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social media influencer

Becoming a social media influencer is one of the most sought after professions of our generation. 

While it may seem like it's all about shmoozing at events, taking OOTD photos and Gucci belts, the industry is actually worth a heck of a lot as brands clamour to do business with the latest up-and-comer. 

According to influencer marketing company Mediakix, Instagram influencing alone is worth a cool one billion dollars, and the company set out to conduct an experiment to see exactly what it takes to become an influencer.

Mediakix set out to prove that anyone can get paid to be a social media influencer if they're willing to pay out a little and scam their way up the ladder of social media popularity.

The company set up two fake Instagram accounts in two of the most popular influencer niches. 

The first Calibeachgirl310, followed the glamorous, beach-based life of fashion and lifestyle influencer Alexa Rae, as she posed in the sand in a series of outfits. 

The second, Wanderingggirl, portrayed travel blogger Amanda Smith living the dream and travelling from place to place. 

However, when it comes to Amanda, all of the images were actually pulled from stock image websites, and always featured a blonde girl, though you could never see her face.  

For Alexa's profile, Mediakix hired a model and spent a day shooting her in various locations in different outfits, to create a backlog of content they could upload over time. 

The majority of their followers, likes, and comments are all paid for, with Mediakix using different fake follower, comment and like apps to artificially boost their following

They also used a block of hashtags to boost their engagement further. 

By using this numeric trickery, Medikix created 'influencers' who were deemed worthy by unwitting brands of paid endorsement deals. 

Once both girls had reached 10,000 followers, which is usually the minimum number needed to be considered an influencer, they were able to sign both accounts up to marketing platforms which match brands with bloggers and influencers. 

 'We secured four paid brand deals total, two for each account,' reads Mediakix's report.

'The fashion account secured one deal with a swimsuit company and one with a national food and beverage company.'

'The travel account secured brand deals with an alcohol brand and the same national food and beverage company. For each campaign, the "influencers" were offered monetary compensation, free product, or both.'

After proving just how easy it is to inauthentically create an influencer, the company went on to highlight the fact that fake engagement and following is rife in the social media influencer industry.

'Influencers of all sizes know brand dollars are pouring into the space, and in order to compete and secure these sponsorships, influencers are increasingly inflating follower counts and engagement artificially.'

While we're sure our favourite bloggers are perfectly happy with their authentic following, the booming influencer business clearly needs a little more moderation. 

Feature image: Calibeachgirl310 / Instagram 

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Have you even looked at the influencing industry and thought that all it takes is a bottle of tan, a browse of the Boohoo trending section and a Gucci belt to become an influencer? 

Well it turns out you may have been wrong. 

According to one one college, there is an art to having an stylish online presence, and they believe this so much that they have created a college course to train potential Instagram starlets in the art of influencing. 

 

A post shared by Suzanne Jackson (@sosueme_ie) on

Students at China's Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College, and are enrolled in a course 'specifically designed to turn students into online influencers.'

The 34 young people enrolled are being taught how to become the next big internet stars, being taught how to work with photos and video and have a distinctive online presence. 

They learn skills including makeup techniques, posing and modelling, fashion and aesthetic curatability, and public relations etiquette. 

We all know there is plenty of money to be made in the social media influencing industry if you do it right, so it makes sense that the career option has been validated with a college course.

Unfortunately if you fancy yourself as the next James Kavanagh or Rosie Connolly, you'll have to head to China to check out the open day at Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College.

Who knows, maybe some Irish colleges will soon follow suit. 

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People can be a little shy when it come to talking about their salaries, but with unions fighting the gender pay gap and more millennials in the workforce than ever before, it's a pretty important topic. 

A submission from the Irish Women's Council of Ireland found that on average, childless women earn 17 per cent less than men, while working mothers earn 14 per cent less than their male counterparts, but in one industry, women are the higher earners.  

A new report by Influencer found that female social media influencers are earning substantially more than men, completely flipping the gender pay gap. 

 

A post shared by Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) on

A woman with 100,000 followers can earn up to €50,000 from posting two sponsored posts a week, while her male counterpart would earn approximately €37,000 for the same work. 

This means that in the world of influencers, men earn about 26 per cent less than women in the same field. 

According to the report, there are a few reasons for this.

 

A post shared by Zoella (@zoella) on

The researchers believe that this increase comes from the genres of interest that are popular online. Im som,e of these genres, women are the most prominent players.

‘Female influencers are commanding higher fees than their male counterparts, flipping the traditional pay gap on its head,' said Ben Jeffries, the 21-year-old founder of Influencer. 

'Perhaps this is due to the exponential rise of fashion and fitness collaborations on social media, where female influencers are very prominent.’

 

A post shared by Tanya Burr (@tanyaburr) on

Fashion and fitness social media profiles are among the most popular, with the likes of Chiara Ferragni, Zoella, and Suzanne Jackson leading the pack. 

With influencing now being a viable way for people to earn their full-time income, the fact that influential social media posts can now fetch such high sums is astounding. 

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