sings, dramatizes, makes her followers privy to some aspects of her private life and all. Those are things I and you may not be able to do. Laura is exceptionally engaging on Instagram. She gives her followers reasons to keep following and even to become her brand ambassadors preaching her gospel everywhere.
Long before I started following Laura Ikeji on Instagram, I had been seeing her posts flying around the place but I had said to myself that I wasn’t going to follow this Linda Ikeji’s sister jor. But upon meeting her in person at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, at an event for young entrepreneurs, I knew I had to see more of her and of course, the best place to see her is where she lives – Instagram.
Laura Ikeji has consciously guided her fame by consistently churning out great contents that her audience demands. Today, she is a social media influencer. With a Payporte endorsement deal under her armpit and a self-authored book to show for her many years of experience sleeping and waking up on Instagram, we can safely say Laura has indeed arrived.
Laura Ikeji is a sought-after brand influencer for youth-oriented brands. With close to a million followers on Instagram, Laura has positioned herself as one of the notable self-made social media influencers to ever come out of Nigeria.
Lasisi Elenu and his rants
(Image from mediaguide.ng)
“Am angry, am Angry”, “Are you mad?”, “Something just happened right now”…those phrases are Lasisi Elenu’s customized catchphrases and if you don’t know or haven’t heard of Lasisi Elenu the ranter, I guess you have been in another planet.
Lasisi Elenu has carved a niche for himself in the entertainment/comedy industry using a Snapchat app filter that makes a caricature of his face and gives him a look that will crack you up. If you don’t know Lasisi Elenu’s story, judging by his half a million followers on Instagram, you would want to believe he has been a celebrity all his life.
Lasisi Elenu opened his eponymous Instagram account sometime around August 2017. By April 2018, Lasisi already has over 500,000k followers. According to an interview he granted on Arise TV some time ago, Lasisi has tried his hand on a lot of stuff on social media, all to no avail. He was keen on young people making it online and he wanted to have his own share of the social media cake. At a point when he felt his life is a waste, he started ranting using a particular Snapchat filter and the rest, as they say, is history.
Lasisi’s rants border on the social and economic issue and personal life experiences. Nothing serious. Yes, he does nothing serious, just ranting but guess what, he seems to be making some serious money. His videos are awash with different brands’ messages introduced with rants that would capture everyone’s attention and take them to the core of the advert.
I do not know exactly what Lasisi Elenu’s charges but I know that he gets adverts almost on a weekly basis. He now travels to different countries and wears designer clothes that he apparently gets in exchange for just a tag or mention.
Before revealing his real identity, a lot of people like myself was afraid for him. Our concerns being that once he opens up, he would lose followers and his brand might suffer. He has revealed his handsome face for some months now but guesses what, followers have doubled!
Why has Lasisi Elenu ‘made it’ as a social media influencer?
He simply carved a niche where no one saw an opportunity. He got experimental and creative with the snap chat app filters. He was bold enough to launch the result of his experiment for the world regardless, and that birthed the Lasisi Elenu brand. And when the likes, comments and follows started coming, he never stopped creating fascinating and engaging contents. Today, Lasisi Elenu is one of the young and fastest growing social media influencers in Nigeria.
So I rest my case here for now. I sincerely hope you have learnt a few things.
Who are your favourite Nigerian social media influencers?
Looking forward to reading your responses.
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