From the Influencers

Social Media's Rising Stars Pulling Focus Away from Traditional Influencers

September 06, 2016

I love to cook and bake and I remember the days before social media (and even before the Internet had very much to offer) when I was completely reliant on cookbooks, magazines and friends and family for recipes and guidance. Sure, there were some cooking shows as well, but I never found those very helpful from a practical perspective in terms of how exactly to, say, supreme a citrus fruit or chiffonade vegetables.

I can honestly say that the rise of social media has had a direct and profound impact on my cooking skills. YouTube in particular has been an invaluable resource for recipes, techniques and tips, and I faithfully follow and trust quite a few chefs and bakers there and on other forms of social media. Not only can I learn more in-depth techniques and recipes through the platform of social media, but I can get reviews and feedback on ingredients, measurements and cooking times from the community at large, pretty much ensuring my endeavors will be successful.

The influence of social media is becoming pervasive in most aspects of society, steadily enhancing or outright replacing more traditional forms of media. Ana Flores, founder of the Latina Bloggers Connect group, recently told Inc. magazine how her group consisted solely of bloggers when formed a mere six years ago. The sphere of influence has grown to include YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Snapchat and a host of other social media platforms, which are churning out a generation of online celebrities at a breakneck pace.

“I think we’re going to continue to have a lot more influencers come into the space with each new app that comes out,” said Flores. “The lines are going to be blurred more in between celebrities and social media influencers and traditional media.”

Social media’s rising stars are also becoming increasingly business savvy, creating marketing and business partnerships that offer companies measurable results. One of the many strengths of these online celebrities is that they can interact in real time with their followers, in ways that are unheard of or simply not possible with traditional forms of media.

As social media continues to attract more followers, its celebrities and influencers will gain increasing power, translating to profitable business partnerships. There’s no question that influence is slowly but steadily shifting away from traditional media into the realm of social media and its new culture of celebrity.

Edited by Alicia Young

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