If you’re a heavy social media user, you would have come across hundreds, if not thousands of content creators, also known as influencers or key opinion leaders. Contrary to popular belief, content creators do more than just posting beautiful images on social media.
Content creators produce content that connects brands to their target audiences. These brands could be third-party brands that pay these content creators for social engagement or even the creators’ personal brands.
Content creators come in different sizes. By that, we mean the size of their following. Content creators range from celebrities with tens of millions of followers to micro-influencers with just thousands of followers.
Depending on their image and the type of content that gave them their sizeable following, these creators could be paid to promote products ranging from fashion, beauty, food, alcohol, and more.
Brands leverage the content creators’ following and audience to increase visibility, build awareness, and improve sales for their products. On the other hand, content creators have effectively become the faces of these brands, which keeps them in the public eye.
Even world-famous actors, musicians and athletes have become content creators as they become brand ambassadors, enter paid partnerships or sign celebrity endorsements for big brands and even become founders of their own brands. Some examples include Nike x Billie Eilish, Coach x Lil Nas X, JBL x Doja Cat, as well as Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Millie Bobbie Brown, who have founded their own beauty brands.
Whether promoting the brands of other companies or their own brands, these celebrities and influencers would still have to post social media content that make the products visible to their followers, therefore making them content creators.
While posting photos on social media may look easy, full-time content creators that rely on producing social content for a living face a number of challenges. They have to consistently maintain their public image, be careful of what they say or do in the public eye and be subjected to hate comments, which could take a toll on their mental health.
They also have to come up with ways to beat the social media algorithm, keep up with social media trends, carve a niche and constantly come up with content ideas so they don’t fall behind. As they are self-employed, full-time content creators usually have an entrepreneurial spirit coupled with creativity that helps them create content that keeps their followers interested.
What they post on social media is only a fraction of their lives, yet they have to balance on a tightrope of maintaining their privacy and being authentic and relatable, which requires them to give their followers a small glimpse into their day-to-day lives. Some creators would post “get ready with me” content showcasing how they dress up and get ready to go out, as well as their “breakfast routine” or themselves bare-faced with no makeup, and imperfect skin, just to name a few examples.
Beyond the superficial aspects of being a content creator, those who use their platforms the right way could positively contribute to society. More than being just a vessel for brands to promote products to their huge audiences, content creators often use their platform to champion social causes they’re passionate about. They empower minority voices and speak out for the marginalised, creating awareness around pertinent issues that the privileged portion of their followers may not be aware of.
One such example is Dua Lipa, who besides being a global popstar with 87.5 million followers, has been using her platform to champion the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, rally support for Ukraine and her motherland Kosovo, and bring Albanian culture to mainstream consciousness. She has even started a podcast and newsletter that talks about literature, travel, feminism, queer love, abortion, and other topics that could be seen as taboo in conservative societies.
Other influencers who are using their platform for positive social impact include Pakistani female education activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, as well as Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
With a platform of 2.4 million followers on Instagram, Malala continues to advocate for female education and has been speaking out on Taliban’s recent ban on women entering university.
Greta Thunberg rose to prominence at the tender age of 15 by kickstarting the “school strike for climate” protest which spread around the world. Known to challenge world leaders on climate action, Greta has inspired many politicians and school-aged children around the world to do more about climate change. In 2019, she became the youngest Time Person of the Year and was included in the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women.
As the follower count of content creators increases, so do their social engagements, which also means they have less time to connect with their followers. Metabay helps content creators reconnect deeper with their audiences through 1000 unique digital passes building a small, privileged community with members who can access dedicated group chats and video calls, receive event invites and merch, bringing them closer to their favourite content creator.
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