THE RISE OF THE “ACCIDENTAL INFLUENCER”

 

Covid-19 created a new breed of social media star

How Covid-19 Created A New Breed of Social Media Star

The influencer marketing industry is quickly approaching $7 billon this year, and there’s research that it’s on track to double – brands are predicted to spend close to $15 billion by 2022, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates based on Mediakix data. (https://www.businessinsider.com/influencer-marketing-report)

Categories of influencers have expanded as well. Specific types available to brands­ such as mega-influencers, macro-influencers, micro-influencers and nano-influencers are now augmented by specialty niche influencers. For example, general travel influencers can now be drilled down to flight attendants, general beauty influencers  to just hairdressers and general fitness  to Peloton and Crossfit influencers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and TikTok.

Many sharp, successful and seasoned influencers who want to keep their audiences and their brand affiliations have pivoted to providing content that resonates a bit more deeply with their followers in light of Covid-19. So, instead of gushing about aspirational desires, influencers are a bit more accessible as both they and their followers hunker down at home.

For example, instead of a powerful travel influencer highlighting a luxury resort’s poolside cabana and cocktail menu, current posts may feature how they are enjoying their silky, high thread count sheets as they shelter at home. Or instead of recommending the latest sexy, strappy high heels, fashion influencers are now highlighting their hobbies and what they do inside, like curling up on the couch and watching a movie or baking bread . It’s a reaction to how social media has suddenly morphed to include content that is more about comfort, education and uplifting audiences.

Indeed, the Covid-19 crisis has leveled the field somewhat, allowing more and more innovative content creators to blast onto the scene, unintentionally becoming an accidental influencer.

Megan Jessen on April 21 at her “Camp Kindergarten” on Facebook

This person may have used social media previously, even had a small presence and a nice, respectable following in the past. Perhaps it was just to post about their business or their new services, but they have switched gears in the last few months due to Covid-19 and as a result have grown their sphere of influence enormously. As they pivoted to maintain their relevance and continue connecting with their customers, there’s been some astounding results.

The key is authenticity. There are surgeons showing off their singing voices and securing record deals (Dr. Elvis Francois), therapists who aren’t seeing patients in person, but are now providing advice to keep people mentally sane (Dr. Mariel Burqué), poets performing songs and getting Hollywood film interest (Tomas Roberts aka Probably Tomfoolery). They’ve all garnered a robust social presence by providing new content to reach their audiences, with sales revenues and/or followers that have exploded.

Check out four people who pivoted and became accidental influencers due to the effects of Covid-19.

Megan Jessen    School Teacher

Facebook: Miss Megan’s Camp Kindergarten   99,000 members  

Megan was a kindergarten and pre-k teacher with two young daughters of her own. She started Camp Kindergarten exclusively for them, but since Covid-19 has forced parents to homeschool, she started a Facebook page and wondered if anyone was interested. Her Facebook class has proved enormously popular, as she helps children learn their letters and sight words. With 99,000 members, it’s one of the largest groups on Facebook, since Coronavirus has tried to make teachers out of parents everywhere. There are a lot of happy moms out there who can attend to older children’s teaching schedules while she teaches the younger ones enthusiastically.

Bo Stegall    Hair Stylist/Owner of Bo Stegall Salons

Instagram: @bostegall    8,750 followers

Facebook: Bo Stegall The Collection  20,000 followers

Website: www.bostegall.care

A successful hairdresser who early in his 13-year hairstyling career worked in Hollywood on celebrities such as Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Demi Moore and Eva Longoria. Stegall created his own haircare line in 2015, with the goal of providing safe ingredients that impart a luxury performance. As soon as Covid-19 hit, Stegall shut down his two salons and brainstormed for a way to continue generating income for himself as well as for any out-of-work stylists, closed salons and even for the general public. He’s offering 20-25% commission with the Bo Stegall The Collection Professional Referral Program to anyone who sells and shares his top quality hair products online through their own social networks. It’s a revenue stream that is a win-win, involves no monetary investment and also provides payment within 24 hours. Product sales skyrocketed from $20K for the month of February to over $250K for April. Now, he’s able to donate $5,000 to a salon or stylist who is struggling due to Covid-19.

Luis Scott    Managing Partner at Bader Scott Lawyers

Instagram: @luisr_scott  97,000 followers

Website: https://baderscott.com/

Luis is an attorney in Georgia who had a busy personal injury law firm practice. Since less people are driving on the road now since Covid-19, the firm has had a dip in business. So he turned to entrepreneurial business coaching, along with posting uplifting, inspirational quotes and motivational advice. He is writing a book which will be released in a few months.

Dr. William Graves    Amarillo Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Website: https://amarillooralsurgery.com/our-oral-surgery-practice-amarillo-tx/

TikTok: @doctorgraves.   942,000 followers

Dr. William Graves is a dentist in Amarillo Texas with a very large practice handling oral and cosmetic surgery and a goal to buy up smaller practices across the country. Immediately upon learning about Covid-19, he surmised that people would be at home a lot with more time on their hands and might need a few laughs. In a brilliant move, Dr. Graves reached out and made a job offer to the news editor from the local television station, then hired him to exclusively create and post TikTok videos for the practice. It has grown by 600,000 followers since Covid-19 began, as he shares funny staff interactions, office drama and hysterical patient meltdowns.

 

 

Photo Credits: Nurse Clara – Clara Jones, BSN, RN & Megan Jessen