The traditional artist is doomed, influencers have taken over.
Gone are the days when musicians, actors, actresses, politicians and athletes dominated society – a new breed of public figure has emerged.
The late Genius “Ginimbi” Kandungure was a part of this global movement and locally he led from the front. He was thrust into the limelight in 2009 through a US$17 000 white party – and from there he never looked back.
He amassed over 600 000 followers across social media platforms and connected people from Zimbabwe to New York and everything in-between.
He befriended celebrities and socialites across the world until he became a part of their community. He ate on the same table with some of the most powerful local, regional and international politicians.
He was a trend-setter in almost everything.
At the time of his death on Sunday November 8, Ginimbi had become the most paid influencer in Zimbabwe. He received more money for appearances than the most paid artist in Zimbabwe.
He moved around with his expensive toys, drank the priciest champagne and slept only in presidential suites in hotels.
The likes of Mai TT (Felistas Murata Edwards) and Madam Boss (Tyra Chikocho) are some of the leading influencers in Zimbabwe at the moment.
What Is An Influencer
An influencer is someone with the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
A following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche.
It is important to note that these individuals are not merely marketing tools, but rather social relationship assets with which brands can collaborate to achieve their marketing objectives.
Inevitably these people look up to influencers in social media to guide them with their decision making.
Influencers in social media are people who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views.
Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote.
TYPES: Mega Influencers
Are the people with a vast number of followers on their social networks.
Ginimbi was a mega influencer.
Although there are no fixed rules on the boundaries between the different types of followers, a common view is that mega-influencers have more than 1 million followers on at least one social platform.
Many mega-influencers are celebrities who have gained their fame offline – movie stars, sportspeople, musicians, and even reality television stars. Some mega-influencers have gained their vast followings through their online and social activities, however.
These are one step down from the mega-influencers, and maybe more accessible as influencer marketers. You would consider people with followers in the range between 40 000 and 1 million followers on a social network to be macro-influencers.
This group tends to consist of two types of people. They are either B-grade celebrities, who haven’t yet made it to the big time. Or they are successful online experts, who have built up more significant followings than the typical micro-influencers.
These are ordinary everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about some specialist niche. As such, they have usually gained a sizable social media following amongst devotees of that niche.
Of course, it is not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence; it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer has with his or her followers.
Although views differ, you could consider micro-influencers as having between 1000 and 40 000 followers on a single social platform.
Micro-influencers are becoming more common and more famous. Some have risen from virtual obscurity to being nearly as well-known as traditional celebrities.
The newest influencer-type to gain recognition is the nano-influencer. These people only have a small number of followers, but they tend to be experts in an obscure or highly specialised field. You can think of nano-influencers as being the proverbial big fish in a small pond. In many cases, they have fewer than 1000 followers – but they will be keen and interested followers, willing to engage with the nano-influencer, and listen to his/her opinions. Nhau/Marketing Hub