Social media has found itself to be the
main platform that individuals in society turn to for their news, information,
and entertainment. Social media platforms have helped thousands of families keep
in touch all around the world. In recent times, social media has acted as a gateway
for businesses and bloggers to promote their business online at no extra cost. With
a click of a button social media ‘posts’ can reach hundreds of thousands of
users online within a second.

 

(Herring,Scheidt,Bonus&Wright,2005)
argue that over the past few years the popularity of blog posts has transformed
from ‘obscurity to immense popularity’. This may be because as technology
progresses there are new and more advanced platforms for people to show their
individuality and share their life or everyday experiences with the rest of the
world. They go on to state that blogs by social media influencers are more
popular as they are easily accessible, inexpensive, flexible and more
interactive with consumers, compared to the past with print or TV media. One
can state that social media has officially taken over society as social
networking is predominantly the medium that majority of individuals use to read
news, seek knowledge, and have for personal and entertainment purposes.

 

Moreover, (Petty&Cacioppo,1986)
developed the elaboration likelihood model which is applied through motivation
and reasoning. Social influencers may use this model to help influence and
create an impression towards their ‘followers’ and fans on social media. This model
consists of two parts: firstly, centrally routed messages; this is where one
would become motivated as they are paying attention to the social influencer,
they then enhance their thought process into a conscious view thus creating a ‘central
route’ to deciding, leading one to alter their outlook and adopt upon the
influencers proposal. Secondly, peripheral messages; this is where individuals
concentrate on the influencers emotional involvement, persuading the audience
to feel closer and almost empathetic about the same situation, this maybe because
one admires certain characteristics of the influencer.

 

From this one may also state, that in
the past it was mostly celebrity figures that were social influencers as they
would endorse brands and because of their fame, the social media platform
allowed individuals to connect with them. However, within society today this is
not always the case, with the help of social media platforms such as Instagram
and Twitter almost anyone can become an influencer. So-long as your ‘posts’ are
captivating and interesting or even if you are catering to simply one category
of interests like baking or makeup for instance, you are able to share your
life/ interests and create a huge ‘following’ of audience online. Where real
individuals are ready to listen to your every word and follow your every step
of the way. Additionally, brands are ready to send these individuals their
products to test out and endorse to their fan base.

 

Furthermore, a social media influencer
on Instagram known as ‘Chakabars’ has a following of 621,000. Chakabars is a
great social influencer as the content he blogs and ‘posts’ about is not news
that is usually presented on the large prominent media platforms such as;
Print, TV or radio. Chakabars ensures that the information and news that he is
posting is true and relevant to today. He posts of worldly affairs; wars, poverty,
health, having a positive mind set and much more. Chakabars is popular on
social media as he is a great positive influence on individuals all around the
world, he acts as a charity and promotes equal rights for all human beings,
regardless of race and ethnicity. He lives a simple life, a raw whole foods
plant based diet, he is a firm believer in seeking knowledge and truth. Chakabars
also believes that individuals have the power to change and save this ‘dying
planet’, as he states that we as human beings are our own worst enemy and are
on the forefront of global warming. He argues, through growing and farming our
own organic fruits and vegetables we can help promote healthy living and help eliminate
poverty.

 

Moreover, his unique way of thinking
and way of life is very thought provoking and motivational, aligned to the tenants
of the Elaboration Likelihood Model. He creates a sense of hope for many
individuals that together, through loving ourselves and creating a better life
for those around us we in turn, create a better way of life for ourselves, which
is why he has created such a huge following. This can be related to both phases
of the model; the centrally routed and peripheral.

 

Although, Chakabars is unemployed he
has begun projects around the world building dams, providing vegetation
equipment and food necessities financed through donations and support through
his following online. He argues that the media does not always promote the
truth and tends to manipulate information that is being fed out. He states that
‘we should be our own media and create our own media’ as a response to those
who told him going to Somalia would be too dangerous, but in-fact it is a very warm
and welcoming place. In this way, Chakabars practises what he preaches and
motivates individuals to look inside themselves and become better for
themselves and for the future of their offspring. Chakabars’s success is purely
because individuals too want to better their health, lifestyle and the planet. This
can be seen in line with the peripheral messages as his followers become
emotionally involved in his journey creating an empathetic feeling towards him
and his work.

 

Overall, Chakabars’s popularity is due
to his unique and genuine outlook on life. Some may even describe his posts to
be addictive as it influences and inspires individuals to live and embrace his
way of thinking. Therefore, social media influencers are today’s new phenomenon,
assuming the role of leaders of knowledge and current affairs.

 

People are consumed in materialism and
constantly bombarded with commercial and political media that they forget about
real life issues such as the planet and our own health. However, influencers
like Chakabars help humble and bring to light issues that are ignored and not advocated
by mainstream media, highlighting causes that are important such as poverty and
health, he encourages his followers to seek their own knowledge and question
the mainstream media. Thus, Chakabars is transforming peoples mind sets and
enforcing new ways of interpreting news media and commercialism and leading a
large following of people on his journey of making the world a better place and
at the same time encouraging his followers to do so and in doing so he has
created a new form of leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Changingminds.org. (2017). Elaboration
Likelihood Model. online Available at: http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/elaboration_likelihood.htm
 Accessed 18 Dec. 2017.

 

Cios.org. (2017). Elaboration
Likelihood Model. online Available at: http://www.cios.org/encyclopedia/persuasion/Helaboration_2routes.htm
 Accessed 18 Dec. 2017.

 

Digital Business Strategy – Advanced
Master – GEM Grenoble ecole de management. (2017). What is the impact
of Social Media Influencers?. online Available at: http://digital-me-up.com/2017/04/06/impact-social-media-influencers/
 Accessed 18 Dec. 2017.

 

Petty, R. (2012). Communication
and persuasion. Place of publication not identified: Springer. Chapter 1.

 

Tremayne, M. (2010). Blogging, citizenship, and
the future of media. Johanneshov: TPB, pp.3-4.

 

Website design Victoria BC – Raging Creations Ltd.
(2017). The Role Of Influencers And Brand Advocates In Social Media
Marketing. online Available at: http://ragingcreations.com/pages/the-role-of-influencers-and-brand-advocates-in-social-media-marketing.html
 Accessed 14 Dec. 2017.