Although yesterday’s post about influencers focused on founders, influencers are everywhere.
Influencers effect the entire global population, because they populate social media, new media, old media, and your entire offline world.
Some influencers are real people who are paid real money to endorse a brand, movement, or some other effort, lending credence as well as a halo effect.
Others are faux.
The symbols that identify “real” influencers and provide immediate legitimacy are sold in a black market that is an open secret among those who earn their living as influencers — and they are willing to pay.
For example, Instangram’s little blue check sells for anywhere from $1500 to $7000
More importantly, it’s a status symbol. The blue emblem can help people gain legitimacy in the business of influencer marketing and bestows some credibility within Instagram’s community of 700 million monthly active users. It cannot be requested online or purchased, according to Instagram’s policies. It is Instagram’s velvet rope.
In addition to verification, there are black markets for attractiveness, Likes, followers, and anything else that boosts profiles and Klout scores.
We live in a world where everything is for sale, so when it comes to influencers, caveat emptor is the watchword to live by.
Image credit: USFWS Mountain-Prairie