The rise in social media usage has sparked a new marketing strategy for brands and entrepreneurs known as influencing. Influencers use marketing tactics to persuade their social media followers to purchase a certain brand. For this thesis, we will be focusing on micro influencers who are defined as people that began as a regular, everyday person and became known for their knowledge about some specialist niche with a range of 10,000-500,000 followers.
To conduct research, we developed a survey that was distributed and taken by students at Arizona State University. The goal of surveying college students was to understand how young people who regularly use social media are persuaded by micro-influencers. To gain more insight, we interviewed three local micro-influencers that we discovered through Instagram and research. The goal of these interviews was to discover tactics that micro-influencers use when posting to market sponsored products. Additionally, we hoped to uncover a pattern that micro-influencers use when building their social media following. Ultimately, we developed a six-step guide from our research that aspiring micro-influencers can follow to strategize their rise as a social media micro-influencer. We also discuss the social media app TikTok, which we believe will be heavily used by influencers and micro-influencers in the future.
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