Social Media Influencers


Employment Prospects


Social media influencers work for any company that seeks to sell its products or services through viral marketing. Companies and brands that have hired influencers include Southwest Airlines, Adidas, Warner Brothers, McDonald’s, Barnes & Noble, Culver’s, New York Life Insurance Company, Krispy Kreme, eBay, and Microsoft.

Starting Out

Most influencers begin as hobbyists—posting about things they love and gradually building a large number of followers through a combination of talent, creativity, hard work, and a little luck. Once they obtain a minimum of 10,000 or so followers—but ideally more—they realize that their platform has monetary value and begin reaching out to companies. A company may also contact the influencer if it believes that he or she can help sell its products or services.

Some influencers first work in the marketing departments of companies or for firms that provide social media consulting services to businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations. After several years of experience, they might use their knowledge to try to become an influencer.

Advancement Prospects

Nanoinfluencers (those with fewer than 10,000 followers) can advance to become microinfluencers (10,000 to 50,000 followers). With a lot of hard work, they may be able to become influencers (1 million+ followers). More followers translate into more notoriety and higher pay. Some influencers choose to become social media strategists, social media managers, or marketing consultants. Some very popular influencers may go on to write books, appear on talk shows (or land a radio or TV presenting gig), or even develop their own product lines.  

Tips for Entry

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Start your own blog or other social media site and begin touting a company’s products or services. If you’re talented, work hard, and build your list of followers, you may get noticed by an influencer agency or company. You can also contact companies directly to offer your services.

Follow influencers in your areas of interest to learn best practices regarding presentation style, topics, and other criteria.